Public Policy Research and Comms

Do you ever get the feeling that public policy decisions are often reached as a result of the latest fad or latest media fixation? Sometimes policy decisions are simply responses to simple ‘causality’. For example, sugar results in obesity. Or smoking should be taxed into oblivion. But sometimes such policy choices can make situations even worse. Rent controls, to curb rent inflation, can reduce the stock of available houses to rent. Excessive taxation can feed the ‘grey market’.

The fact is that societies are complex. They involve many interlocking relationships – if one relationship is artificially altered it can affect all the others, often in bizarre ways.

Policy choice can also have a serious and detrimental effect on business.

We help influence public and business opinion by researching and writing about the effects certain policy decisions might have. We organise debates and round tables, conduct interviews, produce video content, write white papers and social media content – all designed to inform people, businesses and politicians.

This little video hints at the type of work we undertake.

If you’d like to know more about the types of public policy work we undertake, please contact us.

Owen Polley Joins as Senior Associate

Owen Polley will focus on public policy related content development
Owen Polley will focus on public policy related content development

Owen Polley has joined the Quadriga Consulting team as a Senior Associate responsible for public policy focused content development.

Owen is a policy and public affairs professional and researcher, who worked for five years for the Conservative Party. While at the Conservative Party he was responsible for policy development, policy support, campaign activities and media. He is an experienced researcher and accomplished writer, accustomed to working on policy documents, news stories, web content, feature articles and detailed briefings. Recently, his projects have included researching the likely consequences of ‘Brexit’ and writing a policy paper on business support for small and medium enterprises.

As a Conservative Party staffer, Owen wrote and researched the party’s local government manifesto for Northern Ireland, as well as contributing significantly to both its European and Westminster manifestos.

As a journalist and commentator Owen has contributed to The Guardian, The Daily Mirror, Belfast Telegraph, FourFourTwo, The Christian Science Monitor, Prospect Magazine, Open Democracy and Conservative Home, as well as other newspapers and magazines. His blog was shortlisted for the inaugural Orwell Prize for political blogging, in 2009.  Public Affairs clients have included the Federation of Small Businesses and Leave.EU.

Owen is a member of the Institute of Accounting Technicians in Ireland and worked in accountancy for ten years. He studied law at Dundee University.

Citizen2020 Workshop Series

As part of our program for 2016/17 we’re running a series of interactive ‘talk show’ workshops as part of Citizen 2020.

Citizen 2020 is a unique community of professionals and information resource focused on how government needs to embrace digital technology to improve citizen experience.

The first workshop will be held on September 29, with further workshops planned for London, Washington DC and California Bay Area.

More information here.  


The Talk Show

Many of our clients need to reach decision-makers scattered across countries or time zones. Reaching international audiences, and involving them in conversations, has traditionally been very difficult. Content that is seen to be produced for local audiences often doesn’t work well in other markets.

We have come up with a concept that is being used by clients to extend their content marketing reach into international markets – and also allows us to involve those markets in content creation.

Chat Show Concept – Click to Enlarge

A Familiar Concept for the Connected Generation

Most people are familiar with the idea of the talk show. The format has become a mainstay for broadcasters across the globe. A studio ‘anchor’ chairs a discussion or debate around one or several topics.

We have taken this format and ‘tweaked’ it slightly.

Our talk show format allows us to create compelling broadcast content that is both live-streamed and streamed on-demand across the globe. Talk shows allow us to involve expert witnesses, wherever they are located, and incorporate their opinions and perspectives, via Skype Video or Google Video Hangouts.

Showcasing your people, products , services & customer stories to a truly global audience.

How it Works

Here’s what we do. We create a sponsor-branded ‘pop-up’ studio. We have a studio anchor to lead the chat with studio guests and guests connected via video conference. Our in-studio Director can cut between in-studio cameras, Skype video feeds from remote guests, and audio feeds from remote guests. We can also cut-in pre-recorded segments and/or advertisements into both live streamed talk shows and on-demand programs.

Shows can be recorded quarterly – we can film two or three shows in one filming day.  That way,  your pre-recorded talk show can be played out at set dates and times – the result,  exclusive all year round content for your lead generation and content marketing calendar.  (Four filming days per year equals eight to twelve talk shows – one per month).

Studio Guests or Big Debates

We can have one or two people in the studio and a few remote guests or we can have hundreds of studio guests and stream live, or on-demand, across the globe.

