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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Feb. 27, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 9 (download PDF version)

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FTI Consulting reported fourth quarter 2011 revenues rose 9.7% to $390.7M over 2010 on the strength of economic, forensic/litigation and technology consulting, while its strategic communications business fell one percent to $49.2M.

Overall net income at FTI for Q4 rose $39.9M, while operating income for its PR division hit $19M, up from $11.6M in 2010.

CEO Jack Dunn said FTI saw higher retainer business in strategic communications which was offset by a decrease in reimbursable expense work. Overall, he said the segment looks “very positive” on European M&A and North American improvement in cyclical deals and restructurings, despite tough credit markets.

FTI, which retired the FD name for its PR unit in September as it brought all of its segments under the FTI banner, worked the MF Global bankruptcy among its assignments in Q4.

For the year, overall revenues rose 11.8% to $1.6B as net income hit $103.9M. Strategic communications passed $200M, up from $193M in 2010. Staff level in the unit for 2011 was 582, essentially flat from 2010.


MSL Washington has added former Missouri Republican Congressman Kenny Hulshof as senior advisor for its public affairs practice.


The six-termer was a member of the Ways and Means Committee, where he tackled healthcare, energy and trade issues. He mounted an unsuccessful bid for governor of Missouri in 2008.

Jim Tsokanos, president of MSLGroup Americas, called Hulshof a “master tactician and experienced policy maker.”

Prior to his Capitol Hill duty, Hulshof was special prosecutor in Missouri’s attorney general office.

At MSL, he reports to Neil Dhillon, managing director/Washington. Hulshof will remain a shareholder at Polsinelli Shughart, which is based in Kansas City.

At MSL, Hulshof “looks forward to helping educate companies and organizations across America and around the globe about the new political realities in Washington,” according to his statement.


Edelman has acquired Vietnam’s AVC Communications, the 12-year-old firm with 35 staffers.

In announcing the deal, Richard Edelman noted that clients are “pounding at our door” for PR support in the world’s 13th most populous country blessed with a rapidly expanding middle-class market.

Vietnam’s economy is expected to advance more than five percent this year. PR will outpace that growth as multinationals shift budgets from pure-play advertising to a mix that includes PR and social media.

AVC serves consumer electronics, technology, energy and healthcare. It becomes AVC Edelman and part of the independent firm’s southeast Asia group, which has more than 300 staffers, following government approval of the transaction.


South Korea has retained The Nickels Group for a $200K, one-year legislative strategy and political outreach contract.

The firm joins Finn Partners, which recently inked a $480K business advocacy pact, on the payroll of Korea’s

D.C. embassy. TNG is headed by Don Nickles, the former 24-year Republican Senator from Oklahoma.

He works the account with Cindi Tripodi, former VP-congressional affairs at the Motion Picture Assn. of America under Jack Valenti; Doug Bader, deputy assistant for legislative affairs in the George W. Bush White House; Jeff Choudhry, ex-aide to Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, and Hazen Marshall, who was top aide for Nickles on the Senate budget and finance committees.

The U.S. and South Korea have signed a free trade act, but that pact has become a divisive issue in Korea’s current political season.


Tita Freeman, who left the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to build up the National Retail Federation's public affairs unit last spring, is returning to the Business Roundtable to head communications for the group she earlier served as communications director.


Freeman is slated to re-join BRT on March 12 as senior VP/comms. The group includes CEOs of U.S. companies that claim nearly half of U.S. R&D spending and 14M employees. Ten-year BRT veteran Ellen Davis is VP/comms. for the group.

BRT president John Engler praised Freeman as an “extraordinary asset” as the group pushes for policies “that promote U.S. competitiveness, economic growth and job creation.”

Joanna Schneider, executive director of external relations for the BRT, left for Burson-Marsteller in late 2011.

Earlier stints included APCO Worldwide and Lexis Nexis.

She also started the DC Communicators Group of trade and group communications pros in the capital.


The association of state treasurers which administers 529 college tuition savings plans is reviewing its PR account with an open RFP through late March.

The College Plan Savings Network, run by the National Association of State Treasurers, seeks a two-year engagement with a PR firm with the potential for a two-year extension.

The assignment includes promoting the CPSN as the official and objective source of information on 529 plans. Media relations, digital, reputation/branding, and dissemination of info are all covered under the scope of work.

Columbus, Ohio-based Fahlgren Mortine PR is the incumbent. It won the account in 2010 after a review.

Budget is $100K per year.

Deadline is March 30. View the RFP:

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