One of the benefits of teaching the CIPR qualifications on Saturdays is that I listen to Radio 4’s The Bottom Line when driving home. This is a fascinating programme where business leaders talk about various issues – and it is now available as a podcast. The only issue is that you can only access each episode for 7 days after broadcast.
On the episode last Saturday lobbying was discussed by the panel which featured Mark Clare
(Chief executive, Barratt Homes), PY Gerbeau (Chief executive, X-Leisure) and Jasmine Whitbread (Chief executive, Save the Children).
The fascinating discussion showed the importance of public relations at the strategic level. Both Whitbread and Clare underpinned the value of having a broad coalition, often of unlikely bodies, coming together to influence government policy. They also discussed how politicians request evidence of public opinion in making their decisions, showing why campaigns are frequently required to stimulate debate and mobilise public support for changes in policy.
PY, given his experiences previously over the Millennium Dome, was a little more cynical of politicians. However, he felt strongly that there was too little action being taken to curb anti-social behaviour caused by alcohol consumption. As a result of the discussion, PY recognised that getting other interested parties involved in a public relations campaign may be an effective strategy.
This show is well worth downloading and indeed, subscribing to the RSS feed of the podcast. It seems a shame that there aren’t more interesting programmes like this relating to business matters – and that such podcasts are not archived for future reference.