Scottish Political Spindoctors' Association.

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f4jsantas.jpgLast night, with the heads of the four other parties' press teams here in Holyrood, I did a presentation and Q&A for the Chartered Institute of PR and an audience of about fifty. 

Although the others on the panel are my direct competition both for stories and within stories, we actually all get on well, and I thought the panel operated as a pretty good team.

However, it was all Chatham House rules, which prevents me from retelling entertaining stories about the career of Ramsay Jones, the Tories' head of media here. I can say his advice was excellent, and he's also the author of one of the best media comments ever. When Fathers4Justice piled up the Santas on Holyrood's roof, he gave following the line (roughly) "Whatever the rights and wrongs of their case, it's inappropriate to give kids the impression there's more than one Santa."

Those same Chatham House rules also prevent me from embarrassing one of the PR agencies who came along. Suffice it to say (and this is within the rules*) it's not the best way to win friends in this bit of Parliament to come up afterwards and try to pick a fight over a project your company has worked for and which we don't support. 

The kicker - at the end of that conversation, to try to build some bridges, I said "do let me know if any of your clients do anything sustainable that we might take an interest in", but in a moment of honesty I was told no, none of them do. Can't say I was surprised.

* "When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed."

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This page was published on August 20, 2009 2:15 PM.

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