"It's not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
Issues management professionals advocate successful resolutions to issues that affect the future survival of the organization. Every major PR agency offers issues management capabilities to clients while others specialize solely in this function such as The Strategic Issues Management Group, Inc. This firm's ultimate goal, and hopefully every issues management consultant's goal, is to reach their client's political and public policy goals.
A group of public relations practitioners from San Diego State University and Northwestern University's School of Journalism defined issues management as "a process whose goal is to help preserve markets, reduce risk, create opportunities, and manage image as an organizational asset for the benefit of both the organization and its primary stakeholders"-customers, employees, the public and shareholders.
Clarke Caywood, chairman of Northwestern University's Department of Integrated Marketing Communications and author of The Handbook of Strategic Public Relations and Integrated Communications, developed a seven-step model to issues management. This model provides you with the necessary guidelines to issues management. However, this is not a function that only public relations professional handle. The management team should include long-range planners, lobbyists, lawyers, public affairs specialists and public policy analysts.