Comms overhaul on cards at London business body

The London Chamber of Commerce is preparing for a PR overhaul if

its long-planned merger with lobby group London First gets the green

light.



LCC campaigns director Piers Merchant said the communications division

would be reviewed if the merger goes ahead. A restructuring would then

be possible.



The group has put on hold its search for a media manager following the

departure of Vincent Burke late last year.



Burke left to join London Electricity (LE) as group media relations

executive, reporting to group media relations manager Derek Salter.



At the same time, LE hired Victoria Garner as policy executive from the

Independent Healthcare Association.



Merchant said the LCC would wait until the outcome of the merger and any

possible communications reviews before embarking on a recruitment

drive.



'There's bound to be a degree of internal reorganisation if the merger

goes through but I'm not sure how it will pan out. It may be that two

departments are merged and we may find we don't need to make an

appointment,' said Merchant.



LCC employs nine PR staff. London First's PR is run by executive

director of comms Anna Barlow and senior manager Clare Convey.



LCC and London First have been in talks over a merger since last

January, but have faced problems over LCC's tax status. A decision on

the merger is expected within the next few months.



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