What’s Happening with BGR, APCO, Mercury PR, and SKDK
APCO is still gung-ho on playing ball with China, who has recently been cracking down on non-Chinese tech companies with holdings there.
“Huawei, ZTE, and Lenovo are among the world’s top makers of computing hardware and telecom networking equipment. President Xi Jinping’s government can afford to phase out its use of foreign rivals and count on those who remain in the short term to keep cooperating. Given the limited economic growth in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, even China’s slowdown and market turmoil don’t significantly weaken Xi’s hand in dealing with foreign tech companies, says James McGregor, Greater China chairman of consulting firm APCO Worldwide in Shanghai. ‘China has the muscle to get what it wants,’ he says. ‘Companies in China are going to have to more and more play by China’s rules.’”
Since China offers such a huge growth opportunity to companies and they are still not capable of producing the tech components of smartphones, there is much to be gained by doing business in China. There may, however, come a time when that changes. China has the upper hand when it comes to cybersecurity issues being enforced in their country, and that’s not unreasonable. If they start pushing to get into foreign tech company’s secure information databases, then companies may find the need to bail out at that time.
BGR Public Relations
BGR PR lobbies on behalf of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG). Most of their efforts focus on lobbying for a change in federal law to allow the U.S. to provide heavy weapons to the Kurds. Unfortunately, the law currently allows the government to send weapons only to internationally recognized sovereign governments. It does not allow for autonomous states within sovereign governments to receive assistance. Until that changes, the Kurds are out of luck, but that’s what they employ BGR to do, help them get that law changed.
The Kurds have quite a lot of backing already, even some of the Presidential hopefuls have indicated support. But one of the strongest supporters in Congress currently is Tulsi Gabbard (Dem.), a fairly new Representative from Hawaii. Gabbard has become a favorite for BGR lobbyists to chat with on this issue since she supports this action.
The NY Times reported “Ms. Gabbard, who served two combat tours in the Middle East and holds the rank of major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, has also called for the United States to suspend its visa waiver program with European countries until the intelligence community can catch up with the influx of Syrian refugees, an economically risky proposition.”
As reported in opensecrets, “BGR received more than $393,000 last year from the KRG for its work on U.S.-KRG relations, though the firm’s filings are vague and don’t specifically mention the arms issue. The KRG is the firm’s second-largest international client behind the government of India, according to reports filed with Justice.”
Mercury Public Affairs
EverythingPR recently reported about the woes of Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder and the Flint water contamination problems showing toxic lead levels. Governor Snyder brought a few PR advisers on board since then. As told to the Detroit News by the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Jarrod Agen, “Because of the extreme interest from both statewide and national media, we’ve enlisted support from both Bill Nowling, as well as Mercury [PR].”
Mercury is a Washington DC-based firm with 19 locations, and we have to admit we enjoyed PRNewser’s humor about this story, “What is it with the deluge of minerals here? Lead (in the water) and Mercury (on the ground). Just a little iron-y there.”
On of SKD Knickerbocker’s Vice President’s recently spoke about celebrity endorsements for Presidential candidates saying, “It’s effective if the celebrity already has an established position on the issue you’re talking about,” on vocativ. Goodman’s previous work included efforts with politicians (according to SKDK’s website) and political campaigns, including several years as chief of staff to NY State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky just before joining SKDK.
Vocativ continued by pointing out an endorsement from RFK on the environment, or one from Steve Buscemi, a former NY firefighter commenting on NYC issues, would have some pull with voters. “If you’re not a political person, and you maybe follow politics a little bit…this celebrity validator says ‘You already know that I’m a person who is publicly devoted to this issue, well so is this candidate.’”
These are some of the recent stories coming from some PR firms.