Lottery regulator reviews comms tactics for 2009

The National Lottery Commission (NLC) has drawn up a fresh communications strategy in an attempt to avoid negative press before it awards the new contract to operate the lottery from 2009.

NLC directors last week agreed a strategy covering the communication of the Commission’s role to the press and the public, as well as the measurement of the regulator’s performance and effectiveness. The NLC has hired hbl media to advise it on the PR effort.

In line with the strategy, it has integrated research and analysis functions with the regulator’s communications directorate into a single eight-strong team. This is led by Catherine Forrester, the Commission’s director of performance and communications, and NLC head of communications Mark Slattery. Both report to NLC chief executive Mark Harris.

NLC directors must decide by 2007 whether to renew Camelot’s contract. The regulator courted controversy in 2000 over its decision to award Camelot a seven-year contract to run the lottery, despite criticism of the company’s performance and the remuneration packages given to the Camelot directors.

Created in 1999, NLC used GSN Associates, which merged with Europhase Communications to form Sharpe McKenna in 2001, and independent consultant Peter Ibbotson for PR advice.

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