SAN FRANCISCO: Crisis agency Greenbrier is launching a "proactive" PR business with the hiring of Vanessa Lindlaw.
She joined The Messina Group agency in May as a partner based in San Francisco and reports to CEO Jim Messina. Lindlaw is responsible for rolling out Greenbrier’s "PR|AD" practice, which fuses together PR and advertising.
"Building off of the success of our crisis work, Greenbrier is now expanding to offer its clients proactive PR," said partner Matt McKenna.
The practice aims to help companies have data-driven conversations with target audiences, Lindlaw explained.
"Because of the juxtaposition of shrinking media and exploding social and digital, companies need someone to help them navigate through that landscape," she explained.
Further, Lindlaw indicated there was some interest from existing clients who previously tapped Greenbrier for crisis work.
"Typically, we’ve come in on a project basis to help clients around a specific event and we help support them through that event," Lindlaw said. "But we’ve also set up relationships as retainers. It just goes back to what the clients’ needs are."
Greenbrier’s roots are in tech and consumer sectors. Its active client roster includes Lyft, Strava, Blockchain, VIPKid and Lime. The firm has also done work for Instacart, Patagonia and the NFL in the past.
In 2018, Greenbrier sold itself to The Messina Group, led by CEO Jim Messina, who was campaign manager for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election bid and served as deputy chief of staff at the White House. Lindlaw explained that The Messina Group gives Greenbrier access to a broad set of resources, including research, analytics and digital.
Most recently, Lindlaw was a senior PR consultant for Climb PR. Before that, she spent nearly five years as a VP at Edelman. Her accounts there included Uber, Chevron, Adobe and SAP, according to her LinkedIn profile. Earlier in her career, at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, she worked at the firm’s San Francisco corporate and public affairs practice and as a sustainability adviser on HP’s PR team.
In addition, Lindlaw worked at Solem & Associates and Fox News, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Greenbrier has political DNA in its leadership. McKenna advised the Clintons for almost a decade and is currently advising Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Partner Lane Kasselman was a national advance lead for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. Both McKenna and Kasselman served at Uber as high-ranking comms executives.