How we can help

We pride ourselves on our professionalism, our honesty and our creativity. We’re always available, we tell clients what we think even if we know they won’t love it, and we always make our clients think differently about things.

Our services

Public First’s consultants provide a range of public affairs and communications services:

Policy Design

Few public affairs firms offer policy design as part of their services. At Public First, it is integral to our offer. Having worked at the highest levels of Government, we know that politicians and advisers are desperate for practical ideas they can implement. Those organisations that come up with such ideas are in a far better position to change policy than those that rely on broad brush, principles-based communications. We are able to design public policy ideas that are detailed, original, practical and politically viable.

Campaign Communications

Campaign management
We are able to create and manage major national and local coalitions that mobilise people on your behalf. Much of this is done online through campaigning websites and social media channels. However, depending on the issue, we can make your voice heard at physical events.

Endorsement generation
We have unparalleled expertise in the recruitment and mobilisation of trusted third parties in public debate.

Content development
Recognising that engaging in public conversation demands content, we work with organisations to create web pages, blogs, infographics, short videos and other shareable content.

Metrics and evaluation
We help clients to construct agreed metrics to measure their campaigns’ progress – not just through polling but other relevant measures like story generation, message penetration and the various digital measures of support.

Media Relations

Our consultants are experts in the strategic selling-in of stories and are as comfortable placing a story with the Daily Mail or Newsnight as they are speaking to specialist blogs. Britain’s most senior and influential journalists take our calls because they know we will never waste their time. We do not just email out press releases. We take the time to target the correct outlets and so achieve the right coverage for clients’ campaigns – with a focus always on real impact. A large and growing part of the public get their views about the news from places that traditionally are not regarded as “news”. So we are ready to pitch to wherever the audience who clients need to reach is – from digital platforms to TV magazine shows.

Training for High-stakes Events

Our senior consultants have appeared as spokespeople and commentators on the biggest broadcast news shows in the country – shows like BBC Breakfast, the Today Programme, PM, Channel 4 News, Sky News, Start the Week and many others – and regularly in the national print media. We have also appeared in front of select committees and on stage at major public events.

Unlike some agencies, when we train our clients for high-stakes events like major interviews and select committee appearances, we give advice as people that have been there. We have collectively prepared everyone from cabinet ministers and senior business people to ordinary people with no experience of public speaking – and for every type of event. We ensure the training we conduct is as close as possible to the real thing.

Research and Analysis

We are experts in both commissioning and analysing polling data, providing insights that are now driving central government policy. We work with major polling firms to provide the most relevant and usable data for clients. Public First consultants have run focus groups for some of Britain’s most successful businesses and campaigns, testing messages and developing deep understanding of what key audiences really think.

We also conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis as part of our policy design. We will ensure that organisations have the evidence base they need – presented in the most compelling way – to demonstrate their ideas and the need for change. We have produced major reports for think tanks that have been adopted by Government, and for Government itself: we know what is required to make a case and deliver.

Crisis Communications

With strong backgrounds in Government, Public First consultants have spent years dealing with serious crises attracting the very highest levels of scrutiny – leading broadcast bulletins and dominating newspaper front pages for days on end. Our experience teaches us that while some crises cannot be avoided, once a crisis situation develops how it is handled will determine reputations for years afterwards.

Whatever the particular situation your organisation faces, we will not be fazed by it. Our consultants have provided crisis-management advice to cabinet ministers, Civil Service permanent secretaries and chief executives of major organisations. Our special insight is that the public are now full participants in many crises, even if they are not obviously directly involved. Understanding their reaction will determine how quickly your reputation recovers. We are fully able to audit your crisis preparation plans and carry out crisis simulation exercises. We are happy to work alongside your existing agency as additional crisis support.

Talk to Public First to see how we can help your organisation.