Public First: the public policy agency

Public First: the public policy agency

Public First will be announcing a number of new senior hires shortly, and a further expansion of our work across Britain and internationally. Our new staff will reflect the type of work we have come to specialise in: helping organisations navigate the most complex public policy problems, particularly where they affect the lives of ordinary citizens.

Over the last few years we have grown rapidly by answering a need for something different in the market – in Britain and around the world (in recent times, we have completed work in two dozen international markets; from Egypt to Estonia). Our politically diverse senior team – including former senior staff or elected officials from all three major parties – share a deep interest in policy with a passionate commitment to understanding and analysing how that affects everyday life far from SW1. We believe public policy can and should always put the public first – and that policymakers who have no understanding of the public are usually poor policymakers. To achieve that, we have particular specialities in the following: measuring organisations’ economic and social impact; policy design and analysis; opinion research; and policy communications.

We’ve recently worked with organisations on a range of in-depth policy projects. For example, we’ve helped the Wellcome Trust & CaSE to decide what a future public campaign for higher R&D spending could look like; we’ve looked at public attitudes towards the decarbonisation of gas; and we’ve helped the Zero Carbon campaign to think about how a carbon charge might work. Amongst many other projects, we’re also now starting work on a deep-dive into opinion on the economy, politics and society amongst British Hindus; and we’re about to start helping a fascinating international city think through its policies to encourage economic development. Our political and government work has attracted inevitable media attention, but it’s a small part of what we do.

The next few years look set to be unpredictable and difficult for all. It will be vital for organisations to understand how the public is reacting to change that can seem bewildering. Governments will be creating and innovating policy constantly to respond to developments. There will in turn be much greater need than before for organisations to think about the implications of policy change – and indeed to consider the sort of policy environment that would help them maintain growth and employment levels. Expertise in public policy – and the public itself –  is set to become more important than ever before.