The resulting shows are the ultimate in ‘thought leader’ content. Rather than publishing a ‘white paper’, our streamed video based content reaches audiences across the globe. We combine our expertise in developing deep, insightful content with the latest video, streaming, social media and content marketing technology.

The format can be tweaked slightly to suit the client need. For example, we can also have an in-studio audience. Or we can incorporate talk shows into traditional events or conferences. We can also record talk shows and then stream them on a pre-determined date or dates.  An editorial calendar can be published well in advance.

Marketing and Pre-Marketing

The talk show concept is also the perfect complement to social media engagement. Shows can be pre-marketed. Think of Netflix marketing of House of Cards. Well in advance of the launch date the marketing teams will be promoting the stars of the show. A House of Cards twitter account will be releasing teaser content. A count-down clock to launch date will be featured on the show Facebook page.

We do the same things. We’ll be actively promoting guest involvement in the upcoming show. We’ll be publishing blog posts. We’ll be pushing the talk show live date via the dedicated show website and also our sponsor client websites and via social media.

Designed for Engagement

Talk shows can either be streamed publicly or behind a registration portal.  If the objective is to have a wide reach – building brand awareness – we recommend a totally open and free stream. However, if there is a need to build leads or suspects, then the registration-wall approach is the way to go. We can build all of the registration functionality required.

Case Studies

Brexit Debate
The Talk Show approach works. Our recent UK Brexit Business Debate had some 150 people in the studio but, to date, has had a live/on-demand audience of close to 3,000 from across the globe. Our event hashtag trended across the UK on Twitter. The debate was sponsored by technology firm Equiniti.

Our Citizen 2012 and Citizen 2013 events, held in London, streamed across the globe and drew together experts in digital government, citizen engagement and citizen participation. The events gave birth to an important portal on citizen engagement called – and we hope to run a series of talk shows in the coming months.

Government 2010
Our Government 2010 event had a concurrent live stream audience in the thousands and we forged media partnerships in the UK and USA. The event featured experts in digital government, in the UK, Europe and USA. The event and talk shows it contained were sponsored by IBM.

For further information about Talk Show and our other live streamed event concepts please contact us for a chat. Email now.

EU Referendum Debate

EUdebate1Quadriga Consulting organised a major debate on the UK ‘Brexit’ referendum on April 4. With heavy-weight speakers from both sides of the debate our event dominated the local broadcast news agenda and our event hashtag (#EUYourChoice) trended on Twitter across the UK.

We had 150 people attend the event – mostly local business owners. But close to 2,000 watched the event live via our broadcast-quality stream that was syndicated via Independent News & Media assets. The recorded stream continues to attract viewers.

Our sponsors included Equiniti Group, Danske Bank, Federation of Small Businesses and Ipsos-MORI.

The stream player is below. Or visit for our dedicated live stream page.


On the ‘leave side’ speakers were Owen Paterson MP former Northern Ireland Secretary and former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.  Owen has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Shropshire since 1997.

Joining Owen on the leave side of the debate was Kate Hoey MP.  Kate has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Vauxhall since 1989. She served in the Blair Government as Minister for Sport from 1999 to 2001. Kate was born in Northern Ireland and attended Belfast Royal Academy.

Leading the ‘stay’ argument was Vernon Coaker who has been the MP for Gedling since 1997 and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from October 2011 to October 2013, and again since September 2015. He also served as the Minister of State for Schools from 2009 to 2010 and was Shadow Secretary of State for Defence from 2013 to 2015.

Vernon was joined by former Conservative MEP John Stevens.

New Report: Future Shock Avoidance

From the highest level of decision-making to the front line of service delivery, we cannot just assume we know the nature of people’s problems and what solutions would be best for them. Steve Hilton in “More Human”

When we launched the Citizen20Series website in May 2015 we commenced a series of interviews with people in government, and in business. We have interviewed citizen activists, academics, politicians, consultants and civil servants. Many of the interviews have been featured on the website

In most of the conversations we’ve had we’ve been trying to answer one particular question: how should government do a better job at engaging with citizens?

Some of the people we interviewed questioned the logic of this. For example, Dr Donald Norris, Professor and Head of the Public Policy Department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, questioned whether citizens really wanted better relationships with government. They might want to get some simple information or transact in some way. And technology has helped to make the process of information provision and transaction rather easier. But, in Dr Norris’ view, the grand vision for digital government hasn’t really materialized.

To an extent this failure to deliver can be explained by history. Until fairly recently, politicians and civil servants defined the nature of the relationship between government and citizen. Taxes are collected and public services are provided. Therefore, citizen focused services have not really been the policy focus. And, perhaps, digital government never really addressed citizen needs anyway.

