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Connect Communications has announced plans to enter new markets, expanding beyond its long-standing focus on Westminster and Whitehall.

CEO Gill Morris founded Connect in 1998 and, building on her extensive experience, has announced plans to capitalise on her company’s market-leading reputation and “for the first time look beyond Westminster to new opportunities in the English regions, the nations of the UK, the US and EMEA”.

Morris, who recently won the CIPR Douglas Smith Memorial Prize for lifetime achievement in public affairs as well as the Outstanding Achievement Award, will hand over day to day operational responsibility to Directors Sarah King and Laura Blake.

Commenting on the expansion, Morris said: “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.”
Chairman of Connect 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.”

Commenting on Morris’ awards won within the past week, Gairdner said: “Both the inaugural CIPR Douglas Smith Memorial Prize and the Public Affairs award Gill received this evening are richly deserved. All who have been involved as Connectors, ex-Connectors and many, many others are delighted for her.”