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Posts Tagged ‘Qorvis’

Publicis Groupe Buys D.C. Crisis Comms Agency Qorvis

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The growth of whatever will be Publicis Omnicom continued unabated today as Publicis Groupe purchased 100% of Qorvis, a D.C.-based agency specializing in the kind of crisis comms that a certain sweaty governor needs right now.

According to the release, Qorvis will join Publicis’ MSLGROUP to become Qorvis MSLGROUP, which will be (as the tagline reads) “a new powerhouse in Washington”; the deal also includes the acquisition of Clarus Research Group.

Qorvis founder/managing partner Michael Petruzzello will stay on as president; he will double as the agency’s North America practice director of public affairs reporting to MSLGROUP’s North American president Renee Wilson.

Fear not, fretful politicians in poor public standing: you’ll get the same excellent service you’ve always known with a slightly more cumbersome name.

(H/T AdAge)

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Bahrain Grand Prix Event Does PR Damage to Government

Over the weekend, Bahrain hosted a Formula One car racing event that was not only meant to bring in lots of sponsorship money, but give the world the image of a unified Bahrain. All of that backfired when protesters and police in riot gear took to the streets, with at least one protester dying as a result.

“Bahrain’s government has spent $40 million to host the global luxury sporting event, hoping to demonstrate that normal life has returned to the Gulf island kingdom after it cracked down harshly on Arab Spring demonstrations last year,” Reuters wrote over the weekend. “But vivid televised images of streets ablaze threaten to embarrass Formula One and the global brands that lavish it with sponsorship.”

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No Response to the ‘NYT’ from Bahraini Government

We took some time this weekend to catch up on the print version of The New York Times, and, interestingly, continued coverage of the upheaval in Bahrain was published on Friday’s cover page, above the fold. The story goes into detail about the government’s crackdown on protesters, quoting human rights group figures: 34 people dead, 3,600 fired from their jobs, 1,400 arrested. Bahrain has 525,000 citizens. Unrest continued last week after the funeral for a protester killed by police tear gas.

The Times says it reached out via email to the government information office and a PR firm that the government hired for comment, but didn’t hear back. Qorvis and Sanitas International are working with the Bahraini government. When we spoke with Qorvis’ Matt Lauer last month, he said the firm is working to “highlight the changes” happening in the country and said the government “has worked hard to protect the rights and freedoms of people from all religious backgrounds and ethnicities.”

GulfNews.com reports that King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa will address the United Nations General Assembly this week, talking about issues in the region and the “modernization” in that country.

Salon Finds Another PR Tie to Bahrain

Bahraini protests last week over the death of a teen protester.

Salon reports that Joe Trippi, PR adviser to Howard Dean during his presidential run, and Sanitas International, a D.C.-based public affairs firm, are doing reputation work for the government of Bahrain.

Salon previously reported on the work Qorvis is doing with the government of Bahrain, with Qorvis partner Matt Lauer later telling PRNewser that the work is highlighting reforms currently underway.

Trippi says he has a vast experience in the region and calls Bahrain “one of the progressive countries in the Middle Eastern Gulf.”

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Qorvis Working to ‘Make Note of the Reforms’ in Bahrain

A protest in Bahrain in February. Photo: Reuters

In an email to PRNewser, Matt Lauer, partner at Qorvis, said the work the firm is doing with the government of Bahrain is meant to highlight the changes that are happening in the country.

In a recent article, Salon notes that Qorvis has submitted a Foreign Agents Registration Act filing stating that it’s being paid $40,000 per month for reputation work on behalf of the government of Bahrain.

Lauer notes in an email to us that the firm has worked with the Bahraini government (“a long-term American ally”) on a variety of projects for more than a year. “We are actively working to make note of the reforms and progress currently underway in the country,” Lauer added.

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Qorvis Working with Bahrain’s Ruling Family to Improve Image

Protesters in Bahrain on August 7. AP Photo/Hasan Jamali

We included this story in this morning’s Ticker, but we think it’s important enough to give it a little more detail.

Salon reports that Qorvis is working with the ruling family of Bahrain (the country’s King is Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa) at a rate of $40,000 per month (plus expenses) with the goal of improving the government’s image. The firm has issued a statement following a raid on what the government says was an unlicensed Doctors Without Borders office in a residential building. A spokesperson for the nonprofit denies this, telling NPR that the group has been upfront with the government.

*Clarification after the jump.

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Market Tanks, We’re All Eating ‘Satan Sandwiches’

The markets have closed down sharply (the Dow by more than 500 points) due to fears about the global economy and a double-dip recession here in the U.S.

TIME says “Wall Street hates the debt deal,” but others have expressed their dislike of it as well. After Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) called it a “Satan sandwich,” our colleagues over at FishbowlNY asked a few people what would be on their personal “Satan sandwich.”

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Qorvis’ Corbett Launches Firm

Maura Corbett, who has worked with the D.C. firm Qorvis on technology policy and advocacy campaigns for 10 years, has launched her own firm, Glen Echo Group. According to a quote in a recent edition of Politico’s Morning Tech newsletter, the firm will specialize in “technology and energy public affairs, integrated communications and strategy, with a heavy dose of coalition building for good measure.”

Corbett has served as head of the SaveNetRadio coalition, opposing royalty fees for Web radio broadcasters, has represented Sprint and other telecom companies with the No Chokepoints Coalition, and been involved with other groups.

Midterm Election Lessons for the PR Industry, from the Industry

Following the results of the midterm election on Tuesday, politicians on both sides came away with their ideas (good and/or bad) about what’s important to voters and how they should govern moving forward.

One of the lessons highlighted during President Obama‘s press conference on Wednesday was the need to better communicate. We asked communicators in the public affairs arena what they thought the big takeaways from the election were for the PR industry. Their thoughts after the jump.

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Qorvis Adds Three Execs

Qorvis has added three executives to its ranks.

Michael Hillegass joins as managing director to pilot the firm’s new government contract business development. Jessica Bayer joins as senior director responsible for recruitment. And Rebecca Bou Chebel is now a director with the firm.  She has experience working in the Middle East including as a CNN producer and USAID public affairs officer.

According to the release announcing the hires, Qorvis Communications added 12 new hires total to its staff during the first half of the year.

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