Principals: Jon Silvan, CEO and Jefrey Pollock, president
Offices: New York; Washington, DC; Hartford, CT; and Los Angeles
Global Strategy Group might be gearing up for the 2016 presidential race, but hasn’t relaxed efforts to assert itself in the non-political sphere, adding clients including Airbnb and Microsoft in 2014.
CEO Jon Silvan says external relations played an important role last year as the firm worked to boost visibility and brand awareness beyond being known as a political shop.
Revenue for 2014 was $32.4 million, almost a 30% increase over 2013. The agency’s Washington, DC, office alone increased its revenue by 44%, adding to its clientele the likes of GlobalFoundries, Food Policy Action, and a confidential aerospace company.
The firm’s research practice saw a 37% increase year over year, picking up work for Microsoft, American Council On Renewable Energy, and The Colorado Health Foundation. Work with clients such as Comcast, ESPN, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Google, also helped boost the practice with new opportunities.
The agency had a hand in successful 2014 campaigns for Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as well as congressional races in Arizona, New York, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Losses included Fishermen’s Energy, and Sanctuary for Families.
In 2015, Silvan says the firm’s biggest hurdle remains identifying the right hires.
"We won’t bring somebody in just because they have got great experience, they’re ambitious, or super smart," he adds. "They’ve got to be all those things and fit within our corporate culture, which is a key driver of our success and one we’re very proud of."
In 2014, the firm added long-time political reporter and Bloomberg administration alum Andrew Kirtzman, Shannon Susko, and Kate Hansen – all as VPs of communications, and Alex Flores as VP, digital communications. Earlier this year, the firm added Matt Canter as an SVP in its DC office. VP of public affairs Rick Fromberg exited and EVP and MD Bill Burton left to serve as MD in SKDKnickerbocker’s Los Angeles office.
"We’re going to make a big investment in analytics, continue to work hard to recruit talent, particularly in the corporate comms area, and invest and grow our brand and reputation so the corporate marketplace recognizes us as broadly as the political sector," says Silvan, who adds he’s "cautiously optimistic" for growth in 2015.
Despite 2015 being a "down year" because of a dearth of elections and campaigns, non-political work should continue to grow.
"We’ll see small growth in 2015," he says, "but when we hit 2016 and the political cycle kicks in, we will have an enormous year."