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December 12, 2011 #CommsChat on lobbying and public affairs with Francis Ingham

This hasn’t been the best week, press-wise, for the UK lobbying industry. The Independent’s front page splash on 6 December revealed senior Bell Pottinger executives discussing their influence over policy-makers at the highest levels of British politics, and the PRCA has today withdrawn from the UK Public Affairs Council, which was seeking to establish a register of all those working in UK public affairs.

Monday’s #CommsChat will be hosted by Francis Ingham, chairman of the PRCA, and author of the letter which confirmed the body’s resignation from UK Public Affairs Council.

So as our topic for #CommsChat on Monday 12 December, we’re asking: where does UK lobbying go from here? Are the ‘dark arts’ apparently practised by Bell Pottinger widespread among other firms? What are reasonable steps to take for a client? What should the parliamentary inquiry into lobbying look at? And where will reform start?


Communicate magazine: Defence against the ‘dark arts’, 6 December

Communicate magazine: PRCA withdraws from UKPAC over public affairs register, 9 December


The key topics are:


-Of all the areas of communication, lobbying has the fiercest critics. Does it deserve its current reputation?

-Have public affairs strategy and practice been affected by a relatively unsettled government?

-Cameron warned that lobbying would be the next big scandal. Should the spotlight shine equally on lobbyists, companies and politicians?

-Stephen Byers, Geoff Hoon, Bell Pottinger. Pilloried by the press. Criminals, spivs or clumsy salespeople?

-Now the PRCA has pulled out of the UKPAC, where to now with regulating public affairs?


The discussion begins at 8pm (UK time) and will last for an hour, with a transcript being posted the next day. You can take part by using the #CommsChat hashtag or here:


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