Public Affairs

The art of influencing

Do you want your employees to obtain public affairs skills? Or do you struggle with a (political) issue that could threaten your business. Contact the Hague Academy.

The Hague Academy offers a balanced training programme tailored to professionals that are active in public affairs or want to make the transition in the near future. The programme consists of five training modules that cover the most essential theories and skills in the world of public affairs. Below, you will find the learning goals that cover the specific knowledge and skills per module. We offer the following modules:

  • Orientation and positioning
  • The political arena and governance
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • The lobbytoolkit
  • The political compass

Our courses are always tailor made and can be booked per full day, half day or for several days. It is possible to choose for one course, or a combination of courses per training.

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We help you to define your lobby goal and determine whether it is realistic. What do you want to achieve as a minimum? What is it you really want to change? What is your story? What do you bring to the table yourself? And what do you want to achieve? This module also covers the question which organizations and persons you need to convince in order to reach your lobby goal. Who do you need as allies and who will make the final decision?

Learning goals

– Get to know the relevant governance structures: from local municipality council to European Parliament

– Get to know the political process in the Netherlands and Europe

– Insight in the political-governmental reality

– Deal with the volatility of politics

– Develop a political route map

The module about the arena of politics and governance gives you a perspective on how decision-making processes work. This will help you to increase the effectiveness of your lobby efforts. The module starts with a theoretical overview of politics and public administration. This will help you to understand the political reality in the Netherlands.   

Where does governance stop and where does politics begin? Which political arenas are relevant at a local, regional, national and European level? Which arenas do you have to enter to achieve your specific lobby goal. And how to find your window of opportunity?

Learning goals:

  • Get to know all governance structures (starting from a local level until the European Parliament)
  • Understand the political process on a national level
  • Insights in the political and governmental reality
  • Being able to cope with the volatility of politics
  • Being able to develop a political radar

Lobbying is not only about your own organization and your conversation with the decision-making institutions. You manoeuver in a stakeholder environment with many players that do not move in the same direction, on the contrary.

What are the convictions, interests and point of views of your stakeholders? Where can you reach consensus with your stakeholders and where do you clash?

A stakeholder analysis gives you an overview of your allies and opponents. This module shows you the importance of an extensive network.

This module will teach you about the importance of ‘networking’ and how to get and keep in touch in with the right contacts. Why? Because your opponent can be your ally in another lobby discussion as well. To put it differently: you might have strange allies in an unusual coalition.

Learning goals:

  • Situational awareness and deeper understanding of your stakeholder environment
  • Being able to get a clear view on the standpoints of your stakeholders
  • Being able to get a clear view on the formal and informal relationships between your stakeholders.
  • Being able to determine who is your ally and who is your opponent, and how to measure their influence
  • Being able to forge and maintain coalitions

For the realisation of your lobby goal you need to use the right instruments. Therefore, we present you the ‘lobby toolkit’ with a wide arsenal of lobby-instruments. After all, every step requires its own lobby instrument.

These instruments are part of our module:

  • Position paper
  • The power of visual communication (infographics)
  • Lobby conversations
  • Scientific research
  • Social media
  • Newspaper articles
  • Debates
  • Expert meetings
  • Parliamentary questions
  • Motions & amendments

On which level do you need to use these instruments? Do you focus on the media and therefore on a wider audience, on the staff of the decision makers or directly on the key politicians?

Learning goals:

  • Knowledge of the instruments of the lobby toolkit
  • How to use the lobby-instruments
  • Getting your core message across
  • Writing convincingly
  • Speaking convincingly
  • Do’s and don’ts in visual communication

After establishing your lobby goals, analysing your field of stakeholders and utilising your lobby toolkit, you can start to implement your lobby strategy; getting the right information at the right time, be on right place to the meet right person; its time to get your political compass ready.

Do you have a clear view on the relationship between the goals of your organisation, and the needs of your stakeholders? Are you ready to grasp the political momentum? Are you flexible enough to adjust your strategy without losing sight of your lobby goal? Using the instruments from your lobby toolkit in a strategic way requires insights in the reality of diplomacy and politics.

This module helps you to understand and operate in the world of diplomacy and politics.

* Adjusting the lobby toolkit and instrument

  • Develop your conversation skills
  • Develop your networking skills
  • Being able to cope with disappointments
  • How to forge coalitions to strengthen your lobby strategy

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