Principals: Jon Silvan, CEO (pictured); Jefrey Pollock, president
Offices: New York; Washington, DC; Hartford, CT; and Los Angeles
In a year that saw Global Strategy Group – founded in 1994 as an opinion research firm with practices today in communications, research, and advocacy – recruit key talent and sharpen its marketing and sales strategies, revenues increased by a robust 62% over 2011.
Fifty-eight percent of that growth was from new business, including Comcast, Nestlé Waters North America, and Time Warner. “We've been quietly going up against the public affairs arms of the big agencies and winning business,” says CEO Jon Silvan. “That is why in the last year we have focused on raising our visibility. We want to make sure the marketplace knows who we are and our value proposition.”
Account losses included Kroll Bond Ratings, K2 Intelligence, United Way NYC, and the Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown.
Raising its profile
To help raise its profile, the firm hired its first VP of marketing and external relations, Marjorie McCarthy.
In the latter half of 2012, the agency debuted a new website, the previous update had come in 2008. To raise Global Strategy Group's visibility within the PR community, it also became a member of various industry organizations, including the Public Affairs Council and Council of PR Firms.
Of its four offices, New York reported the strongest revenue growth, up 59%, followed by Hartford at 47%. New revenue also came from a recommitted focus on its fledging Washington office, as well as its Los Angeles branch, which opened in late 2011.
To head the firm's DC unit, Jim Papa was recruited in mid-2012 as SVP and MD, strategy and operations. Papa was previously special assistant to President Barack Obama for legislative affairs in the White House. He replaces Jen Psaki, who became Obama's traveling press secretary.
In early 2013, the firm also hired as EVP and MD Bill Burton, cofounder and senior strategist at Priorities USA Action, a super PAC that worked to re-elect President Obama to a second term in office.
The firm's Los Angeles office is led by VP Jonathan Brown, previously at Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates. “We will be focusing on California in the coming years,” says Silvan. “The office has not been a real growth area as of yet, but the West Coast is fertile ground as it is an extraordinarily complicated regulatory region.”