There are some PR firms likely to lose something with the shift in power to a dominant Republican Congress as well as an incoming President Trump. So who will be some of the PR losers with the shift in power?
Let’s take a look at four of them:
The Podesta Group
John and Tony Podesta founded the group in 1998, though different names have graced the agency over the years. Their headquarters is in DC, but where else would it be? Their ties to the DNC and it’s various candidates and causes are almost legendary. John has not been an active member of the group in recent years, though he’s certainly been active in politics and the group has been fully supportive of him and the candidates/causes he’s worked. Many, even outside of PR, should recognize his name as he only last week told Clinton followers to go home and get some sleep in the wee hours of the morning as votes were being tallied.
John also helped with both President Obama and President Bill Clinton’s White House teams, serving as Chief of Staff for Clinton. The firm has worked with many global corporations including Google, Wal-Mart, and Genzyme. They wont be as needed as they were before.
MWW PR’s top executives have been very involved with the Democratic Party for many years, even going so far as hiring former Congressman Anthony “Sexter” Weiner, husband of Huma Abedin – HRC’s 2016 Vice Chairwoman and aide when she was Secretary of State. MWW has made donations to the DNC and worked on various campaigns for Democrats running for office such as Evan Bayh, who has held office in Indiana as senator, secretary of state, and governor.
The agency has faced controversy in recent years, including multiple lawsuits for unpaid bills. Their CEO, Michael Kempner is regarded as close to President Obama, and Hillary Clinton, and will not have access in a Republican administration. Expect this firm to lose ground.
Making donations to the tune of at least $50K to the Clinton Foundation might be a clue as to the agency’s Democratic preferences. They’ve also worked with both Clintons on the campaign trail or while in the White House. They actively seek experienced people to add to their public affairs division, prizing those with deep ties to the DNC and top politicians. Recently they added Dr. James Thurber to their International Advisory Council. Dr. Thurber, a professor at American University, is also the director and founder of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies.
Over the years they’ve worked with clients both political and consumer, including the Clinton Global Initiative, Microsoft, and PepsiCo. They have offices in at least 30 cities around the world.
BerlinRosen and its principal, Jonathan Rosen, have strong ties to politics, especially in New York. Rosen is good friends with New York City’s Mayor de Blasio and worked with him on his 2014 bid for election, and it is believed he will continue in future efforts for re-election. Though his efforts for the mayor were not official, he was paid nearly $500,000 by a non-profit organization supporting the campaign. But BerlinRosen’s participation, along with other firms, worked wonders and allowed de Blasio to win by one of the widest margins the city has seen in a mayoral race in decades. BerlinRosen has worked on other Democratic campaigns for positions as well as lobbying causes.
They have offices in DC, California, and New York. In previous years they supported the national fast-food workers’ strike and Cornell University’s bid to open a tech campus in Manhattan. They could have gained ground nationally with a Democratic administration.
Most of the above agencies are large and diverse. Though they may suffer some disruption to their business and billing because of the Trump win, the biggest loss they may find is their “seat at the table.” Many of the clients they do lobbying work for have hired them for their deep connections to political power. With the change to a ruling “red” group. Their “blues” may be all about the lack of that color in the halls of power.