Stanton Adds Imus, Expands Public Affairs Practice
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Stanton Adds Imus, Expands Public Affairs Practice

With the addition of 20-year public affairs veteran Catherine Imus to its staff, Stanton is finally joining the Washington mainstream, formalizing its public affairs practice.

Paul Holmes

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 3—Stanton Communications has always been an exception to the unwritten rule of the Washington, D.C., public relations marketplace, a generalist firm that elected not to focus on the plentiful public affairs business in the nation’s capital, instead providing marketing communications and crisis management advice to a broad array of corporate and not-for-profit clients.
While it has always offered public affairs services, including strategic planning, grassroots mobilization, coalition building, and legislative monitoring and tracking, it has never formalized its public affairs practice—until now. But with the addition of 20-year public affairs veteran Catherine Imus to its staff, Stanton is finally joining the Washington mainstream.
According to agency founder and president Peter Stanton, “We have always been an odd duck in Washington. We have never been the traditional issues shop, populated by bright stars who came out of the administration or off the Hill. We have always handled our share of high-profile work, from mining and water quality issues to Internet issues, but only about 50 to 10 percent of our business could be defined as traditional public affairs work.”
Stanton is hoping that will change with the appointment of seasoned public affairs professional Imus to lead the practice. Prior to joining Stanton, she served as executive director for the Professional Pest Management Association, where she lead a national consumer education and industry awareness campaign designed to enhance the public perception of the industry. 
Previously, she directed communications for the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association where she served as industry spokesperson on issues related to products, health, safety, and environmental preservation. And her prior experience includes five years at Ketchum, and a position as a lobbyist for Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
Stanton has public affairs experience himself, having spent nine years in the Washington office of Manning Selvage & Lee before launching his own firm in 1989. But while he expects the public affairs group to grow, he has no intention of getting out of other lines of business. “One of the thing I enjoy is that the client mix is very diversified. We have a strong technology practice, a strong corporate practice, and our Baltimore office represents a lot of non-profits and a lot of public-private partnerships.”
Highlights of the firm’s previous work includes coordination of media arrangements for Pope John Paul II’s visit to the United States in 1995, publicity support for the National Federation of the Blind and Eric Weihenmayer successful bid to become the first blind man to reach the summit of Mount Everest; and the creation of comprehensive communications plans for SkyDome in Toronto, the world’s first retractable roof arena.
Imus says she was attracted to the firm in part because of its diversified client list, and in part because of the opportunity to be directly involved in client business. “I enjoy working with clients on a day-to-day basis, and my experience on the agency side and as a client myself has taught me that’s easier to do in a smaller agency,” she says.
The firm also announced the addition of three new clients to its technology practice, including Grotech Capital Group, a Baltimore-based venture capital firm; U.K.-based Global Switch, a leading international carrier-neutral colocation company; and Condor Technology Solutions, a provider of diverse, technology-based services.
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