But this simple idea of service payer and service provider is changing. Several factors are playing a part in undermining the historically simple contract between citizen and government. And, inevitably, this will mean that the relationship will change. In fact it’s already happening – shockingly fast.

Read the full report. 

SME Growth Club

Quadriga Consulting has launched SME GrowthClub – a membership club for small and medium sized businesses with ambitions to grow and scale.

Not all businesses have such ambitions or potential. But some have.

Businesses that want to grow have very different needs to those that don’t. On the one hand they need more working capital. They may have more demanding information needs – to ensure investors are fully briefed on business performance. They may need much more professional services support.

The purpose of GrowthClub is to create a community of business people who can share from each other at regular events, who can provide their perspectives via this site, and who will appreciate getting timely information about topics and issues that interest them.

Growing a business is a major challenge. Our focus will be on giving growth focused businesses a platform and an information portal. Over time we’ll consult with our members about the challenges they’re facing.

We hope to run regional events across the UK and Ireland over the coming months.

So, if you’re into growth and you love business, please consider joining us. We promise we won’t bombard you. If you feel we’re communicating with you too much it’s easy to unsubscribe. And we have a simple privacy policy that’s easy to understand.

ICONS Festival

ICONS Festival is a landmark four day event across TECHNOLOGY, MUSIC and SCREEN that seeks to educate, enlighten, encourage and inspire. From students to startups and C-level Executives to creatives, delegates will gain insight from key industry professionals across technology, music and screen.

The event is taking place in the new Titanic Conference Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Jeffrey Peel will be chairing two panel discussions at the event including a panel focused on “What’s Next for VC” featuring:

      • Sandy McKinnon, TechStart NI
      • Jay Onda, Yamaha
      • Jon Bradford, TechStars
      • Luke Hake, Octopus Ventures

Further information about the Festival is available here.

Engaging Government

Jeffrey Peel, Managing Director of Quadriga Consulting, is also Editor-in-Chief of – a unique ‘thought leadership’ portal that focuses on the latest thinking and discussions related to citizen to government engagement. He has interviewed some of the leading thinkers on digital government in the UK and North America – and has undertaken dozens of projects focused on government technology and CRM.

Jeff will chair an expert panel of Verint users (to be announced) at the upcoming Engage Conference at The Savoy, London.

Panellists will be from different areas of the public sector, and Jeff will elicit their opinions on matters such as the response to Government austerity measures; digital first initiatives; customer engagement strategies and moves towards greater shared services and regionalization.

Further information about Engage is available here.  



Citizen Participation and Tech

This article was first published on

One of the most prolific writers and researchers on the subject of technology and citizen participation is Tiago Peixoto at the World Bank.

Tiago focuses on democratic participation and the effect that technology can have on better participation in elections or consultation exercises. But he also makes the point very effectively – especially in this presentation – that once citizens are encouraged to participate (in any way) they tend to keep doing it. And if the technologists can point at good outcomes then civil servants will be more likely to keep investing.

For example, he uses the example of Fix My Street to show how citizens who use the service (created by MySociety, not a government department) and get a result (such as a fixed hole in a road) tend to have a greater likelihood of participating in other ways.

Similarly, anecdotal evidence suggests that the very high turnout in the recent Scottish referendum was fuelled in no small part by a vast amount of social media chatter – especially within younger age-groups.  Similarly, the turnout in the recent UK general election – tipped to be knife-edge in terms of outcome – resulted in much greater social media dialog and an increase in turnout compared to the last general election in 2010.

Therefore one type of participation can fuel another. And democracy doesn’t start and stop with elections – rather elections are just one part of the citizen to government participation continuum.

Tiago suggests that part of the reason for poor participation and engagement with technology based solutions can be explained by a focus on technology itself rather than clearly articulated outcomes. Often technology based participation efforts have no obvious goals, are badly designed and do nothing to ‘deepen democracy’.

However, there are lots of very clear outcomes that can be aspired to. For example, he points to reductions in tax evasion or reduced infant mortality rates as the types of outcome that civil servants can set themselves.

In short, some citizen participation projects are clearly better than others. The good ones clearly do good things for the citizens that use them. The effect of these good things is more engagement and deepened democracy.

Citizen 2015 is a great example of how we build rich, research-led assets for client companies that result in engaged communities focused on subjects of common interest. This article is one of dozens more that we write for an international client base.