Rethinking Project Management for Public Affairs


When the tech support team upgrades my copy of Adobe, I get a case number.

If I call tech support and say my computer is freezing on the same call as I ask for the upgrade of Adobe, I get a different case number.

This is not the way a government public affairs office works. Project management is different for us.

Work that comes in can be sorted into one of 5 categories:

1. Confidential - information about the project is restricted, usually to senior leadership

2. Crisis-oriented, short term - there is barely enough time to put a tracking number together, much less create a project plan

3. Non-crisis-oriented, timeframe varying - this is a single- or multipart project that is not necessarily part of a campaign - e.g. an article, a magazine, a podcast, a video

4. Campaign-oriented, medium term - this is a multipart project requiring coordination between various parties

5. Event-driven, timeframe varying - this is a multipart project requiring logistical coordination around a particular event

Any project management system for public affairs has to successfully manage all of these categories. More thoughts to follow on how we can address this effectively so that we know where the money is going and are making the most of it.

What do you suggest?

Let's build a better system together!

Photo source here


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, and, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.