After less than a year in the job, British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) director-general David Lennan was dismissed days before its 2002 conference.
Meanwhile, member chambers were threatening to leave the network. The episode resulted in inflammatory headlines that exacerbated flagging confidence in the BCC's ability to represent the interests of its 60,000 members - people in business.
College Hill was appointed in September 2002 with the long-term goal of making the BCC the authoritative voice of business in the media.
College Hill defined six key policy issues that the BCC should claim and develop in the media: Britain's attitude to euro membership, red tape and regulation, small business, productivity, transport and broadband connectivity.
Research on members' views on these issues was conducted to ensure president Isabella Moore, new director-general David Frost and the policy unit were speaking on behalf of members. A year-long programme of events kicked off in January 2003 and included a revamped quarterly economic survey, four keynote research reports and a conference. The BCC's Euro Survey in January was the only one to ask business leaders what their attitude would be 'if the Chancellor's five economic tests were met'.
BBC Radio 4's Today programme picked up the survey results, and all key UK and overseas economic correspondents attended the BCC press conference the same day. All major wires, newspapers and broadcast media took up the story.
Six months later, the BCC survey was still being cited as the only authoritative statement of the views of British business on the euro.
In February, the BCC Red Tape Barometer gained wide coverage after the story was broken to The Sunday Times that bureaucracy costs British business £21bn.
Just over halfway through the programme, the BCC had gained the high ground in the media on the first three of its core issues.
COMMENDED - DELIVERING MORE THAN PIZZA; DOMINO'S; LEXIS PUBLIC RELATIONS
In 2001, AIM-listed home delivery and pizza takeaway company Domino's announced plans to double in size by 2006.
Problems arose by the end of the year, when Domino's had opened only 24 stores, falling short of the number required to reach its five-year target.
The company was experiencing difficulty in attracting high-quality franchisees to run them. Lexis was tasked with increasing enquiries from potential franchisees by 20 per cent, particularly in the north of England, where most stores would be opened.
Working with the Future Foundation, Lexis created the first market report examining the future prospects of the home-delivered pizza market. It brought Domino's most successful global franchisee, American Richard P Mueller, on a UK media tour.
The campaign prompted 161 positive news articles, and franchise enquiries from the north rose by 850 per cent; 29 franchisees across the UK were accepted in 2002 and 34 new stores opened by December 2002.
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