WASHINGTON, DC: Shandwick has finally unveiled the first phase of its ’1,000-day plan,’ introducing a new global public affairs group to be based in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC: Shandwick has finally unveiled the first phase of
its ’1,000-day plan,’ introducing a new global public affairs group to
be based in Washington, DC.
The plan, set up last fall by US CEO Michael Petruzzello, is designed to
double the size of the Shandwick network in the next three years - an
ambitious task, given that the agency’s network already encompasses more
than 100 cities in 54 countries.
Upping the firm’s public affairs practice to the global level was
expected once Shandwick had acquired The Cassidy Companies, a
conglomerate of DC government and public affairs firms (PRWeek, Sept.
27, 1999). Suddenly, Shandwick zoomed from being a significant but not
dominant player on the Washington PR scene to far and away the region’s
largest firm. Estimates of the price Shandwick paid for Cassidy’s
holdings have started at dollars 70 million.
Based in London, Shandwick is the only one of the top DC public affairs
shops that boasts roots outside of the US. This, according to
Petruzzello, imbues the agency with an advantage in its ability to deal
sensitively with different political cultures.
Asked to explain the boom in the public affairs sector, Petruzzello
cited the increased power of international bodies such as the World
Trade Organization and the World Health Organization. Groups like these,
he explained, not only wield extensive power in their respective
sectors, but also in the realm of international mergers and the ongoing
globalization of commerce.
Colin Byrne, chief executive of London-based Shandwick Public Affairs,
said that most public affairs firms have no more than alliances with
firms in other influential cities. If Shandwick’s global public affairs
model truly succeeds, it should be able to provide greater coordination
and consistency in executing international campaigns.
Petruzzello and Washington CEO Gerald Cassidy will be visiting with
agency personnel in London and Brussels at the end of the month, and
will travel to Asia later in the year.