Public Affairs: Soap Box - George Eustice, associate director, Portland

If the Conservatives win the next election, public affairs will change. Access will count for much less.

Ideas will count for much more. Fewer decisions will be taken by government departments. More decisions will be taken locally. The artificial world of quangos that has grown up over the past 12 years will be in for a rough ride.

This means two things for the communications business. First, the power of ideas is what matters most. So organisations would do well to spend less money on tickets to sporting events and focus their attention instead on generating genuinely interesting research that adds something to the sum of human knowledge.

Second, localism is a central plank of the Conservative agenda so spend less time lobbying for old policies such as arbitrary planning quangos and start thinking about how to run genuine campaigns that engage communities.

Many organisations have interesting things to say, with unique insights, experience and evidence. The public affairs agencies that succeed in the future will be those that recognise the value of such insights and put developing ideas ahead of securing meetings.

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