Welcome to the latest in a (very) occasional series of guides to domination in the world of PR. This time we’re looking at laws, regulation and legislation, and how to stay on top of them. At least ahead of them, if not actually above them, but you’ll forgive my clickbait headline.

This is an extremely powerful PR tactic, and one that surprisingly few PR teams and agencies employ to full effect.

It helps that our head of campaigns James is a former politician – he knows where to look to find out what bills are being taken through Parliament, what regulations are coming around the corner, and what impact they will have on specific sectors or society as a whole.

This methodology applies to pretty much all our clients, regardless of their area of operations. For example, James was first to break the news of the Apprenticeship Levy to the HR sector, over a year before it came into force, with some insight from our clients such as Vista, Capita Learning and various FE colleges.

In the same way, we were talking about Open Banking regulations, GDPR and the second Payment Services Directive in the financial services sector, months before they were really on the news agenda, with clients such as Unisys and Pepper Group as central spokespersons.

Most recently, we are reaching the culmination of a year-long campaign around the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard, a law that comes into effect this April. Our client arbnco’s objective was to be the first to tell the UK’s property and energy industries about this legislation, and to reassure and educate our audiences about its impact and how to prepare for it. Thanks to arbnco’s scientists and analysts, we prepared data and briefed key media to create a national picture of how MEES will affect real estate.

As the compliance countdown intensifies over its final few weeks, we have been generating some killer headlines, such as the estimated £130billion worth of UK real estate that is at risk of falling foul of the law.

Regardless of whether you work in banking or property, education or tech, the common factor is simple. Tracking future legislation is such a powerful tactic because it gives both the journalist and the client what they really want: the former gets a fresh story, and gets to be first to a piece of real news before it’s happened. The latter gets to “own it” – being the de facto industry spokesperson on the issue, sharing their facts and figures, insight and comment before the competition even thinks about it.