Ogilvy PR, Fleishman-Hillard, Porter Novelli & Hill & Knowlton Making Billions In Government PR

government pr

In part two of our analysis of the scathing report issued yesterday by the non-profit organization Open The Doors entitled “How federal agency PR spending advances their interests rather than the public interest fiscal years 2007 – 2014”, we review the firms who benefited the most from the $4.35 billion which has been spent by the government on Public Relations since 2007.

Interestingly, on the list of top public relations firms used by the government, many were not firms which we were familiar with.

The names that were recognizable included:

Ogilvy PR: $73 Million Dollars

Fleishman-Hillard: Over $43 Million Dollars

Porter-Novelli PR:  Over $25 Million Dollars

McNeely Pigott & Fox PR: $20 Million

Hill & Knowlton: Over $12 Million Dollars

Hagen Sharp: $8,966,575.98

Highlights of the fascinating study include:

  • “..in 2013, then-U.S. Senator Tom Coburn criticized the U.S. State Department under the leadership of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for spending $630,000 to convince taxpayers to “like” the State Department on Facebook. The agency argued the Facebook campaign fit within its broad mission to inform the world of its activities. But should U.S. taxpayers and citizens of the world be encourage to “like” the State Department with taxpayer- funded PR campaigns or should those individuals decide to like the State Department based on the State Department’s performance on the global stage? Was the campaign designed to advance the national security interests of the United States and displaced persons in places like Syria, or was the campaign an orgy of self-congratulations? After $4.5 billion in federal public relations spending over the past eight years, have we reached a point where the people’s consent is being manufactured by our government?”
  • “$17.499 million spent by Internal Revenue Service on ‘customer satisfaction surveys’ and analysis – IRS has a 90% positive rating. Would a citizen really tell the IRS any differently?”
  • “PR services were procured by 139 federal agencies including: Centers for Disease Control ($412.7 million), Department of the Army ($254.9 million), Substance Abuse and Mental Health ($163.0 million), Federal Emergency Management Agency ($96.6 million), National Institutes of Health ($82.2 million), State Department ($79.9 million), Bureau of Engraving and Printing ($67.2 million), Veterans Affairs ($38.4 million), National Highway Safety Administration ($35.5 million), and more.”

Tomorrow we will analyze PR interns and government payment, as well as pay scales for government PR professionals.

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