Public affairs SURVEY 2013






For the twelfth consecutive year, MSL Germany interviewed more than 300 public affairs professionals from leading companies and industry federations, with over sixty replies being received. “At the end of this legislative period, we asked public affairs professionals in Germany to review the government’s record, track the latest trends in political communications and venture educated guesses about key future developments”, says Axel Wallrabenstein, Chairman of MSLGROUP Germany. “While the results are not representative given the relatively small number of public affairs professionals, they are highly instructive – and indicative of the perceptions and priorities of key actors in the public affairs sector in Germany.“ This document provides a summary of the most important results. The complete survey is available in German on our website (

3 MSL Germany Public Affairs Survey 2013

Before the election: higher approval ratings for German government
Approval ratings among public affairs professionals for the sitting conservative-liberal government have improved significantly. 74 per cent now rate the government‘s work as “good” or “very good” compared to just 34 per cent two years ago.

How do you rate the government’s work after its third year in office?



very good



very poor

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In no mood for experiments: Public affairs professionals expect Grand Coalition
Public affairs professionals appear to be thinking along traditional lines: The majority expect a Grand Coalition consisting of Conservatives and Social Democrats as the most likely outcome of the election in September. 31 per cent believe in a repeat of the governing coalition of CDU/CSU and FDP. All other coalitions are seen as very unlikely, including a partnership between CDU/CSU and The Greens.

Which coalition do you expect after the federal election in 2013?

Grand coalition CDU/CSU & SPD Red-GReen SPD & The Greens

56% 2% 31% 2% 3% 5%

Repeat of Black-Yellow CDU/CSU & FDP

Black-Green CDU/CSU & The Greens

Traffic light SPD & The Greens & FDP

RED-RED-GREEN SPD & The Greens & The Left

5 MSL Germany Public Affairs Survey 2013

Solving the euro crisis most important task for next government
Most public affairs professionals (82 per cent) think that solving the Euro crisis will be the next German government’s most important task. Other key policy areas are the so-called “Energiewende” (energy transformation) at 70 per cent and tax reform (39 per cent).

What are the most important projects for the next federal government?


Solving the euro crisis


Implementing the „Energiewende“ (Energy transformation)

Regulation of the financial system 5% Improvement of social justice

Deepening of European Integration

tax reform



5% support for innovative companies

7% climate and environment protection 5% universal minimum wage 3% pension reform

7% other

2% copyright reform

6 MSL Germany Public Affairs Survey 2013

Modest economic growth to continue
There is cautious optimism among German public affairs professionals with regard to the country’s economic development. While almost two thirds (64 per cent) believe the country is set for a year of stagnating growth, about one third of respondents (34 per cent) expect growth to continue. This figure is up from just eleven per cent in 2012 when 73 per cent expected stagnating growth and 16 per cent feared an economic downturn.

How do you estimate the economic development for 2013?

I Expect continued growth

I Expect stagnating growth



I expect an economic downturn

7 MSL Germany Public Affairs Survey 2013

Mapping out the agenda for the next parliament
Three quarters of public affairs professionals seek dialogue with political parties about their election manifestos and/or programmes for government . 21 percent prefer not to talk to politicians about their plans for the next legislative period.

Do you seek dialogue with political parties to talk about the election and government programs?




8 MSL Germany Public Affairs Survey 2013

Public affairs remains a face-to-face business
Personal meetings remain by far the most important tool for public affairs professionals to maintain their political contacts (97 per cent), followed by political salons (66 per cent) and workshops (51 per cent). Interestingly: The number of those using social media in a public affairs context has decreased by 16 per cent to 28 per cent.

Which tools do you use in order to maintain your political contacts?

periodic mailings



political salons or evening events



28% 97%
personal meetings with relevant political decision-makers

panel discussions

social media and web 2.0-elements

9 MSL Germany Public Affairs Survey 2013

Public affairs spending increases in election year
Corporations and industry associations spend more on public affairs as the federal election approaches. 39 per cent have increased their expenditure for public affairs related activities, and 43 per cent are using additional human resources.

How have your public affairs related activities developed in the current year?

Additional financial resources were used for public affairs related activities

less financial resources were used for public affairs related activities

Additional human resources were used for public affairs related activities

less human resources were used for public affairs related activities

The complete survey in German is available for download here: For more information please contact Florian Wastl (+ 49 30 / 820 82 – 524, MSLGROUP Germany GmbH Chausseestraße 8 10115 Berlin Germany


MSLGroup Germany GmbH Chausseestraße 8 10115 Berlin Germany


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