Although the profession of public affairs (PA) is increasingly important for organizations, relatively little is known about the range of competences PA professionals need. This article presents a qualitative study among 41 experienced Dutch PA professionals and practitioners, who were interviewed about the competences needed in regional and local PA. The results show that a combination of skills-related, attitudinal, and knowledge-related competences is needed. Skills-related competences involve two broad domains: politics and communication. Attitudinal competences comprise the almost paradoxical qualities of authentic professionalism and flexibility. Knowledge-related competences comprise political and communicative knowledge. These competences are used in a delicate process of swapping, depending on the situation of the very moment and the PA file at hand. Every competence may be of decisive importance. The PA professional is a silent diplomat.