STEM agency registers as lobbyist


Lobbying and public affairs agency


Stafford-based STEM PR agency, Stone Junction, is now a certified lobbyist after registering with The Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists (ORCL) and being listed on its public register.

Having won a series of national and regional PR awards in recent years, this latest development means the agency can add public affairs and lobbying to its portfolio. The project is spearheaded by Martin Deakin, who in 2015 became the UK’s youngest ever Conservative councillor and his colleague Chloe Luckham, whose educational background is in public affairs.  

The most recent regulation change around lobbying activity in the UK was in 2014, when the Government passed the Transparency of Lobbying Act. The regulation was introduced to increase clarity in the work of professionals paid to engage with senior policy influencers and lawmakers. For companies in England and Wales, this includes a register of consultant lobbyists activities and their dealings with government and civil service figures.

While Stone Junction has historically organised meetings between its clients and local MPs, including former Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy, lobbying has not been offered as a service until now.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how important STEM input is in shaping policy. Recent data shows that out of 541 MPs in the 2015-2017 parliament, only 17 per cent held degrees in STEM subjects. The result is a house that may not fully understand the complexities of subjects like climate change or medical device regulations.

“The science and engineering sectors in which we work are inherently political,” explained Richard Stone, managing director of Stone Junction. “Science exists to solve societal problems and is fundamentally emotive in nature,” he continued.

“Now, when our clients tell us about a problem they face, and the issues they want to address, we can be the bridge that connects them with the policymakers that shape their industries.”

Stone Junction will offer a range of public affairs and lobbying tactics to its clients, such as organising meetings with influential figures, drafting letters to MPs, mobilising other businesses and contributing to briefing papers.

“Public affairs has an increasingly interesting relationship with the STEM industries because the need for technical specialists like engineers and scientists to influence public policy has never been greater,” continued Stone. “Trade bodies and government officials depend on evidence from the private sector to make decisions about policy and regulations.

“By becoming registered lobbyists, we can strengthen the relationship between our clients and the government bodies that matter to them. This move allows us to champion the truth of technology even more effectively on their behalf.”

To find out more about Stone Junction and the public affairs services it, visit its website at www.wechangeminds.com or call +44 (0) 1785 225416. 

About the author

CHLOE LUCKHAM
CHLOE LUCKHAM - BA, MSC
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
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