Public affairs consultants must change the way they work to match the new reality of power-crazed politicians, it was claimed this week.
Bell Pottinger Public Affairs MD Paul Baverstock told an audience in London that scandals such as the Mandelson affair offer a crucial lesson to those in public affairs. 'He was forced out because Labour fears the voters' backlash. This shows again the pitfalls of business lobbying,' he said.
Former Jeffrey Archer PRO Stefan Shakespeare, introducing what he and Baverstock described as a 'fresh model' for business and government links, said: 'The new landscape means influencing government has to happen through the electorate.'
Referring to the importance of polling and media relations, already familiar to many in public affairs, Baverstock said: 'Real influence is about the politician's bottom line: re-election.'