LLM expands focus of communications

Public affairs outfit Lawson Lucas Mendelsohn is creating a Communications Strategy division and rebranding itself as LLM Communications, in a move away from being a dedicated lobbying firm.

Public affairs outfit Lawson Lucas Mendelsohn is creating a

Communications Strategy division and rebranding itself as LLM

Communications, in a move away from being a dedicated lobbying firm.



The new division will be headed by Olly Grender, formerly communications

director at the Liberal Democrats and housing charity Shelter. Grender

joined LLM last October as a senior consultant specialising in media

relations and, alongside fellow staff member Craig Leviton, has been

promoted to associate director. In the new division, she will head teams

of variable size according to client needs.



Neal Lawson, LLM cofounder and now managing director of the consultancy,

said: ’Media and stakeholder relations are increasingly important to our

clients’ public affairs delivery. We have expanded our capacity to

reflect demand from clients.’



The move into media relations is significant, since while most public

affairs consultants recognise the need to integrate media relations into

their service offering, LLM was set up purely as a public affairs

consultancy.



Lawson’s co-founders were Ben Lucas, like Lawson of Lowe Bell Political,

and John Mendelsohn, who worked in Tony Blair’s office in

opposition.



All three had backgrounds in politics rather than PR, and Grender

stresses that the agency is only offering media relations and

communications advice ’in the context of wide-ranging public affairs

campaigns’.



Meanwhile, the agency is also taking on four new employees, bringing its

staff total to 21, with six part-time associates. Hugh Simpson joins

this week as head of research and information, having previously served

as deputy secretary to the parliamentary Liberal Democrats. Henneke

Sharif joins in April as account manager and is serving notice as public

affairs manager at examination board Edexcel.



Saskia Fane-Hervey and Sally Hepton both join LLM as account executives

next week. Fane-Hervey joins from Consolidated Communications, while

Hepton currently works at The House magazine.



- LLM was this week involved in the launch of the People’s Lottery, the

not-for-profit bid for the next national lottery franchise to be decided

in June. Fronted by Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson, the bid is run by a

consortium including computer giant Compaq, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and

advertising agency J Walter Thompson.



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