Corporate & Public Affairs

Companies that want to organise growth and secure long-term business success in today’s world have to be able to prove themselves in a challenging political and societal environment.

The coordinates for doing business in Germany have fundamentally shifted. Gone are the days when investors, analysts and customers were the sole players in deciding a company’s future prospects and business success. Policy-makers and the general public, media and societal interest groups play an ever more significant role when it comes to implementing corporate goals.

It is essential to understand the interplay between public and political impact and to adapt accordingly when leading a company. Positioning it as a participant in society that delivers answers to the big societal questions of our times is key. Seeking out broad-based dialogue with policy-makers and society and developing solutions – these are skills that are becoming ever more essential in top management. They are also becoming a necessary condition for acceptance, in particular by sustainability-driven investors.

We are proven experts in supporting companies in this core management task. Expertise from a number of consulting fields is required to solve such complex tasks. Political and media topics are generally highly relevant for the capital market, and vice versa. We therefore assemble our teams from our consulting areas of Corporate & Public Affairs and Capital Market Communications & Financial Relations. This enables us to constantly work on the best possible solution for our clients.

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Corporate positioning & repu­tation

Disruptive change such as digitalisation and societal transformation present quite a challenge to companies. They have to react fast and flexibly to survive on the capital market in the long run. At the same time, management needs a clear strategy that provides direction internally and externally and is geared towards medium and long-term company and business objectives. What's more, corporate change takes place these days under the watchful eye of an increasingly critical general public and media. The general public and the media are focusing their interest more and more on the actions of CEOs, CFOs and heads of supervisory boards.

We develop a clear position for our clients, along with the accompanying communications strategy, to enable them to navigate successfully between capital market, general public, media and policy-makers. Strategic communications that focus both on the capital market and societal trends are a key factor here – in particular in view of the fact that reputation has a growing influence on company ratings, as the DAA trend study and the recently published AMO Report show. Strategic communications create the conditions for trust, credibility and acceptance for the actions of the company and contributes towards its reputation and positioning on the capital market in the long run.

In addition, thanks to our years of experience and reliable relationships with journalists we master the repertoire of strategic media work and assist our clients in positioning themselves in the political arena at national and EU level.

Our range of services includes:

  • Executive coaching
  • CEO communications
  • Opinion leader and multiplier communications
  • Communications strategies
  • Strategic media work
  • Positioning programmes
  • Perception and opinion analyses
  • Content and messaging
  • Studies

Public affairs & government relations

Policy-makers are increasingly determining the framework for corporate activity, they exercise regulatory influence and initiate and control socio-political discourses. But how do politics operate at their foundations? How are opinions arrived at and compromises reached? Who are the relevant players, who should be involved and when? In light of such increasingly complex questions, the communication of corporate positions is becoming an ever greater challenge.

We help our clients build networks in the political and social spheres and assist them in navigating through what is happening in the political arena. Our advisors act as bridge-builders and cultural mediators. They bring political thinking into the internal opinion-making and decision-forming processes of our clients’ companies and help them to make corporate interests and content "politically acceptable".

With our established dialogue platform “Berliner Dialog”, we shape the exchange between opinion leaders from politics, business, the media and society.

Our range of services includes:

Analysis, strategy and navigation

  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Issues management
  • Messaging and content
  • Communications strategy
  • Navigating the political arena
  • Access to relevant policy-makers

Dialogue and advocacy

  • Coaching
  • Third party endorsement
  • Positioning
  • Representative office and liaison office
  • Dialogue formats in the political and pre-political sphere
  • Political media work
  • Digital public affairs

Sustain­ability

Companies that want to secure the trust of customers, investors, policy-makers, employees, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the general public cannot allow themselves to gear their business towards economic considerations alone – taking account of economic and social impacts in equal measure is imperative. Sustainability has therefore become a strategically significant approach and an integral part of corporate policy-making. It sets the course for the success or failure of a company. Anchoring sustainability in the strategy and culture of companies has become a key success factor – as have the ability to measure and be transparent about their activities and foster an open and honest dialogue with stakeholders.

We advise our clients on setting up and implementing broad-based dialogue with social and political stakeholders. We structure, facilitate and support sustainability processes and assist our clients in working out communications strategies, always taking account of the particularities of sustainability communications. In this process, we consider sustainability within the overall context of the company’s business activities.

Our range of services includes:

  • Strategy development and process support
  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Stakeholder dialogue
  • Materiality analysis
  • Sustainability communications

Crisis & special situations

Plant shutdowns, environmental damage, attacks by competitors that affect the organisation’s competitive position, or investigations by the Public Prosecutor – the list of individual company crises can be long. Although they often occur “overnight”, they usually have a back story. In many cases, crises are not only the result of violations of legal or social standards perpetrated by individuals, but also the consequence of management and communication failures. Crises usually indicate a dramatic narrowing of the scope for companies to act and they also take up significant resources.

We assist our clients in analysing the problem objectively, selecting the right action to take, and implementing the option they have chosen. Together, we act to find solutions and we support our clients in gaining back control of the crisis situation and opening up new opportunities to prosper – both from a communications and a business point of view.

Our range of services includes:

Crisis prevention

  • Risk analysis
  • Crisis scenarios and crisis communications plans
  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Communications guidelines and manuals
  • Crisis simulations
  • Media training

Crisis communications and management, DAA crisis navigator

  • Strategic advice on responsive communications
  • Actual-state analysis and scenario planning
  • Media relations

Litigation & disputes

Legal disputes require strong communications. Depending on the scope of the accusation and the participation of prominent players, court proceedings attract a lot of media attention and are observed by the public with a critical eye.

In order to minimise impending risks to reputation arising from legal disputes, we accompany our clients at the communicative level through such processes, from beginning to end. We support them in legal proceedings by providing advice, analyses and expertise, helping them find the best possible solution, generally in close collaboration with their lawyers.

Our range of services includes:

  • Strategic media work
  • Navigation
  • Coaching
  • Media training
  • Storytelling