US lobbyist: London PA consultants less forthright

British public affairs practitioners have a more 'abashed' approach than those working in the US, according to a veteran American lobbyist.

Geraldine Ferraro, the US head of PA for Huntsworth's Global Consulting Group, was speaking to PRWeek on a visit to London last week.

Ferraro said: ‘I refer to myself as a lobbyist. We talk about ­access, taking the client in and ­affecting legislation. We are there unabashedly.'

She said this approach differed from that of public affairs practitioners in London.

‘In the US, 80 per cent of our time is spent lobbying, with 20 per cent on client training, org­anising conferences and so on. Here, it is 80 per cent strategising, helping clients to be "politically intelligent". You spend more time getting the client to understand how politicians behave, ­organising events, conferences.'

Ferraro said Westminster's party-based system, versus Capitol Hill's greater emphasis on ­individual senators, explained the difference in approach.

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