H&K set to tackle hi-tech with new Virginia outpost

WASHINGTON, DC: Hill & Knowlton became the first top 10 agency to plant its flag in northern Virginia last week, a move that may well herald the coming of other multinationals.

WASHINGTON, DC: Hill & Knowlton became the first top 10 agency to plant its flag in northern Virginia last week, a move that may well herald the coming of other multinationals.

WASHINGTON, DC: Hill & Knowlton became the first top 10 agency to

plant its flag in northern Virginia last week, a move that may well

herald the coming of other multinationals.



H&K’s newest outpost opened last Wednesday. New tech practice director

Michael Causey, who recently joined the firm following a stint as group

VP at Powell Tate (PRWeek, Feb. 28), will be among the office’s

leaders.



Noting that definitions of what constitutes ’hi-tech’ tend to be overly

broad, H&K DC general manager Torie Clarke said that the opening in

northern Virginia signifies that H&K is moving beyond its traditional

public affairs and healthcare base. Hi-tech represents an estimated 20%

of the revenue posted this year by the DC office - up from a mere 5%

last year.



Clarke and Causey believe northern Virginia’s hi-tech community is very

separate and distinct from the DC PR scene and should be treated as

such.



The firm also hopes the move will help bridge the gap between H&K’s

offerings for fledgling tech start-ups and the firm’s public affairs

services that the heretofore unpolitical hi-tech community is starting

to realize it needs.



Among those on H&K’s DC roster is the National Cable Television

Association, which is concerned about Internet access issues. But other

DC clients include the kind of hi-tech companies that are propelling the

region’s economic growth, such as the McLean, VA-based MainControl, a

computer software firm, and the American Mobile Satellite Corp. (Reston,

VA).



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