CLEVELAND, July 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Falls Communications, one of the largest full-service, strategic communications and investor relations firms in the Midwest, announced it will add Government and Public Affairs to its extensive service offerings at its headquarters office in Cleveland and will also expand into Washington. The announcement was made by Rob Falls, president and CEO of Falls Communications.
Maureen Harper will lead the Cleveland Government and Public Affairs Group. Harper, who will join the firm in mid-July as a vice president, offers nearly 16 years of public sector experience. This decisive move increases the firm's ability to help clients successfully navigate through public policy issues, increase civic engagement and better connect with their constituencies in the fast-paced digital communications world.
"The need for strong, effective civic engagement and effective public policy communications has never been greater, as evidenced by the rapid movement of information across social-sharing networks and through traditional media," said Falls. "We will help elected officials, administrators, governing boards and companies engaged in public affairs by offering communications and engagement strategies rooted in how governments work, with a focus on the needs of the residents and community stakeholders."
The Cleveland Government and Public Affairs Practice will offer a top-notch team for clients and prospects, provide a deep understanding of how government agencies operate and help clients navigate challenges of creating and implementing effective public policy. The team also will demonstrate how to share that work and engage with constituents effectively.
Harper's long-term senior-level service in Cleveland's public sector and her work with local, regional and national media will provide outstanding context and relationships for Falls' clients in tandem with the firm's existing crisis management, issues management and strategic communications offerings.
"In today's public affairs world, citizens want to be engaged. Stakeholders expect to have a tangible impact on what happens in their communities," said Harper. "The most successful government initiatives, public sector campaigns and private sector public outreach efforts understand this and embrace it. This is the work that we will do to help our clients accomplish their goals."
At the same time, the firm announces its new Washington office at 555 12th Street NW, Suite 630B. Tom Medaglia, an experienced Washington insider, will head this new office as its president. Medaglia, who has the depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise on Capitol Hill and with many government agencies, will help companies understand and work within the federal maze.
"There is a distinct opportunity to expand our current communications expertise into the area of advocacy communication, and a Washington presence is critical," Falls said. "Government actions impact the daily operations of businesses, and government affairs and lobbying are playing a more critical part of how businesses today operate.
"And we are very fortunate to have someone of Tom's caliber to serve as the president of our new Washington office," Falls said. "He has extensive experience working with the federal government for a wide-range of industries, especially in the areas of energy, transportation, general manufacturing, banking and professional services, technology and health care."
Medaglia also will continue in his role as principal of Thomas Advisors, a lobbying and consulting professional services firm with a long history in Washington. This is an optimum working arrangement, said Falls. If lobbying is required, it will be conducted by Thomas Advisors.
"I am excited about the opportunity to provide this professional offering to Falls' current and potential clients," Medaglia said. "This is a natural extension for the firm, which now can offer a strong Washington presence on almost any issue on an ongoing or project basis to assist Falls' clients."
The Government and Public Affairs Practice in both Cleveland and Washington will elevate Falls' client services by providing both strategic counsel and communications planning geared toward public sector engagement, for both issues-of-the-moment and long-term projects.
"These new offerings will help set our firm apart as a stronger strategic partner to many companies and government entities," Falls said. "I am very proud to announce this new team to the Greater Cleveland Community and to our existing clients throughout the country. We also look forward to adding to these new offerings going into 2017."
Maureen Harper has nearly 16 years' experience leading public sector communications efforts, including communications planning and strategy, media relations, crisis communications, civic engagement, community outreach and event planning in both Ohio and Colorado. She recently returned to her hometown of Cleveland, where she served as chief of communications for the City of Cleveland and Mayor Frank G. Jackson for almost nine years.
She advised Mayor Jackson and his executive team at the intersection of public relations and public policy. She developed and implemented strategic communications plans for the launch of major citywide initiatives like Healthy Cleveland and Sustainable Cleveland 2019; worked collaboratively with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District on the launch of the Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools; and wrote and implemented the City's social media policy, establishing social media use for the Jackson Administration. Maureen's work included daily local media relations and managing the City's crisis communications for several high-profile incidents, such as the Imperial Avenue homicides (2009); Superstorm Sandy (2012); police pursuit and use of deadly force (2012); Ariel Castro/Seymour Avenue survivors' return (2013); and the United Airlines hub loss (2014).
Prior to working in the Mayor's Office, she was the public relations manager for Cleveland City Council and a publicist for the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. In the fall of 2014, Maureen became chief communications officer for Denver Public Schools, leading the district's efforts to build communications capacity, its social media presence, and communications planning for outreach efforts. Most recently, she served as public information officer for the City of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, where she led civic engagement efforts on challenging community issues; advised the city manager, mayor and council members on media relations and public affairs; and served as spokesperson for the city and the police department.
Harper holds a B.A. in English and Communications & Theatre Arts from Heidelberg University and a M.A. in Interpersonal Communication from Bowling Green State University.
Thomas J. Medaglia III
Medaglia has more than 40 years of experience in government and public affairs. He was a lobbyist for Amoco Corporation in the upper Midwest for eight years before his promotion to Washington in 1994 as director - federal relations for the company. He was responsible for upstream, midstream and related environmental issues. He was the federal crisis management director for Amoco and worked on issues in the Middle East, India and Eastern Europe. He was part of the Amoco merger teams with British Petroleum and the acquisition of ARCO. He continued to have the same responsibilities for upstream and pipeline issues with the newly created company named BP with emphasis on areas such as the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska activities.
Medaglia left the company to become President of RWE North America Corp, the U.S. holding company for RWE AG, a large German-based energy company. During this time he was responsible for external affairs in addition to coordinating the U.S. CEO messaging of their U.S. operations with the worldwide parent company. He worked with a number of the companies U.S. subsidiaries including American Water, CONSOL Energy, RWE Solar, NUKEM and Turner Construction. Medaglia was part of the team that successfully petitioned and secured the various state approvals for RWE AG's Thames Water acquisition of American Water, the largest private water and waste water company with operations in 27 states at the time.
Prior to Amoco, Medaglia practiced law in Ohio and Michigan. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law and Public Policy at Northwood University. He is an advisor to the U.S. Oil and Gas Association. Medaglia holds a B.A. in Education from The Ohio State University and a Juris Doctor degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Michigan. He is a member of many Washington associations including Board Member of the Ripon Society and a founding Board Member of the German American Business Council.
About Falls Communications
Falls Communications is one of the largest, strategic, full-service marketing communications and investor relations firms in the Midwest. We work as true partners with our clients, taking a strategic approach in providing creative, highly effective solutions in a variety of industries with a local, regional, national and international focus. Our core competencies include media relations, product launch, marketing communications, corporate communications, investor relations, crisis communications, digital marketing, brand strategy and government and public affairs.
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SOURCE Falls Communications