WASHINGTON: Edelman has boosted its grassroots capabilities with the recent addition of Brian Lunde, George Burger, and the four-person staff from their now-defunct agency Lunde & Burger.
That firm, established in 1988, became a part of Weber Shandwick's DC public affairs team in the late '90s. Now, with the departure of its principals, WS will retire the name and launch a new grassroots initiative called the Powell Tate Constituent Action Network.
"In the post-McCain/Feingold world, the role of person-to-person politics is more important than ever," said Leslie Dach, Edelman's vice chairman.
"Any effective campaign must now involve local grassroots and grasstops. We wanted to have the best-in-class practice."
Jody Powell, founder of WS' public affairs flagship Powell Tate, described his firm's new venture as "a truly integrated offering, with coalition-building and alliance development, as well as grassroots and grasstops communications."