General Electric, the world's leading industrial conglomerate, is planning a major UK charm offensive and promoting comms to the top of its corporate agenda.
The world's fourth-largest company is keen to highlight its investment in green technology and to position itself at the forefront of plans to develop low-carbon technology in the future. GE is one of the world's biggest wind turbine suppliers, with more than 11,600 wind turbine installations.
It is one of a handful of firms to have recently been linked with a possible new British wind factory the Government is considering, in a bid to reinvigorate the UK's stuttering 'green' energy strategy.
The company has hired an inaugural UK director of external affairs, appointing former Merrill Lynch government affairs chief Miles Webber to the role. He steps up from his role as head of government relations for GE Capital.
GE has also handed a wide-ranging corporate and public affairs retainer to Open Road, briefing the agency to communicate the breadth and depth of its UK operations.
Open Road will target decision-makers in Westminster, as well as councils and businesses across the country.
Webber said: 'We have always engaged with governments and stakeholders, but there is an increasing need for us to make sure our communication with key stakeholders is absolutely at the front of our corporate focus.'
He claimed GE had in place 'an array of solutions' to the challenges facing governments across the world.
'We have a great story to tell about the range of things we care about - from wind to smart-meters, to early diagnoses in the health service, through to funding SMEs.
'We need to have a profile that reflects this.'
GE employs 19,000 people in the UK and has a £5bn turnover
Each of GE's four businesses - Technology Infrastructure, Energy Infrastructure, GE Capital and NBC Universal - has a significant UK presence
The company has invested more than £10bn in UK acquisitions since 2002
The GE Foundation supports various charitable projects.