The trend in Washington public affairs is toward a more integrated offering, with PR firms buying lobbying boutiques and issues advertising agencies and powerful law firms opening their own public affairs operations, but Smith & Harroff has offered precisely the same mix of services in a boutique environment since its foundation in 1973, helping corporations and associations address serious public policy issues and working with political candidates to keep their campaign instincts well-honed.
In 2000, the firm expanded its capabilities through a partnership with J. LeBlanc International, a specialist in technology communications. Seeking to take advantage of the growing technology sector in northern Virginia, the two firms are offering communications services to tech clients, and have already added an interesting selection of accounts including Price Compare Technologies, GlobeTech 2000 and Westinghouse Government Services, as well as HappyLawyers.com, an executive recruitment firm using the two agencies for website design.
S&H also continues to pick up business in its traditional areas of expertise, particularly the environmental sector. Early in the year it added the Consumer Aerosol Products Council (CAPCO) account, previously at Ketchum, and other wins included Constellation Nuclear Services, for marketing communications and advertising support. S&H continues to work for longtime (20 years-plus) clients such as the Aluminum Company of Canada (Alcan) on issues including a possible link between the metal and Alzheimer’s disease, and the Nuclear Energy Institute.