Ricochet Public Relations Opens Washington, D.C. Office

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Pioneering Media Relations Firm Brings Unique Expertise to the Beltway

Although there are many PR firms in Washington that promote themselves as media relations experts, we noticed an extraordinary gap in the marketplace

Ricochet Public Relations, Inc., a full-service PR firm exclusively serving healthcare, technology and industrial clients, today announced that it has opened a Washington, D.C. office, bringing its unique media relations approach and public policy expertise to the Beltway. Banks Willis, a ten-year legislative and corporate communications veteran who spent six years at General Electric Company after serving as a staffer for former Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) on the Armed Services Committee, will head the new practice.

"Although there are many PR firms in Washington that promote themselves as media relations experts, we noticed an extraordinary gap in the marketplace," said Josh Silverman, CEO of Ricochet. "We're offering our clients a smarter, more effective approach to influencing public policy in Washington via strategic media relations."

Situated strategically at 18th and K, Ricochet's Washington office will help clients achieve the awareness of policy makers and media to convey their message in a favorable light. Ricochet offers the experience and attention clients should expect from a boutique public affairs and media relations firm that offers services including issues management, legislative communications support, crisis communications, coalition building and media results.

Launched in 2000 in New York City, Ricochet has a full-time staff of 35 professionals. In its relatively short existence, Ricochet has made a name for itself by pioneering a new business model in the PR industry, one that has attracted some of America's largest companies. In a first for the global PR industry, new employees at Ricochet are placed in one of three practice areas - Technology, Health Care, or Industry - and are required to become experts in the fields in which they work through the Ricochet Publicist Certification Programâ„¢.

Once in the program, new publicists devote between four and six months to studying the trends, innovations, and issues relevant to that particular field. Publicists are tested through graded discussions, exams and papers before becoming certified to work for Ricochet clients. The Washington office adds another dimension to the testing program that will include public policy, public affairs and government training. Additionally, Ricochet publicists are taught a unique approach to media relations that targets journalists not based on relationships or online databases, but rather through reading and studying the reporter's work prior to outreach. It is this level of expertise that separates Ricochet PR from all other firms.

"I joined this agency because they are changing the way PR is being done," said Willis who got her start in public policy as an intern in the South Carolina House of Representatives under now-Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). "When it comes to Washington, PR professionals must have an extraordinary depth of knowledge that spans government, business and interest groups while maintaining a deep understanding of D.C.'s unique media market. Our agency's testing program creates publicists that are optimized to successfully serve our clients from both a media and policy perspective."

Contact: Emily Flynn 202-263-2920

About Ricochet Public Relations:
Based in New York City, Ricochet is a mid-size, full-service PR firm which works in three practice areas: Technology, Healthcare and Industry. Among others, current clients include Volcano Therapeutics, Platform Computing, Sigma-Aldrich, Waste Management, CellPoint, Environmental Power Corporation and Ecovation. With a broad reputation for media relations, Ricochet is the only PR firm in the world that requires all new publicists to the company to be experts in the fields in which they work. Publicists in each of Ricochet's three groups study the history, core technologies and ongoing innovations of their respective practice areas for a period of four to six months ─ passing two written examinations each week ─ before being "certified" to represent Ricochet clients working in these areas. For developing this innovative business model, and successfully introducing it to a growing audience of Fortune 500 companies, PR Week named Todd Aydelotte, Ricochet's Founder and President, a finalist for its 2007 PR Professional of the Year Award.

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Emily Flynn


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