Interesting thought emanating from a recent conversation: Public Affairs is probably the communications discipline that more than any other is tactic-centric. Meaning that in PA, you can propose all manner of tactics without much research or strategy, and people might not notice.
This may sound trite, but it’s probably because Public Affairs can sound clever even when overly tactical, while in other disciplines, that’s not so much the case. If you’re selling cereal and you state “let’s set up a Facebook page” without having done your homework other than knowing your target demographic is on Facebook, you’ll rightly be told off.
However, if you’re trying to defend a cereal manufacturer’s ingredient from regulation and you know the institutions’ calendar inside out and who sits in the relevant committees, simply putting together a set of meetings sounds more clever than “let’s do Facebook” although it really isn’t.
Clearly, I’m over-simplifying to prove a point – Public Affairs servicing usually involves far more than a meeting programme – but you get the gist.