Lobbyists should make the most of Boris' willingness to listen

The new mayor of London is open to innovative, low-cost ideas that will inspire and serve the people, advises Katie Perrior.

Advice: InHouse PR co-founders Perrior (left) and Jo Tanner with the mayor
Advice: InHouse PR co-founders Perrior (left) and Jo Tanner with the mayor

One month on and Boris Johnson's early moves have shown our new mayor is desperate to roll out his manifesto pledges as quickly as possible.

Some have been welcomed, such as the increase in stop and search and handheld scanners to fight knife crime. Others not so - the chaos surrounding the drinking ban on the tube left some wondering just how long the Boris honeymoon will last.

But what does the election of Boris Johnson as mayor really mean for London? For a so-called bumbling Etonian toff, the majority of his policies showed he was more in touch than those who claimed to be London to the bone.

Voters supported the call for less publicity and more police officers and the emphasis will now be on taxpayer value as a priority. The reviews into expenditure at City Hall and the London Development Agency are long overdue.

The PR and lobbying world should not take this as a threat. It should be seen as a chance to spring-clean what they do, how they do it and what value they add.

One thing is for certain, the taxpayer should not be treated as an easy cash cow. During the campaign there was no money for flash stunts or gigantic billboard ads. Demand was for creative, innovative, low-cost ideas to inspire Londoners and this will continue.

The new mayor ultimately means new opportunities for companies of all sizes and expertise. This is a city where the underdog has a chance and the big boys have to prove their worth. Boris is well-known for speaking his mind and many thought that would be to his detriment, but they were proved wrong.

What is less well known is his ability to listen and understand. Boris is approachable and not obsessed with ideology. He does not care where you have come from, it is about where you are going.

As the appointments of Ray Lewis and Kate Hoey have shown, Boris wants to work with everyone regardless of background, age, gender, sexuality, race or political beliefs.

Those who were considered to have it 'sewn up' in London should now be brainstorming like mad as to where this change of leadership leaves them. For those who did not get a look in before now, your time has come.

This administration is a lot different from the last - whether the honeymoon period is here to stay or not, London is open for business and the new mayor is listening.

Katie Perrior is co-founder of InHouse PR, which provided PR support to Boris Johnson throughout his mayoral campaign.

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