Budget 2017: The communications challenge

By
DAN PENDER


After all of the political upheaval of 2016 and uncertainty at play both domestically and internationally, Budget 2017 followed a distinctly familiar pattern of recent budgetary cycles.  There was some kite-flying, ‘difficult negotiations’, and in the last few days before budget day, so many leaks there was little left to be announced.

  Between 10.30am and 10.30pm (Tuesday 11th October) we monitored the budget unfolding on Twitter. 20,344 mentions is an increase in activity compared to first day of #GE16. More important than the number of those tweeting about #Budget2017, is the number of impressions this topic received; an estimated 348 million.

Between 10.30am and 10.30pm (Tuesday 11th October) we monitored the budget unfolding on Twitter. 20,344 mentions is an increase in activity compared to first day of #GE16. More important than the number of those tweeting about #Budget2017, is the number of impressions this topic received; an estimated 348 million.

All of these leaks led to most papers on the morning of the budget producing it in full, before many TDs had it to hand in the Dáil chamber.  This led to a cacophony of commentary from first thing in the morning, with both online and traditional media outlets reacting to budgetary announcements that hadn’t been formally announced.

This is a long way from when Ireland’s EU Commissioner Phil Hogan had to resign as a Junior Finance Minister in 1995 for his office leaking parts of the budget.

When so much commentary is available it becomes increasingly difficult to get your message out.  Timing is crucial as can be evidenced from Savills' speedy reaction to the announcement of the Help-to-Buy scheme, stating that it will make homes “less affordable”.

This is an example of managing to cut through the noise of budget day by delivering an apt and concise perspective on an issue pertinent to your business objectives.

On a day like budget day, the media helps to create a massive event that will most likely reach every household in the country and provides an opportunity for everyone to become a commentator.

It is imperative for these groups to get their message right, along with timing and where they target, in order to see the full potential of the commentary among their target audience.

In many ways, the days of giving reaction to the budget after considered thought appear to be over. Organisations must be able to anticipate and have their reactions ready to go as the budget is announced. Failing that, they must be able to spot an angle that others may have missed and deliver it to the right audiences in order to maximise the consumption of their message. 

Most impactful tweets of the day #Budget2017


DAN PENDER

Founder and Managing Director of PR360, Dan’s career spans business, politics and professional representation. He has overseen the agency’s rapid growth, developing a premier client portfolio and a talented team of professionals.