Connect Communications targets global expansion

London-based Connect Communications has announced plans to enter new markets including the US, EMEA, Australia, China and India, expanding beyond its longstanding focus on Westminster and Whitehall.

Gill Morris: Wants "to go where no UK public affairs consultancy has been before"
Gill Morris: Wants "to go where no UK public affairs consultancy has been before"

The expansion will be headed by CEO Gill Morris, while directors Sarah King and Laura Blake will be given responsibility for Connect’s day-to-day operations.

The political communications agency said that after the general election, it would be "exploring links and opportunities" in the US, specifically Washington and New York, to communicate what happened in the UK.

Connect will be "pursuing leads and opportunities in Asia (India and China) and Australia". The agency also plans to focus on opportunities provided by the devolution debate in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, "but also in Ireland and specifically in the North of England where Connect has a good track record and strong existing client base".

Morris, who last week won the Outstanding Contribution accolade at the PRCA's inaugural Public Affairs Awards, said: "Connect is probably the best consultancy to work for in the UK and we have a proud history of delivering innovative and ethical lobbying solutions. In 2015 I want to really shake things up, to explore and exploit new markets and to go where no UK public affairs consultancy has been before.

"We are going to change the way we do business and the way the company is run. UK politics is changing and I want Connect to be ahead of the rest in responding to those changes by being bolder than ever. We will look beyond Westminster and Whitehall to new opportunities in new and emerging markets. I plan to work harder than I ever have, seeking out new opportunities, building our network, raising our profile in non-traditional areas and capitalising on our existing success and established reputation.

"For me, this is a huge and welcome change. My goal is to be the CEO of an inspirational business, where all of the members of the team are empowered, motivated and rewarded and genuinely feel that they are part of building a business that they love as much as I do."

Chairman Andrew Gairdner said: "Gill has done a remarkable job in developing the careers of countless public affairs professionals across the country. So many in the industry have benefitted from her determination to build recognition for ethical lobbying in the UK. She now sees the opportunity to concentrate her efforts on a more external focus and we are confident that this will further enhance Connect's reputation both at home and abroad."

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