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New memoir shares details of lobbying for Kellogg

Dec 16, 2014

Credit Flickr user EthelRedThePetrolHead / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Lobbyists aren't the most well liked people, but George Franklin, attorney and former lobbyist who became the Vice President of World Wide Government Relations for the Kellogg Company, would like to change your perception of them.

Franklin is currently the head of Franklin Public Affairs in Kalamazoo and recently wrote a memoir about his time in Washington entitled "Raisin Bran and Other Cereals: 30 Years of Lobbying for the Most Famous Tiger in the World."

The book answers many of the questions Franklin hears most often, "How did you become a lobbyist? What do lobbyists do? Why does Kellogg need a lobbyist?"

Franklin says many misconceptions about lobbying come from government relations not being taught in business school.

"Lobbyists depend on trust and candor in order to be good lobbyists. It is exactly the opposite of what people think it entails," he says.

According to Franklin, lobbyists and members of Congress rely on each other to tell the truth and the straight facts. You may be able to get away with manipulating a member of Congress once, but after that you will have lost all trust and relations with them. 

A large part of the memoir discusses fighting the threat to break Kellogg into three companies after accusations of a shared monopoly, some questionable government judicial practices and the large Washington Post investigative piece it inspired.

*Listen to our conversation with George Franklin on Stateside above.