NEWS: Johnson returns as consultant for APCO

Joy Johnson, the former director of campaigns, elections and media for the Labour Party, has joined lobbying firm APCO UK as a part-time consultant.

Joy Johnson, the former director of campaigns, elections and media for

the Labour Party, has joined lobbying firm APCO UK as a part-time

consultant.



The one-time BBC political news editor, however, stressed her role was

not that of lobbyist but an ‘adviser on communications and campaigns

strategy in terms of grass roots mobilisation’.



Johnson said she believed that APCO had wanted her for her journalistic

experience rather than her knowledge of the Labour Party. ‘One of the

things APCO recognises is the importance of local and regional media,’

she told PR Week.



A television news veteran of 16 years, Johnson joined Labour in February

1995 from the BBC where she was Westminster news editor.



Although well-regarded by many on the left, her contempt for ‘spin

doctoring’ caused a rift with Labour’s communications supremo Peter

Mandelson.



She resigned in January since when she has been working freelance,

including a project on devolution for Scottish Television. A return to

political journalism with the BBC or another broadcaster has been ruled

out until after the General Election as she is now seen as pre-disposed

towards one party.



Founded in April 1995, APCO UK is the UK arm of one of Washington DC’s

largest lobbying firms APCO Associates, with a client list which

includes the London Stock Exchange, Federal Express, Philip Morris and

GEC-Marconi.



The firm has made much of its international credentials and integrated

approach to public affairs. Johnson said she was attracted to APCO

because it was different from other lobbyists with a style she described

as ‘community lobbying’. She stressed, however, that there were some

clients she would not work with. ‘There are certain things I won’t do

and they know that,’ she said.



Asked if she had talked to other lobbying firms, Johnson said: ‘Not in

any great detail. I didn’t think ‘oh great now I can go off and be a

lobbyist’. But they asked me and the way the company operates means they

value media strategy.’



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in