DKC (formerly Dan Klores Communications) was initially best known for its formidable media relations capabilities and its connections and influences in the entertainment realm. While the firm has divested itself of some small budget entertainment clients, those media capabilities still formidable—few firms have better access—but over the past few years DKC has also established itself as one of the biggest and best independent brand marketing and public relations firms in the country, providing an impressive roster of corporate clients with the kind of strategic marketing counsel that translates media coverage into brand and business results. Additional services include corporate communications, corporate social responsibility, public affairs, and more recently digital and social media and government relations. And the firm has expertise across multiple sectors including consumer products; entertainment, music and fashion; government, not-for-profit, and education; healthcare; hospitality and lifestyle; and sports.
DKC’s client list is among the most impressive of any midsize firm, with long-term relationships including Delta Air Lines, Kraft, Yahoo, Atari, Jim Beam Brands, Harrahs Resorts, Citi, Bank of Montreal, New Balance, HBO, NBC Universal, GNC, Liberty Mutual, Madison Square Garden, Starwood, Discovery Networks, The Hollywood Reporter, Con Edison, and Leann Rimes. New additions in 2009 included Yahoo, Jim Beam, filmmaker Edward Burns, the World Science Festival, Liberty Mutual, Teen Vogue, and Time Warner Cable, while both Delta and Kraft grew their business with the firm.
Billings in 2009 were around $22 million—flat during a difficult year, but robust enough to earn the firm a place among the top 10 independents in the U.S.—and DKC now employs more than 120 people. There was growth in the consumer products category, in the technology sector, and in travel and hospitality business, and DKC added two new practices: DKC Connect, which focuses on social networking, and DKC Government Affairs, which will offer government relations and other strategic services in both the Manhattan headquarters and the state capital of Albany.
Interesting work ranged from communica-tions efforts for Delta Air Lines during the redevelopment of JFK’s Terminal Four to marketing support for Hornitos Tequila to helping with the re-launch of the Hollywood Reporter. “DKC continually creates new ways for us to connect with our current customers as well as target new audiences,” says Gail Grimmett of Delta Air Lines. “They are creative in promoting our service and our products and have been instrumental at driving incremental value to our business. They understand our industry and they understand the competition we face, enabling our strategies to stay one step ahead of our competitors.”
The firm has also continued to strengthen its management team, which in addition to founder and chairman/CEO Dan Klores and president Sean Cassidy now includes seven managing directors: John Marino, who also serves as managing partner; Matthew Traub, chief of staff; Joe DePlasco, a leader in the corporate and public affairs practices; Diane Briskin (hospitality and lifestyle); William Cunningham, a former aide to Mayor Mike Bloomberg; and Scott Miranda, head of DKC sports; Jeffrey Klein, who joined from the New York office of Bender/Helper Impact; and Allison Lee—a 25-year veteran of local, state and federal government and former partner at Patricia Lynch Associates—who joined in January of 2009 to lead the government affairs group.