Public Relations News From Edelman, Interpublic, FleishmanHillard & Nat’l Assoc. of Broadcasters

Edelman’s Growth in 2016 Only 1.7%

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Edelman just released their financial information from 2016. They reported $875 million in revenue, but that was only 1.7% growth at the world’s largest PR firm from 2015 on like-for-like. Richard Edelman, CEO, said: “It’s a pause,” and blamed economic uncertainty as well as digital change and healthcare issues. He also said: “We worked really hard. It’s more of a macroeconomic and political kind of context. I think clients just got cautious. It’s a pause.”

Noting that much of their slowdown came from the UK and Europe, an occurrence strongly associated with Brexit as well as with cautious US clients beginning mid-year, the firm expressed cautious optimism for the future, pointing out that countries such as Japan, India, Korea, and France performed beautifully. China and the Middle East, though, were also slower.

Addison Lee Looking for PR Representation

Addison Lee, the minicab company, has been battling their competition with Uber, Hailo, and the likes, and have done so without outside PR support for the last couple years since they parted ways with Ogilvy PR and W Communications. During those years the company worked on building their brand and tech strategy. They are apparently ready to add outside PR efforts again and have requested that W respond to an RFP, though it is unknown what other agencies have been asked to participate in the process. The public affairs side of their business uses Burson-Marsteller, and they will continue to work in that regard.

Q4 Organic Revenue Fell with Interpublic’s Constituency Management Group

The Constituency Management Group (CMG) of Interpublic had a decline in organic revenues during QR of 2016, showing revenues of $399 million as compared to $402 million in 2015 for the same period. The CMG has PR agencies such as DeVries, Weber Shandwick (WS), and Golin and had been up on organic revenues for most of the year, ending 2016 at a 3.6% gain.

FleishmanHillard and Vriens & Partners Join Forces in Asia

Vriens & Partners, a government affairs consultancy, and FleishmanHillard (FH) announced an affiliate partnership joining the strategic consulting experience of both agencies in their Asia offices. FH’s regional Hong Kong office works with some of the largest global brands in the area, and Vriens’ Singapore office primarily provides work in government affairs, political risk analysis, and public policy for the region.

Lynne Anne Davis, FH’s president and senior partner in Asia Pacific, said: “Given the issues-rich nature of this region, strategic consulting on high-stakes issues is one of the largest and fastest-growing areas of our business in Asia. Cooperation between our firms leverages FleishmanHillard’s global public affairs heft with Vriens & Partners’ in-depth specialist knowledge of policymaking in Southeast Asia.”

National Association of Broadcasters Adds Two New VPs

Both Nicole Gustafson and Grisella Martinez are joining the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) as government relations VPs late in February. They will report to the EVP of government relations, Curtis LeGeyt. Gustafson has been with the NFL as VP of public policy and government affairs, and before that she worked for senior members of Congress such as Steve Scalise (R-La), Eric Cantor (R-Va), John Cornyn (R-Tx), Chuck Grassley (R-Ia), and Steve King (R-Ia). She also has a JD from Iowa College of Law.

Martinez worked as policy director for the House Democratic Caucus serving under Chairman Xavier Becerra (D-Ca.) as well as Joe Crowley (D-NY). She also worked at the National Immigration Law Center and the National Immigration Forum. She has an LL.M from Washington College of Law at American University, and a JD from Catholic University of America.

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