Preparing for #Brexit: impact assessment, engaging in policy and planning

Preparing for #Brexit: impact assessment, engaging in policy and planning

Jo-ann Robertson and I have been working on a project at Ketchum to help organisations get ready for Brexit. We've launched it today as the UK Government triggered the process.

Are you ready for Brexit?

Writing in PRWeek today Ketchum Deputy CEO Jo-ann Robertson urges communicators to ensure that their organisations are ready for Brexit. The next two years will pass very quickly.

Managing communication over the next two years is going to be difficult. But the organisations that plan, underpin their approach with research and are flexible enough to adapt when things inevitably change, will be the ones that capitalise on the post-Brexit opportunities.

The impact and opportunities will be different for different sectors, and while much of that impact remains unknown, there are practical measures organisations can take.

#1 Impact assessment: stakeholder mapping

First, undertake an impact assessment on your business. Ask yourself, how is Brexit likely to affect your employees, suppliers and clients? What is the potential impact on your competitors and how do you think they are likely to adapt?

Could it present opportunities for you, either through partnerships or replacing an existing service? Think about your trade association’s position on the impact on your industry and whether it is demonstrating leadership, or remaining silent on the big issues?

#2 Engaging in Brexit policy making

Second, develop a Brexit engagement strategy. Over the next two years the Government will have to negotiate the most complicated treaty since the Treaty of Versailles. As a business, once you have assessed the potential impact on your company you will be well positioned to provide valuable counsel to policymakers.

The Government is under enormous pressure to identify post-Brexit policies that will protect and boost the economy and is looking for external expertise to help guide policy development. There will be opportunities to engage with sympathetic policymakers and identify mechanisms by which you can provide more detailed insights, such as select committee inquiries and All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meetings.

#3 Call to action: communication planning

Finally, establish a coherent narrative, strong messaging and clear asks. Once you understand the issues you need to respond to and know the audiences to engage with, you need to ensure that you're conveying the most effective message you can, that it will resonate with the Government and your target audience will act accordingly and advocate on your behalf.

To be successful, you will need to think about your key call-to-action. What would a successful Brexit look like for your business? The reality is there will be a number of segmented audiences you want to reach out to (either to take action or share your messages more widely), so tailor your messages accordingly, e.g. for government, parliament, media, employee, customer, consumer.

The next two years will go by very quickly. Don’t be caught out, be ready for the Brexit negotiations and ensure that your business and your industry are well positioned to influence the Government’s position, and thrive no-matter what the final agreement is in 2019.

Brexit ready?

Ready is a suite of communication tools and services from Ketchum that is helping organisations prepare for significant change management events such as Brexit.

The UK Government has signed the letter to trigger Article 50 today, signalling a two year negotiation that will result in the UK leaving the European Union (EU). It follows nine months of speculation since the referendum in June last year.

Organisations are grappling with how to manage trade agreements, employment rights, and public engagement in the UK, and the remaining 27 EU countries.

Planning and managing communication over the next two years is going to be challenging. At Ketchum we’ve got a series of diagnostics tools and services to prepare leaders and their organisations.

Leadership Ready

Drawing on our occupational and behavioural psychologists and half-decade of global leadership research, 'World-Class Leadership Development' provides a structured approach to developing individual leaders and leadership teams.

Employee Ready

Don't let the uncertainty of Brexit disrupt the productivity of your employees exactly when you need them all pulling in the same direction. 'Experience', our employee-centred engagement programme, will help you create the climate you need to stay focused on business goals.

Media Ready

Personal media engagement can frighten even the most hardened executive. 'Media Readiness' training provides the tools and techniques needed to survive and thrive under media scrutiny.

Presentation Ready

Public speaking and presenting are a reality of modern executive life. 'Presenting with Passion' arms you with the skills and rehearsal experience to present with confidence.

Crisis Ready

Issues and crises often feel like they have become part of the everyday business experience. 'Crisis Readiness' training and live-fire simulation packages help you master the fundamentals.

Social Media Ready

Tomorrow’s connected leader will have a social persona every bit as engaging as they are. provides a tailored approach to personal social media engagement.

Storytelling Ready

Facts tell, stories sell. The '21st Century Storytelling' workshop provides a specific film-making inspired methodology to help create true human engagement with the audiences that matter most.

Content Ready

In an information-saturated world, leadership communication depends fundamentally on compelling, engaging, visual content. 'Confident Speech-Writing and Beyond' helps develop an approach to content that reflects what the world expects from its leaders.

Camera Ready

Terrified of going in front of a camera? You’re not alone. 'Our Lights, Camera, Action' training will give you the skills and confidence to handle anything.

Ready helps leaders at all levels of seniority, regardless of experience, think through preparedness for critical events. We’ll help get you ready.

Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

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