Public affairs is a passion at INNOVATIVE.
INNOVATIVE’s team come from backgrounds that include working at the Prime Minister’s Office, various provincial Premiers’ offices and Crown Corporations. Our experience managing campaigns and issues across Canada, married with latest insights from the academic world, gives us an edge few can match and none can beat.
What does the public think and feel about the issues of the day?
Every week, INNOVATIVE researchers explore basic public opinion questions:
- What are the key issues the public is talking about?
- How are they reacting to breaking issues?
- What are the public’s expectations of government?
- What is the acceptable range of government responses to key issues?
- What are the boundaries or limits to government action?
Opinion research on public policy has distinct challenges. Often researchers are asked to identify public opinion on issues where the public has yet to become engaged. But how do you do that if opinion is something people make up as they go along? INNOVATIVE’s Dynamic Model of Public Opinion shows public opinion moves in stable, predictable ways. Our tool kits allows us to identify key anchors of public policy opinion, profile issue publics and explore public policy trade-offs. See here for more on how public opinion forms and changes.
What issues are the public are talking about and what is the impact of the debate?
Again, building on our Dynamic Model of Public Opinion, INNOVATIVE’s issue management research measures awareness and impact of the public debate based on the public’s level of engagement, values, and other predispositions. As with our Crisis Management research, INNOVATIVE looks beyond initial reactions and includes the response to the event and the judgment of whether it is unique or the symptom of more systematic problems.
How do public sector brands differ from their private sector peers?
As in the private sector, public sector brands apply in the public domain at two levels – brands as promises and brands as differentiation. In many areas of the public sector, it is the brand promise that matters as services such as health care and education are delivered as monopolies. While the public sector may not have to compete in contested markets, the public expects the level of service they are used to receiving in the private sector.
In other parts of the public sector, differentiation matters just as much as in the private sector. For instance, place branding is becoming more and more critical as jurisdictions compete for various resources or inputs including skilled workers, investment, tourists and students.
As in our approach to Corporate Reputation and Corporate Brands, INNOVATIVE’s public sector brand research usually starts with internal input sessions, moves to exploratory research among target audiences and culminates with surveys to quantify the results.
How can public sector get its message out?
Whether the public sector is communicating about a service, a policy or during a dispute, government advertising faces unique barriers. Commercial advertisers don’t have to worry about viewers asking if this a good use of ‘my’ money, but governments do. A key element in INNOVATIVE’s approach to government advertising is the idea that each ad must ‘earn the right’ to the consumer’s time.
While the public sector’s communications challenges may be different than the private sector’s, the research tools are the same as our approach to Strategic Communications Research and Ad Testing and Tracking.
How can you run a consultation that works for engaged stakeholders yet lets the average citizen have a say?
INNOVATIVE is a pioneer in developing a research-based approach to public consultation that not only creates an open and transparent process for individual and groups that usually participate in public forums, but also includes randomly-recruited discussion groups to give the average member of the public a chance to participate in a constructive environment.
What is the right answer to a policy question?
INNOVATIVE is not limited to how people perceive issues. Working with leading academic researchers, economists and content specialists, INNOVATIVE conducts literature and policy reviews to help develop policy alternatives to pressing public demands.
How can parties and candidates position themselves to win?
INNOVATIVE conducts political studies for media, political parties, candidates and for third parties who seek to drive an issue onto the public agenda or minimize political liabilities.
INNOVATIVE regularly deals with such policy areas as:
- Energy and Infrastructure
- Forestry and Mining
- The Environment and Conservation
- First Nations Issues
- Provincial Finances
- Economic Development
- Federal-Provincial Relations
- Foreign Affairs and Defence
- Municipal Issues