City authority considers UK drive

The Corporation of London is running a consultation exercise to assess whether it should launch a PR campaign promoting the economic benefits that the City’s financial district brings to the country.

The six-month programme kicks off in January and will involve face-to-face meetings and surveys among companies and trade associations.

The corporation will consult businesses because business-rate tax is its main source of income, rather than household council tax, which is the usual lead source of local authority revenues.

‘We are keen to do the consultation as we think there is a clear case for a UK PR campaign,’ said Corporation of London director of PR Tony Halmos. ‘It would be better if people understood [the corporation’s] role and relevance more since the area generates wealth and prosperity for the whole of the UK, not just London.’

The City is promoted overseas by the corporation’s Lord Mayor – currently Michael Savory, who was voted in in September. But the corporation is proposing to extend and intensify his visits to the UK’s ‘provincial towns and cities’, as well as undertake other PR activity.

Halmos said it was possible that it would be looking for additional PR support depending on the outcome of the consultation.

Although the corporation is a local authority, its PR brief is different from others. It positions itself abroad as the world’s financial centre and aims to attract businesses to London.

It set up a Brussels office in June to ensure City views are represented within the European Union (PRWeek, 5 November). The office is headed by former Citigate Public Affairs director David Bennett.

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