WASHINGTON, D.C.—Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide has formed a strategic alliance with public policy specialist Dutko Group to handle public affairs and government relations business. Between them the two firms have almost 200 people in Washington, where Ogilvy has always been as well known for its social marketing activity as its public affairs work.
Robert Mathias, managing director of Ogilvy PR’s 130-person Washington office, and Mark Irion, the president of DGC, say the two firms will combine resources and contacts to generate business in key public policy arenas including healthcare, national and homeland security, energy, and the environment. In addition to its 55-person Washington office, Dutko has offices in Boston and Denver.
“The partnership fulfills a goal of the entire Ogilvy PR network to provide our clients with access to top level lobbying and direct government relations expertise at both the national and state levels,” says Ogilvy CEO Marcia Silverman. “We will now have complete access to one of the most respected and influential federal and state government affairs firms in the U.S. This is good for our clients, good for our people and good for our business.”
Irion says Dutko clients will now have access to a public affairs network capable of shaping the debate in the global policy arena, citing Ogilvy offices in Brussels, Beijing, and Sacramento.
“DGC’s clients will benefit enormously from Ogilvy PR’s on-the-ground expertise in media relations, third-party ally development, coalition building, issue advertising and other communications disciplines,” says Irion. “We’re forging a completely integrated, comprehensive government-public affairs capability.”
The Dutko Group, which specializes in federal lobbying, has been ranked in the top ten of Fortune magazine’s power ratings of Washington government affairs firms. The group also includes the firm Kaufman Pattee Branstad & Miller (K*N*P), which specializes in state-based government affairs and partnership building with governors.
As part of the new alliance, Ogilvy’s public affairs practice will absorb executives and clients from the DCS Group, DGC’s communications boutique. Among those moving to Ogilvy PR are senior vice president Chris Fillip, a health policy expert; senior vice president Timothy Gay, a business development specialist; and vice president Joe Wagner, a cultural affairs and non-profit specialist. Ogilvy will also add clients including Berlex, the Carpet & Rug Institute, the American Public Works Association, the Eckerd Corporation, and Birthright Israel.
Gay, who in 1990-91 functioned as director of business development and marketing for Ogilvy PR’s public affairs practice, will serve as liaison between the two companies.