Key Obama aides Gibbs, LaBolt launch strategy shop

WASHINGTON: Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is teaming up with former Obama for America national press secretary Ben LaBolt to launch a strategic communications firm called The Incite Agency.

WASHINGTON: Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is teaming up with former Obama for America national press secretary Ben LaBolt to launch a strategic communications firm called The Incite Agency.

The shop will offer services such as message and brand development, strategy and planning, media relations, crisis communications, and social and digital engagement. It will work with companies across a range of industries.

To give clients access to a comprehensive mix of services, The Incite Agency will work with New Partners, an organization made up of former advisers to President Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates.

The firm offers services similar to those of Incite, as well as strategic positioning, general consulting, political research, direct contact and analytics, grassroots organizing, finance, and development. As part of the agreement, Gibbs will also serve as a partner at New Partners.  

Incite's goal is to take experiences from the scenarios faced by Obama and his administration and share that expertise with corporations and other organizations trying to navigate the current communications environment, LaBolt said.

He added that he chose to co-found Incite with Gibbs instead of joining a major PR agency because he wanted to have one-on-one access to clients on a regular basis.

“We want to get in the trenches with our clients and solve the issues they're dealing with and think through strategy,” LaBolt said. “We're used to being the people at the table solving the problems.”

Last month, key Obama for America campaign advisers Stephanie Cutter, Jen O'Malley Dillon, and Teddy Goff announced plans to launch a strategic consultancy called Precision. Other Obama campaign alumni were also set to join the firm.  

It is understood that Gibbs was once in talks with holding company Next Fifteen as a potential partner on an agency launch, but those plans fell through. Next Fifteen CEO Tim Dyson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.

Gibbs served as White House press secretary from Obama's first inauguration in January 2009 to February 2011. He also helped to develop Obama's communications strategy during his successful 2004 Senate run and both presidential campaigns. He has also worked as a contributor to cable news channel MSNBC since February.

LaBolt served as National Press Secretary for the 2012 Obama for America re-election campaign as part of six years as an Obama spokesman. He has also worked for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, US Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and US Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

Adam Fetcher will be MD of Incite. He worked as deputy national press secretary on the president's reelection campaign and also had stints as press secretary for the Department of the Interior and a press officer for the Department of Homeland Security.

He said Incite will give him “the chance to be a part of an agency that truly embodies a hands-on approach.”

“We're going to be working with a diverse group of clients, helping them understand and confront the challenges of connecting with an audience,” Fetcher added.

All three will be based in Washington. Gibbs was not available for comment before press time.

This story was updated on June 13 to correct the spelling of Fetcher's name.

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