Husch Blackwell Strategies (HBS) announced this week via a press release that the company has launched a public affairs consultancy that will operate within the firm, known as HBS Public Affairs. HBS also announced who will be leading the new HBS Public Affairs.
Marianna Deal will be Chair of HBS Public Affairs and Kirsty McDonald will serve as President.
Deal is no stranger to politics. In 2019, she was hired as communications director for then-Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. She followed his office when Schmitt became a U.S. Senator and became an advisor. Before politics, Deal worked for the St. Louis-based public relations agency FleishmanHillard for 28 years, working with companies like Anheuser Busch, Energizer Holdings, BP, Monsanto, Procter and Gamble, Bayer Crop Science, Bridgestone Firestone, and Enterprise Holdings.
“In today’s stakeholder economy, organizations are challenged with building and protecting their reputation and advancing their business strategy, while meeting the needs of key audiences, ranging from lawmakers and regulators, to customers, shareholders, suppliers, employees, and local communities. Our integrated model means we have the in-house capabilities to reach every one of those audiences and help our clients to reach their business goals,” Marianna said.
McDonald also has over 20 years of experience in various fields, like crisis and issues management, executive positioning, employee communications, litigation support, and high-profile transactions for multiple companies including Cigna, Centene Corporation, Peabody Energy, and EY.
“We recognize that real change takes place at the intersection of policy and public opinion. By offering our clients a suite of services that includes strategic communications, government relations and executive-level counsel, we’re positioned to help them solve their most complex problems,” McDonald said.
The creation of HBS Public Affairs is the latest move the firm has made to expand. Last Year, HBS added former Missouri Senator Roy Blunt to their firm. Two new principals were also added to the Jefferson City Office.
Earlier this month, HBS announced that Andy Blunt would be the new CEO. HBS Public Affairs has been one of the first additions to the company since Blunt took over.
“In an increasingly complex environment, clear communication is critical. Our clients will now benefit from a truly comprehensive approach to their needs and the clarity of a 360-degree strategic advantage,” Blunt said.
According to their release, HBs said that HBS Public Affairs will offer clients “Crisis and Issues Communications; Change Communications; Corporate and Executive Positioning; Employee Engagement; Sustainability and ESG; and Transaction Communications”.