Levick adds lobbying unit with Dow Lohnes deal

Crisis communications firm Levick is moving into the lobbying space, bringing on Washington, DC-based Dow Lohnes Government Strategies, led by SVP Rick Kessler.

WASHINGTON: Crisis communications firm Levick is moving into the lobbying space, bringing on Washington, DC-based Dow Lohnes Government Strategies, led by SVP Rick Kessler.

As a result, the firm will integrate direct advocacy into its digital and traditional communications campaigns.

The agency's goal is to enable clients to educate decision makers and shape their constituents' understanding of public policy matters.

Until November, Dow Lohnes Government Strategies was a subsidiary of law firm Dow Lohnes. However, it was left out of the deal when its parent merged with Silicon Valley law firm Cooley.

Levick has appointed Michael Scrivner as SVP, and Jessica Lenard and Pete Leon have been named VPs, reporting to Kessler, who in turn is reporting to Levick president Mark Irion.

Before becoming president and partner at DLGS, Kessler held various government roles, including chief of staff to Rep. John Dingell (D-MI).

It is expected that most Dow Lohnes clients will move to Levick. The firm started talking to clients on Monday about the expanded offering.

“Plenty of PR firms that buy a lobbying group make it a siloed entity. But what was really different from the outset was that [Levick] wanted it to be integrated,” said Kessler. “Across the board, lobbying and government relations revenues are down, so you've got to offer something different, more effective, and greater. We had a great platform before, but this feels more synergistic and energizing.”

He said all four members of the lobbying team will register with the federal government.

Kessler explained that the goal of the deal is not to sell clients different services, but rather to get their messages heard.

“The separation right now is more of a hindrance, so what we are doing here is something wholly other and exciting,” he said.

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