Public Affairs Resources

Castle’s public affairs experts are known for creativity, relationship building, and strategy development, bringing a wealth of experience from government, public policy, and corporate communications to serve Castle clients. Our team has held senior roles at the Massachusetts State House, City Hall, public agencies, and some of the Commonwealth’s most visible corporations.

Public affairs definition: What is public affairs?

To us, Public Affairs is advocacy for our clients and their stakeholders as they navigate public policy. We deliver positive outcomes through expert communication skills and insider knowledge of local government. We make connections and figure out the ways, whether it’s grassroots, through the media, or in-person events, to help support our clients’ objectives. Hear more from Castle principal/co-founder Sandy Lish on Public Affairs.

Why public affairs is important

Every business and organization is affected by legislation and regulation; they have messages they need to share. Understanding the environment in which your business operates, and knowing how to be engaged in that context, allows your business to reach customers, perform for stakeholders, and run as smoothly and effectively as possible.

It’s important to have your finger on the pulse of what is happening locally and in national politics. Navigating bureaucracy can be daunting, but learning what agencies and offices do, and creating a public affairs strategy, can help you build key relationships, raise your profile, and expand your support network.

Learn who the decision makers in Massachusetts are from our Guide to Government Offices Across the Commonwealth.

Public affairs vs public relations: What’s the difference?

Effective public relations starts with strategy — sound thinking that considers all of the available avenues for reaching the right audiences at the right time with the right messages.

While public relations focuses on media, thought leadership, and content to reach clients, customers, and other stakeholders, public affairs seeks to influence public opinion and government policy, inform and engage stakeholders, and impact change.

At Castle, we get to the core of what our clients are trying to accomplish. Are there relationships you want to build? Do you want to grow your business in a certain area? Are you looking to expand your corporate social responsibility initiatives? Be a leading voice on a policy—or simply weigh in? Any of these goals might be worth building a public affairs strategy to support. Learn more about public affairs strategy in our blog, Public Affairs from the Inside: An Interview with Taylor Connolly, or hear from Taylor Connolly through her video, Taylor Connolly Answers Five Questions on Public Affairs.


Check out the videos below to learn how Castle’s cross-agency teams work together

Public affairs strategy

In government, often the best way to get your message, program, or policy endorsed, is through third-party validators. For example, public affairs tactics help identify and connect people and businesses with other governments, officials, associations, or organizations already working in that space to say “yes, this is a value add.” It’s not a traditional ‘hit’ in the PR sense, but it can go a long way to advance a company’s mission. Public affairs tactics help businesses amplify their communications strategies beyond media relations and traditional relationship building, broaden a company’s influence in the political realm; and position organizational leaders at the forefront of the conversation.

Read more in our blog, Public Affairs from the Inside: An Interview with Taylor Connolly, Part II.

Taylor Connolly leads a meeting in the Castle conference room

Public affairs services

Any type of organization can benefit from public affairs strategy. Castle supports clients across various industries, from energy and sustainability to healthcare and life sciences, to development, real estate, and education.

Looking for more details on Castle’s public affairs services?

When do you need a public affairs partner?

When you’re looking to engage with public officials, policymakers, and stakeholders about an issue that’s important to your organization, whether it’s influencing public opinion or a limited set of players, you need a public affairs agency to help set strategy, make connections, and implement a communications plan to create and execute the best possible public affairs campaign.

Read more about what a public affairs firm could offer here.

Things to consider when choosing a public affairs firm

The best public affairs firms blend several critical ingredients: experience and skill of the team members; the scope and depth of their government and advocacy relationships; and the quality and effectiveness of their external messaging and public outreach. And, in choosing a public affairs agency, there’s an ultimate reality check: has the agency consistently delivered results and made meaningful impacts on public policy?

Get five tips for finding the right public affairs agency in our blog, Things to Consider When Choosing a Public Affairs Firm.

5 Tips: 1. Determine your goals. 2. Set your budget. 3. Evaluate your options. 4. Ask Questions. 5. Address Expectations

Looking for a top public affairs consulting firm? Work with Castle’s public affairs team

At Castle, public relationscrisis, and public affairs are all under one roof. Our cross-agency, collaborative communications experts are always ready to brainstorm together and offer fresh perspectives, insights and creative solutions to advance the missions of our clients. If you need advice on how to best connect with your stakeholders or want to learn more about whether a public affairs strategy is right for you, contact a member of our Public Affairs team.