Diary: How to win a book-launch audience

Paul Richards, the New Labour campaign strategist and author of How to Win an Election, ought to have borne in mind the importance of timing to good PR when he came to launch the second edition of his tome at a reception in Westminster this week.

The usual haul of lobbyists, special advisers, political hacks and hangers-on was limited to those without E4.

As Richards friends gathered, E4 was airing the first in the latest series of The West Wing, the White House-set drama that has rightly captured the imagination of all right-thinking PR geeks.

But Richards - a fan of the show himself - had taken steps to make sure he still got his fix.

'I've got one of those clever delay things, so I'll watch it an hour later,' he said.

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