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acumen public affairs

  • Public Affairs & Strategic Communications
  • Brussels (Belgium)
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About us

Acumen Public Affairs is an independent consultancy set up in 2010 to combine the very best of big agency experience with hands-on senior support. Founding partners Elaine CruikshanksAbigail Jones and Giles Keane have an unrivalled track record in public affairs and strategic communications gained through more than 50 years of working for corporations, governments, trade associations, NGOs and international institutions in Brussels, Geneva and beyond. They relish the opportunity to work in close partnership with their clients and bring the benefits of their expertise and contacts to achieve goals that are both business focused and sustainable. 

We believe in the power of taking an integrated approach to advocacy and communication to achieve outcomes that have a tangible impact on business performance. We have a track record of developing winning strategies that are sustainable, by identifying a confluence of interest among key stakeholders. In other words, we are skilled at squaring the circle between the private and public sectors and ordinary citizens by addressing the human aspects of issues in a regulatory or business context.

Our philosophy

Our philosophy is to provide clients with value adding strategic counsel and high quality execution – by the same people. When we commit to an assignment, this means personal supervision and implementation by the acumen partners from beginning to end. That way, we can ensure that we deliver results and surpass expectations, at competitive prices that only an independent agency can offer.

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Why working with us

  • A highly experienced team – that actually does the work
  • Public affairs consultancy – but in the broadest sense
  • Strategic sparring partners – and high quality execution
  • Added value – that doesn’t cost the earth
  • Senior advisors – brimming with fresh ideas
  • Brussels expertise – with international reach
  • Communications counsel – delivering business results

Our commitments to quality internships

1. Remuneration

  • Remunerate a) graduates at least above 125% of the Intern Subsistence Index or the minimum wage, according to which is higher; and b) students at least 100% of the Intern Subsistence Index.

2. Offer & contract

  • Offer a duly signed contract/written agreement respecting national labour legislation.
  • Write in the internship offer a clear description of tasks corresponding to what the intern will actually do (tasks can be revised in accordance with the intern).
  • Limit the normal internship duration to a maximum of 6 months, except for cases in which the university has designed a specific internship programme not exceeding a year.

3. Learning content

  • State the skills that the intern will be able to acquire before the start of the internship (in the offer, contract or job interview).
  • Limit the assignment of menial tasks to a maximum of 1/4 of working time.
  • Make sure the intern has, or is provided with (informal training), the necessary know-how to carry out his tasks.
  • Provide formal training to increase interns’ professional skills through workshops/modules (e.g. software, tools, soft skills, sector knowledge).
  • Assign challenging tasks with a high degree of responsibilty (e.g. in charge of outputs with substantial visibility or impact).

4. Supervision

  • Assign a supervisor to each intern, with a ratio not exceeding 3 interns to 1 supervisor.
  • Organise an introductory meeting with the intern to discuss mutual expectations, as well as learning and professional objectives of the internship.
  • Organise regular sessions at least once a week where the supervisor track the intern’s progression, give feedback or provide support.
  • Structure the interns’ tasks within a work plan & a timeline (which can be revised with the intern) more important actually (may be advanced or more points)?
  • Appropriately prepare the supervisor to his task as supervisor, so that his feedback and guidance can maximise the intern’s learning curve.

5. Organisational culture & Work environment

  • Give interns a proper induction to their new work place: e.g. introducing interns to their colleagues, explain the organisation’s objectives and values, a tour of the facility.
  • Acknowledge and value intern's inputs and achievements (e.g. public acknowledgement, name on publication, bonuses etc.).
  • Provide each intern with an appropriate working station (desk, computer, software, etc.).
  • Make the intern feel full part of the team (include him in team building activities and celebrations).

6. Career Development & Employment

  • Maintain a maximum intern-employee ratio of 1:1 (for companies with up to 7 employees), and a maximum intern-employee ratio of 1:3 (for companies with more than 7 employees).
  • Provide the intern with a reference letter detailing the work undertaken/completed, the skills and experience acquired.
  • Organise one or more meetings between the intern and the management of the organisation to discuss his future career prospects and potential support.
  • Develop the intern’s own network by fostering his active participation in meetings, interactions and projects with clients & partners, as well as networking events (e.g. conference and seminars).
  • Offer at least 1 out of 4 interns an employment opportunity.