Welcome to the PRmoment Podcast

On the show today, I’m chatting with Alastair McCapra, chief executive at CIPR about the lobbying register and why the UK has a lobbying register that excludes 96% of lobbyists.

Before we start,do take a look at our latest PR Masterclass: PR and AI.  All the details can be viewed on the homepage of PRmoment.com.

With gentle good-natured irony today, also thanks goes to our PRmoment podcast sponsors, the PRCA.

Here’s a summary of what Alastair and PRmoment flounder Ben Smith discussed:

2 mins Alastair talks us through why the lobbying Register is important if you work in public relations.

“Lobbying is really important when it comes to the public’s perception (of PR.)”

“In the public mind, lobbying and public relations are both forms of influencing.”

4 mins Alastair gives us a brief history lesson on where we are legally with the UK lobbyist register, which was a result of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014.

“We’ve got a register that was set up ten years ago that very carefully tries to register a very small part of what goes on.”

5 mins  “The great bulk of what goes on is not captured by the register.”

Here is a link to the current UK Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists.

“Anyone who is an in-house lobbyist can’t go on the register.”

8 mins Why do we have a lobbying register that excludes in-house lobbying?

“There are other loopholes…incidental lobbying, for example.”

10 mins What are the advantages of a lobbying register?

14 mins Why do scandals involving corrupt politicians get called lobbying scandals? 

“In the 10 years since the lobbying register has been set up there hasn’t once been a scandal about any one on the register… It’s everyone else who we need to worry about.”

16 mins Won’t the public just always loathe lobbyists?

17 mins What’s the likely future path for an incoming Labour government’s approach to lobbying legislation?

18 mins Looking around the world, which countries get lobbying more right than the UK?

“Canada is the example that is most often cited.” (As an example of better functioning lobbying registers.)