As someone with a life-long interest in politics, it was a no-brainer that I should go back to university to study it, setting the groundwork for what I hope will be an exciting and stimulating career.
Throughout my studies, it has become apparent to me that there is little discussion about what politics means in the real world. We discuss and debate complex theories and ideas, but not much about what politics means to people and businesses across Scotland. Luckily, 3x1 were more than happy to help remedy this.
Over the course of my time working at 3x1, I gained valuable experience about what it is to work in an agency operating in public affairs. I learned that keeping a finger on the political pulse is vital in helping clients achieve their objectives. This may involve briefing a client on the latest policy developments, or keeping abreast of a developing story in the media which could impact a client’s operations.
Politics and Public affairs
Aware of my keen interest in politics, 3x1 ensured that I had plenty of time to explore public affairs work, both in the office and at industry events. I travelled to Edinburgh to hear the First Minister set out his vision for Scotland over the coming years at a podcast recording, touching on issues such as climate change, the cost-of-living crisis, and the constitutional question. Being in the same room as someone so influential, alongside a live audience who shared my passion, was a very memorable occasion.
This was followed up by a tour of the Scottish Parliament, which I had not visited in a long time, as well as a behind the scenes look. These opportunities reiterated the importance of building bridges between clients and politicians, to both raise awareness of important issues and to boost the potential of Scottish businesses. I worked on a huge variety of projects and learned a lot during my time at 3x1.
Three key takeaways:
1. I was tasked with monitoring the media for any discussion of certain clients, ensuring that 3x1 was fully aware of any potential stories of interest. This job was not only a way of staying in front of any potential problems that might arise, but also showed me how the media could be used to champion the achievements of a client and share these accomplishments with the public
2. I was also responsible for drafting political briefs, reviewing parliamentary activities, and conducting research on prominent Bills, particularly in the agriculture and green energy sectors. These activities were hugely interesting in themselves, but highlighted how politicians and businesses or organisations can cooperate with one another in the pursuit of common goals, and why communication between different stakeholders is crucial
3. I also had the opportunity to work behind the scenes on a film project for the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), supporting the 3x1 production team in capturing a variety of content at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library. Working beyond the stereotypical work of public affairs work showed me how using different communication tactics, such as video can be integrated to leave a lasting impact
The 3x1 team
I couldn’t write about my time at 3x1 without mentioning the great team. From day one, I was made to feel welcome and included in all aspects, from chit chat to drafting the morning media briefings. Both Scott and Carly were active in bringing me in and were there every step of the way. I had the benefit of being able to dabble in public affairs for the first time while working in such a friendly and professional space. Without doubt, my interest in public affairs has blossomed while working at 3x1.
Conar Cushley | Work experience
You can find more information on 3x1 public affairs services here.