NEWS: Hawkins to head Chamber of Commerce policy unit

The London Chamber of Commerce has hired Andrew Hawkins formerly head of polling company Harris Research’s Political Research Unit, as its first director of policy and PR.

The London Chamber of Commerce has hired Andrew Hawkins formerly head of

polling company Harris Research’s Political Research Unit, as its first

director of policy and PR.



Hawkins joined the organisation - which claims to be London’s largest

business representative body - three weeks ago to head up its eight-

strong policy unit, and will shortly be appointing its first press

officer.



The position is a new one and combines responsibility for policy and

research - previously headed by Dr Amer Hirmis - with media relations

and campaigns.



Hawkins said that following the departure of Hirmis last year, the LCCI

decided to upgrade the position and combine it with a PR role ‘in

particular to take advantage of a number of opportunities coming up,

including the activity around the Millennium’.



This was, said Hawkins, an opportunity for the LCCI to raise its own

profile and that of the various campaigns it was involved in. ‘If the

chamber is going to be an effective campaigning organisation, it needs

to have a much higher profile,’ said Hawkins. ‘There are a lot more

bodies in the field - we’re not here to shout louder than anyone else

but we do have our own message to convey’.



Part of the British Chamber of Commerce network, the LCCI is funded by

its 3,500 members and exists to ‘help London business succeed by

promoting their interests and expanding their opportunities as members

of a worldwide business network’.



A qualified barrister, Hawkins joined lobbyist Market Access

International in 1989, and later took over joint responsibility for the

group’s research arm, Access Opinions before moving to Harris.



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