When I first stood for election as President of the Chamber, I told my colleagues on the Executive Committee that I wanted to hear from as many Members as possible concerning how they felt about the BCCJ: our image, our importance (or otherwise) to their business, and the product we delivered. Through a series of small informal luncheons, I learned a great deal and we set about acting on many of the messages we heard.
The creation of the British Business Awards is just one example of an initiative that derived from these meetings. I have continued to solicit and to listen to Member feedback because we believe at the executive level that you — the Membership — are the Chamber.
One of the things that have repeatedly come up, particularly over the past year, is the interest in having a regular publication. The BCCJ used to publish a magazine, Insight, which appeared bi-monthly for several years until it was replaced by an on-line video magazine. Now, we’ve come full circle, with interest focused once again on paper and ink — something you can read on the train.
In the present economic climate it may seem at first glance a little odd to be launching a new publication. But we have the good fortune of working with our Member company Custom Media, whose track record in producing quality magazines is unparalleled and whose business plan for BCCJ ACUMEN convinced our Executive Committee to go ahead with the venture. Basically, the BCCJ faces no financial risk, yet stands to benefit from a highly increased visibility across the international business community. This benefit accrues also to you — the Member.
I am personally very excited about this new venture and I would like to encourage you all to take advantage of the opportunities it affords, in terms of both advertising and editorial content. The outreach of the magazine extends far beyond the Membership and into the community at large.
I am grateful to all those Members who have taken the time to give me the feedback I have sought. I hope that we will see a continued healthy discussion of Chamber issues in the pages of this new magazine in which I take no small amount of pride.