This week saw the publication of Charles Miller’s hefty tome - the
mirthlessly titled Political Lobbying - in which he offers his
contributions to the ongoing debate about the differences between public
relations and public affairs.
Miller’s views carry some weight since, in more than 20 years in the
trade, he has founded his own consultancy, the Public Policy Unit, and
is now a consultant to top five agency Citigate Public Affairs.
He draws a clear distinction between his noble art - ’it is your right
to lobby, use it well’ - and the sordid work of the public relations
In one passage, Miller admits to being mystified by the terms used to
describe his industry. ’Some call it ’public affairs’. I have never
understood what this means, but it is used by many to refer to a broad
amalgam between lobbying and PR,’ he writes.
Miller also offers an idiot’s guide to the industry. In one of the many
’fact boxes’ dotted throughout the book’s 300 pages, Miller points out
that inviting an MP to open a factory or seeking to launch a product in
the House of Commons does not count as lobbying.
For those wanting more such gems from an undisputed master, the book is
published by Politico’s and costs a mere pounds 25. One dog-eared copy
is available at a knock-down price, but only if you know the right