Political wonks vs. communicators in Brussels

A point raised in a recent client meeting by a head of communications: it’s hard to find people who both get the issue and are real communicators; it tends to be either one or the other.

I haven’t been at it for that long in Brussels but my inkling is that this is true and that the balance is heavily skewed in favour of policy wonks. Most comms professionals¬†have a background in politics, policy, regulation etc. How many have PR, marketing, advertising, branding, corporate communucations or media backgrounds? Hardly any.

Makes sense. Clients and members need people in Brussels who get the stuff and can open the right doors (and know what to say). They also however need people who can build ambitious communications programmes that help shape the regulatory landscape in the long-term. Does the current Brussels balance address this? Probably not, given how archaic most communications activity I’ve seen is, but I’m open to challenges.


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