….and I feel fine. Sorry. Gratuitous REM reference.
Listen chaps, sorry I’m a bit late coming to this one, but it is quite important. So listen carefully.
Great story in PR Week, couple of weeks ago. (I know, I know, I’m not a fan of PR Week, but credit where credit’s due, eh?) It was about the Guido Fawkes blog – see, here – more specifically, the chap behind it, Paul Staines, avowing to take on and reveal ‘the fat cats of spin and their hidden hand in politics’. He said his primary targets were Matthew Freud (almost had a Freudian spelling slip there – irony at its most pure), Alan Parker and Roland Rudd.
What Mr Staines is reported as saying is that ‘there is a legitimate role for lobbying, but (not) over coffee and cigars after a meal.’ He also said ‘people are coming to me with information and I’m building up a picture of who. what, where.’ Our august industry journal went on to reveal that ‘lobbyists privately dismissed Staines’ efforts, but were reluctant to go on record’. Hold on – where’s all that smoke coming from?
Personally, I think this is brilliant stuff. If Mr Staines delivers on his promise, then we (as an industry) are in for some very interesting times. Spin will have been proven. All those terrible rumours about PR behind closed doors will be exposed as truth – in the minds of most Daily Mail readers, anyway. What I would really like to have seen, mind, is some response from Messrs Freud, Parker or Rudd – but I am a realist and it’ll be a cold day in hell etc etc etc.
The real star of the piece, mind, was Lionel Zetter. “The Tories have been using the letters page of PR Week to send a clear message to lobbyists that it will not be ‘business as usual’ if they win the next general election.” Excellent.
Wait a minute, though – is Mr Zetter saying that it IS currently ‘business as usual’? And am I right in understanding that ‘business as usual’ in the context of this article is the ‘coffee and cigars after a meal’ that Mr Staines talks about? Confirmation, perhaps, that Guido Fawkes is on to a winner?
Anyway, I know nothing about the subject. I think it is a marvellous story though and I look forward to the follow-ups.
The only thing, and it’s just a thought, why was it buried on page whatever of the magazine, while the front page was graced with a ‘story’ about research that showed that professional footballers are not in touch with their fans?
Surely some mistake? Or is Mr Staines considered too dangerous for the front page?