DIARY: Miller’s tale signposts the lobbying road for parliamentary pilgrims

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.

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

professional.



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

people.



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