Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Five-minute Abchat: David Beamer, PoliticsDirect

This month Abchurch cornered fellow IPREX member David Beamer MCIPR, the Managing Director of PoliticsDirect an independent, full service Public Affairs agency. Prior to entering Consultancy, David was a senior political adviser to the Conservative Party and worked with 8 Secretaries of State on a range of policy briefs including Trade & Industry, Energy, Transport, Culture, Media & Sport, Deregulation, Wales, and Health.

David is regarded as a leading authority, and has written articles & delivered speeches, on the use of the Internet in British politics and public affairs consultancy. He has taken a few moments to talk to us about life in Westminster.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
From a very early age, I was interested in setting up a company but didn’t know what in. After completing a Business degree at University, I started working for the Conservative Research Department (CRD) in London and learnt about the public affairs industry.

How did you get into Public Affairs?
After the General Election in 1997, I left CRD and joined the political division of The Communication Group. It’s common that people entering public affairs have worked as a political adviser.

Describe your role in ten words or less (if that’s possible!):
I run a public affairs agency and provide strategic counsel to clients.

If I wasn’t talking to you now, what would you be doing?
Catching up on the latest election developments. The TV debates have changed the normal course of an election campaign and caused significant fluctuations in the opinion polls that no commentator had predicted.

What is the most interesting thing about your work?
I enjoy the worlds of business and politics. Bringing the two together makes work challenging, provides lots of variety and brings you into contact with some very talented people.

Is there a common misconception about Public Affairs?
The industry can get negative press coverage. However, the industry is very professional and our agency, together with the overwhelming majority of agencies in our industry, are members of the Association of Professional Political Consultants and adhere to a strict code of conduct.

How has the industry changed over the last couple of years?
There has been growing recognition from companies about the importance of undertaking public affairs work and gaining a greater understanding of the political process. The industry has grown accordingly and become more professional.

What developments do you expect to see in the next twelve months?
A new Government will stimulate interest in political developments and there will be new policies and new ministers. Companies will need to understand how these policies affect them and who to engage with.

More information on PoliticsDirect can be found at www.politicsdirect.com

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