Essay on the Profession of Public Affairs Consultant

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Middlebury College
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Public affairs consultant is a career which trains individuals to be responsible for providing their clients with necessary information concerning the political environment of a certain place and advice on government policies and public affairs. This career is related to both public and private sector, and the consultants can be employed in various government departments, NGOs and international bodies like UN. The career mainly involves tracking and monitoring fundamental information regarding economic, industrial, governmental and other policies from the private and public sector.

The course also involves participating in research activities through polls so as to determine opinions of people in the society to understand administrative and political developments. A public affairs consultant is tasked to arrange meetings between representatives of a given organization with government and public sector clients.

Employees Working Conditions

Most of the junior consultants jobs are office-based which involves visiting clients and attending meetings, events, and seminars on a certain basis. The senior employees conduct visits and arrangement of meetings with clients on a regular basis. Most high-level positions are held mostly by men as compared to women counterparts. All employees are required to be official and smart dressed when meeting with the clients, but the dress code may be informal when they are doing office work. The traveling hours is within the working day and most do not occur at odd hours which may lead to absence from home.

The working hours are mainly during weekdays because that is the time lobbying takes place with governmental bodies and clients. Weekend work is not common, and there are leave days offered especially when certain authorities are not in session. Employees are offered with allowances during traveling schedules because the job in large extent requires traveling so as to cover the wide geographical range.

Training and Qualifications

To be a public affairs consultant, several subjects are required. These are public relations, social policy, law, business management and international languages. The candidates should have the following qualifications;

1. Ability to offer advice to people where necessary and being diplomat

2. Computer skills such as exposure of Microsoft office so that you will be able to prepare documents and present them to clients in a conference.3. IT skills and excellent listening skills

4. Excellent research skills and ability to extract relevant information from a material quickly and summarize them to clients.

5. Good communication skills and relation with people especially clients.

6. Having a strong interest in political matters and being active in political matters.

7. Teamwork skills and ability to relate with fellow colleagues and being a team leader.

8. Capability of inspiring clients so as to improve trust and confidence in you so as to improve working cooperation

9. Having a great awareness of commercial activities so as to attract new businesses.

The training of the public affairs consultants is largely on the job activities, but at some instances training on policy making and parliamentary procedures are necessary. The trainees are provided with formal induction by their organization and are offered exposure to various aspects of communication and public relations. The consultancies also arrange work experiences for their trainees by placing them on outside organizations.

Job Outlook, Earnings and Advancement Opportunities

Public affairs consultants get employed in various agencies and departments such as local and multinational consultant agencies. The new entrants primarily spend most of their working hours doing research, monitoring information and responding to clients requests. The job involves face-to-face contact with clients as it requires frequent meetings and conferences with all stakeholders. Jobs vary from account managers to senior account managers. Account managers head is responsible for a specific group of clients, and they head small team within the consultancy. The senior account managers handles consultancy work for most important clients through offering professional advice.

Typical employees work either for charities, business groups or on behalf of a wide range of clients. Most consultancy firms have less than 20 employees since it there are not many activities done in consultancy. The salaries of the new public affairs consultants range between 15000 and 24,000. The senior officials who have worked for some time earn around 27,000 to 36,000. The most experienced public affairs consultants who occupy director levels earn up to 100, 000 per year.

This career is in high demand in many government agencies and private agencies worldwide. The opportunities include positions of internal policy advisers in government parastatals and decision makers in the public sector.

Interest Groups

Public affairs consultancy association is a major interest group which promotes the business interests of many consultancy firms. In Ireland, the Public Relations Consultants Association Ireland (PRCA) is responsible for protecting the rights of 29 member firms. The firms are required first to attain CMS Consultancy Management Standards which is internationally recognized so as to become a member of the PRCA. The interest group has several roles to play.

First, they promote the firms consultancies activities so as to generate income for their businesses. Secondly, they offer confidential forums which enable members to share information. Thirdly, they provide educational conferences in areas of interest to their members so that they will develop profitable and sustainable consultancies. Thirdly, they promote excellence in the consultant firms through some standards so that they will be recognized all over Ireland.

Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) is the other interest group which promotes the interests of employees and overall individuals in the consultancy firms. They increase transparency and accountability of public affairs consultants and connect them with potential clients so as to improve their activities. APPC was formed by five consultancies with the aim of addressing consultancy issues and promoting their business jointly. The first role is to enforce high standards though requiring members to adhere to APPC code of conduct so as to be competitive in the market. Secondly, they ensure transparency and openness through assisting in maintaining a register of consultancy firms and their clients. Lastly, they promote understanding of public sector affairs which contribute to public life.

Political Issues

Economy and Jobs

The interest groups main objective is lobbying on various issues related to the consultancy firms. They usually try to persuade government agencies and NGOs to provide employment opportunities to many young consultants and public affairs students in different places. They use informal meetings, reports, and other techniques so as to convince the parliament to enact laws which increase job opportunities. The associations also have improved the working environment of consultants firms through sharing information which enables them to get many clients. The more clients a consultancy firm have, the more income they generate. This has contributed positively to their economy.

The Irelands PRCA has impacted on many of the member firms by lobbying through connecting them with foreign clients thus attracting foreign direct investments. The government affects the careers public affairs directly since they are the link which the firms will use to reach their clients. They government, however, can set harsh policies and measures which can lead to losses to consultancy firms. The public policy, on the other hand, prevents the employees of the firms from being mistreated by their employers and thus offering them good working environment.

Health Care

This is another political issue which affects the employees and other personnel of the consultant firms. The interest groups are tasked to oversee the individual firms health care so that the employees enjoy the good medical attention. They develop policies and guidelines of medical insurance which the firms will give to their personnel. These include guidelines in cases of injuries, harmful activities and also deaths to the staff.

The government influences the health care in public affair consultants by setting strict health requirements for firms to adhere with so that high heath standards will be maintained. They enact laws through parliament which makes the firms offer comprehensive medical care to its employees and further maintain quality health standards for their clients. Lastly, the public policy sets and implements laws which are followed by every individual in the consultant firms.


This assignment has offered me great insights about the career in public affairs consultants. It has broadly described the nature of the profession, the working conditions, training, qualifications, and opportunities of public affairs consultants. This will help in career development for students who have a dream in this career path by providing relevant information.

Moreover, the assignment identified interests groups which champions the rights of the professionals in the sector. It has also discussed political issues such as health and jobs thus being beneficial to the public at large.


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