Political Communication and Public Affairs at the 35th Forum Media of the EEHH

On 10.07.2023, the 35th Forum Medien of the Hamburg Renewable Energy Cluster took place. This year, planned as a crossover event for the first time, they cooperated with the Marketing Working Group of Hamburg Aviation. Renewables meet aviation was the motto this year, it was about networking on the topic of "Political Communication/Public Affairs". Our colleague Hanna Naoumis from cruh21 was there and reported.

Franziska Biermann from the Hamburg Office of Economic Affairs and Innovation gave a presentation to start things off. She encouraged players from the industry to use their own network and engage in exchange. The BWI needs input from the business community in order to be able to make good, and above all business-oriented, policies. The clusters themselves are intended to be the interface between business and politics. The EHH Media Forum is a fitting example of how this strategy can work, and the cooperation with Hamburg Aviation also supports this idea.

The audience received further input from Jana Lüth from the Landesverband Erneuerbare Energien SH e.V. She provided an insight into lobbying for the wind industry in the north and her TOP 5 measures of political communication: statements, press work, studies, informing politicians and the public, and events. The basis for these TOP 5 is professionally sound work by the experts, such as in the form of brochures and studies. It is also important to face up to critical issues and not to avoid them when, for example, the question of species protection arises.

Hamburger Energiewerke GmbH was also represented at the Media Forum. Verena Dr. Faber, the head of the capital city office, spoke on the topic of Regulatory Affairs and legislative processes. Regulatory affairs as part of political communication function as a kind of early warning system or monitoring tool. It makes it possible to see what is happening "out there", outside the company, and to react accordingly. This impact check can be carried out internally, for example with engineers, and it becomes clear whether one is prepared for the upcoming processes. In addition, the early warning system offers the chance to react quickly to upcoming funding opportunities.

The presentations were rounded off by Lukas Ritz (Hamburg Airport) with a talk on the importance of political communication at the airport. He focused in particular on communication with residents. "Affected" districts are intensively involved. This happens through communication with parliamentary groups, committees and authorities of the individual districts. In direct contact, public events on site and airport tours play an important role in demonstrating presence and transparency. This is how Hamburg Airport builds trust with the public and local residents.

The 35th Media Forum was an exciting afternoon with many new impulses. We have summarised our three lessons learned:

  • Use your own network to get in touch with politics.
  • Studies are an important lever for political communication and enable press work even on critical issues.
  • Early warning systems such as regulatory affairs should not be underestimated.

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