Berlitz: Comprehensive political and media engagement
A multi-million pound education contract between Berlitz and the Libyan Government was in jeopardy of collapse due to restrictive immigration policies. PLMR offered expert media and political counsel to protect a contract worth more than £20m to UK PLC.
Berlitz, a leading provider of English-language education, approached PLMR having been informed that a deal with the Libyan Government, worth £22m to the British economy was on the verge of being cancelled due to an unnecessarily long-winded visa application process.
PLMR immediately put the wheels in motion to identify the key stakeholders within Government who would be crucial to securing the necessary changes. We liaised closely with the Home Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to secure meetings with ministers including Rt Hon Ken Clarke and the Rt Hon David Willets. In doing so, we put political pressure on the Home Secretary to relax the prohibitive process whereby Libyan students were required to prove a minimum of £20,000 in their bank accounts, despite all tuition and living costs being met by the Libyan Government grant.
On a tight deadline, PLMR produced high-level briefing documents and carried out a cost benefit analysis to clearly outline the scale and importance of the deal, not just to Berlitz but to the wider UK education sector which critically relies on its reputation overseas.
To further reinforce messaging, the Libyan Minister of Labour was invited to Westminster to meet with his British counterparts and engage in a series of media interviews which PLMR secured with the Times, Telegraph and Financial Times.
After a sustained and comprehensive campaign, PLMR secured commitments from Ministers to push through the necessary changes to preserve the UK’s reputation as a world-leading education hub. As a direct result of PLMR’s political and media counsel, Berlitz secured a further five-year agreement with the Libyan Government worth in excess of £100million and has seen a 100% success rate in Libyan visa applications.
Following the campaign, Mark Harrington, Managing Director of Berlitz commented: “With their expert political counsel, PLMR has supported Berlitz to protect a multi-million pound deal and built fantastic relations with a key client. PLMR’s knowledge of how the government and media work is second to none and they have been critical in achieving this success.”