CFM’s Brand of Public Affairs

A recent example of CFM’s Public Affairs work is the strategic counsel provided to the City of Portland and Kiewit Pacific Co. on the water bureau’s new tunnel project under the Sandy River near Dodge Park.The term “public affairs” is widely used in the PR world, but has many definitions and is not easily understood.

CFM’s brand of public affairs focuses on managing communications between an organization and its publics, with the goal of acting responsibly and building trust with those publics.

Good communications follow good actions, I’ve learned during a long career as a one-time journalist and as a supervisor of strategic communications. If you do the right thing, the right thing to say will be obvious.

We believe there is no better weapon than the truth. Organizations must commit to doing the right thing – from correcting problems to acting responsibly and ethically. We can be a partner and counselor to set the right course.

CFM’s Public Affairs’ practice works with non-profits, state and local government agencies, and businesses by helping them protect their reputations, manage complex issues, create memorable key messages, handle media relations and cope with a communications crisis.

Recent examples include:

  • Water and sewer system expansion projects for Clackamas and Washington counties, as well as the City of Portland. The work included managing construction and stakeholder communications;
  • Working with the Manufacturing 21 Coalition, which helps acquire state and federal support for local university research and development as well as workforce training. CFM helps manage the coalition and communicate with member companies; and,
  • Businesses with land-use change applications or cities with urban boundary issues all focused on economic development while supporting regional environmental goals.

A common mistake made by many organizations is to start problem solving by thinking first about which tools to use. More important than knowing how to use the right tools is understanding the right message and how to deliver it with creativity and discipline. Identifying the most important audiences also is key.

For this reason, CFM’s best service is the strategic counseling it provides. We’ve served as valued partners, blending with the client’s staff, for short-term and sustained periods of time. Sometimes for years.