WASHINGTON: A handful of former Powell Tate (PT) executives, including one of its founders, is going back to the drawing board, launching a new public affairs firm with the intention of keeping it small.
Prism Public Affairs, opening its doors this month, consists of PT founder Dale Leibach, former COO Donald Foley, and former VP Amanda Deaver, daughter of Edelman's one-time Reagan handler Michael Deaver. They list their specialties as crisis and litigation communications, and public policy.
Leibach compared his new venture to the 1991 launch of PT, a highly regarded shop that has seen three mergers since 1998. The firm is now owned by Weber Shandwick, and is in the final stages of incorporating BSMG's Washington, DC operation.
"There used to be a mom-and-pop quality about Powell Tate, but it went from zero to 40 in its first month," he said, adding that he wants Prism to focus on "senior-level client service. Don and I think 10-15 people is about as big as we want to get."
As for starting a new venture in a down economy, Leibach stressed that Prism has already won some big clients, and that PT met with great success having launched in a similar market.