From PRWeek “Rasky Baerlein, Prism merge into $15m firm” January 30, 2014

From PRWeek “Rasky Baerlein, Prism merge into $15m firm” January 30, 2014
By Laura Nichols

WASHINGTON: Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications and Prism Public Affairs said Thursday that they are merging.

The combined firm will have operations in Washington, DC, and Boston with a team of 55. Combined revenue for 2013 was approximately $15 million, the firms said in a statement. Rasky Baerlein earned revenue of $10.3 million in 2012, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report.

“New England clients and national clients see the importance of DC to their business,” said Joe Baerlein, president of Rasky Baerlein. “While we had a presence in Washington, this more than doubles our size. With Prism, we get a number of senior-level strategists who have skills like us, and we also get some depth and experience where we are not as deep.”

The merged agency will ultimately be known as Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, however it will operate in Washington as Rasky Baerlein|Prism during a transition period. For that time, it will be managed by the senior team of principal and co-founder of Prism public affairs Dale Leibach; Prism co-founder and MD Amanda Deaver; and Rasky Baerlein SVP David Tamasi.

Prism partners Leibach, Deaver, and Rex Granum will become partners at Rasky Baerlein, joining Baerlein, Ann Carter, and Larry Rasky. The firm named George Cronin, Justine Griffin, and Jim Cabot as MDs and shareholders earlier this month.

The combined shop will have an expanded suite of services, adding Rasky Baerlein’s reputation management, corporate communications, and bipartisan government relations capabilities to Prism’s public affairs, crisis, and litigation communications experience, the firms said in a statement.

The agency’s executives also have experience in financial services, energy, healthcare, life sciences, higher education, defense, technology, and telecommunications, as well as the political, legislative, and regulatory landscape.

“We recognize that there is a demand and a value for independent, flexible, nimble, creative public affairs [firms] that put custom teams together. It’s the independent factor for some clients that can be very important, and we now have a broader and deeper bench so we can be competitive on some bigger projects and remain independent,” said Deaver. “With a bigger team, that may enable us to do things in more breadth and depth with existing clients and go after some future clients.”

This story was updated on January 30 with comment from Deaver and Baerlein.

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