Industry pays tribute to 'lobbying legend' Douglas Smith

Tributes have been paid following the death of public affairs 'legend' Douglas Smith.

Douglas Smith: 'Lobbying legend'
Douglas Smith: 'Lobbying legend'

Smith died aged 77 following a long career in PR, which included launching a number of agencies and stints as president of the CIPR, IPR (Institute of Public Relations) and chairman of the PRCA.

Smith’s most recent positions included that of partner at Parliamentary Perceptions and chairman at Political Intelligence. He also ran agency Government Affairs alongside Martin Day.

His work also included senior roles at PR + CI and the founding of agencies Parliamentary Monitoring Services and later Political Wizard.

APCO senior counsel Lionel Zetter worked closely with Smith over two decades, including launching a number of agencies.

He said: 'In all our time working together we never had a single cross word. The word legend is much overused but in the case of Doug it is completely appropriate. He was a one-off and truly a lobbying legend.'

He also launched Westminster Advisers, and was called a 'fantastic mentor' by current MD Dominic Church.

Francis Ingham, CEO of the PRCA, of which Smith was a founding member, said: ‘Doug had high standards, and was uncompromising when they weren't met. But he also had an innate kindness and warmth which meant that his friendships were counted in decades. He will be greatly missed by our industry.’

Meanwhile, Simon McVicker, chairman of the CIPR Public Affairs Group, said Smith, who died just before Christmas of a heart attack, 'would be greatly missed by all those that knew him'.

He added: ‘Douglas was one of the greats of the public affairs world. A character who was always fun to be with. We at CIPR Public Affairs particularly honour him as the first chairman of the Government Affairs Group in 1987.'

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