We don’t want to be preachy or boring but this blog is where we share our values and experiences and write about the issues shaping the future of our businesses and our society. Catch a glimpse into our lives and find out what’s new in our world...

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

What Role For Lobbying Awards?

There were two contradictory news stories we received today which shows just how tricky it can be in PR these days.  Firstly, another Worst Lobbying Award has sprung up, this time specifically on climate change.  Understandable given that we are only a few short weeks away from the Copenhagen climate summit which world leaders appear this weekend to have given up on.  The Angry Mermaid Award named after Copenhagen's famous Little Mermaid or Den Lille Havfrue lists companies and trade associations in energy, chemicals, GMO, airline in America and the EU.

The second story comes also from the EU, well the UK, and the US and is that officials at the American Chemistry Society and Royal Society of Chemistry have signed an MoU committing them to working on sustainability initiatives.  What does this mean?  The two organisations will try to educate the wider population on the chemistry underlying sustainability issues, according to an article in the US's Chemical & Engineering News.  A series of seminars will follow.

How does this differ from the lobbying efforts nominated by the Angry Mermaid?  There should be a difference between education and advocacy and it seems that the RSC/ACS initiative is educational.  But at the same time, what's to say that they won't end up listed in some worst lobbying awards somewhere?  What role do these awards play except to undermine public affairs and public relations' part in legitimate debate and the policymaking process?  One would hope that politicians today are savvy enough to consider all the points of view before making a decision.  Or is that hope over expectation?  Having spent over ten years observing EU policy, I believe that in the main there is proper process and that worst lobbying awards are just part of that process, a legitimate point of view in a democracy.

No comments:

Post a Comment