Principal: Kimberley Fritts, CEO
Office: Washington, DC
2011 Revenue: $4,769,716
2011 Headcount: 12
The Podesta Group has gotten used to its PR practice growing in revenue in recent years and 2011 was no exception. US revenue rose from $3,183,254 to $4,769,716 last year – the third consecutive year PR revenue increased. Podesta is also a government relations firm.
The company credits the streak to a talented roster of communicators. For instance, a number of foreign nations have turned to the firm for PR assistance after John Ward Anderson joined as a principal to run Podesta's international PR business. Before coming to the firm, Anderson worked at The Washington Post, where over the course of 16 years he served as a bureau chief in New Delhi, Mexico City, Istanbul, Jerusalem, and Paris.
New clients for the practice include Georgia, Kosovo, Albania, and India. “A lot of times what they are interested in is making sure their messaging is heard in DC,” says Missi Tessier, a principal who oversees the company's PR practice. “Clients are also interested in connecting with top editors and reporters to make sure they are well educated,” says Tessier.
To further strengthen this work, the firm hired Kevin Griffis, former senior adviser to the chief of staff and former director of public affairs for the US Department of Commerce, as a principal. He joined the firm in March 2012. The firm felt he would be an asset for its international clients, as well as domestic clients.
“In short, reporters know him and policymakers trust him,” Podesta Group CEO Kimberley Fritts said when announcing his hire. There are now 14 PR practitioners at the firm, up from 12 in 2011.
On the US front, the company has also seen increased work from clients including We are Golf. The firm has worked to get the word out to lawmakers about the important economic contributions the golf industry makes to communities around the country. The coalition was concerned about legislators excluding golf courses from stimulus money set aside for disaster relief.
“We've been able to change the dialogue through events and digital media strategy,” says Tessier. “We showed [golf] was more than a game, it plays an important role in the health of the nation's economy.”