Editorial: Lobbying crosses new frontiers

The globalisation of this industry is seemingly inexorable. Now public affairs, traditionally the most regionally-focused communications discipline, is taking on a more international dimension. Where once PA practitioners could claim a cross-border service with an office in London and Brussels, the deregulation of key industries is creating demand for a truly international capability.

The globalisation of this industry is seemingly inexorable. Now

public affairs, traditionally the most regionally-focused communications

discipline, is taking on a more international dimension. Where once PA

practitioners could claim a cross-border service with an office in

London and Brussels, the deregulation of key industries is creating

demand for a truly international capability.



Thames Water’s attempts to position itself as a global player, for

example, have outstripped the capability of its previous London-based

public affairs consultancy Political Context.



The global ambitions of operators in deregulated markets offer a

tremendous opportunity for public affairs, but as yet there are few

contenders equipped to cater to their needs. APCO, Thames Water’s new

consultancy, was one of the few consultancies able to offer the required

presence in, not only Westminster and Brussels but also North America,

South America and Asia.



However, if other consultancies in London and Brussels are not to be

left out of the loop, they must quickly acquire the ability to ’think

local and act global’. At the very least they will need to be able to

service the Brussels, Westminster, Washington DC triangle, but with

companies such as Thames Water operating in Malaysia, Thailand,

Australia and China, it won’t be long before they will be called upon to

negotiate unfamiliar corridors of power.



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