DCI Group

DCI Group

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DCI Group is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 public relations
Public relations
Public relations is the actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc....

, lobbying
Lobbying
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

 and business consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 The company was founded in 1996 as a grassroots
Grassroots
A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures...

 consulting firm, and has since expanded its practice to become a public affairs company offering a range of services. DCI Group provides communications and advocacy
Advocacy
Advocacy is a political process by an individual or a large group which normally aims to influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions; it may be motivated from moral, ethical or faith principles or simply to protect an...

 services to clients including large US corporations
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

, trade associations, non-profit organizations, and government organizations including educational institutions. Services include communication campaigns to solicit public action on legislative issues, grassroots organizing, and campaigns for clients on social media
Social media
The term Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0,...

 websites
Website
A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet...

.

History


DCI Group was founded in 1996 by Tom Synhorst, Doug Goodyear and Tim Hyde as a grassroots
Grassroots
A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures...

 consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 and Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

. Early work included organizing leadership seminars for corporate and political leaders, plus direct mail, telephone and grassroots communications.

In the early 2000s, DCI launched its government affairs practice to provide advocacy services for clients, among them are companies such as AT&T
AT&T
AT&T Inc. is an American multinational telecommunications corporation headquartered in Whitacre Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States. It is the largest provider of mobile telephony and fixed telephony in the United States, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services...

 and institutions such as the University of Arizona
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The University of Arizona was the first university in the state of Arizona, founded in 1885...

.

By 2005 the company had more than one hundred employees, and counted blue-chip and Fortune 50 companies among its clients. Notable clients have included Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

, VeriChip Corporation, Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

, General Motors Corporation, and the U.S. Telecom Association
United States Telecom Association
The United States Telecom Association , founded in 1897, is the trade association for broadband service providers and their suppliers. The Association represents the broadband industry before the United States Congress, the United States federal courts, and the White House.-External links:* * *...

.

Overview


DCI Group provides public relations
Public relations
Public relations is the actions of a corporation, store, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc....

, communications, government affairs and lobbying, business consulting, and public affairs
Public affairs
Public affairs may refer to:* Public administration* Public affairs * Public affairs * PublicAffairs, a USA publishing company* Public Affairs , a Czech political party...

 consulting services to a wide range of clients, including international corporations, non-profit organizations and trade associations. In addition, the firm develops and manages grassroots
Grassroots
A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures...

 communications campaigns and uses social media to create communications and PR campaigns for clients.

Locations


DCI has offices in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, and Houston, TX. It has managed public affairs and communications campaigns worldwide, including the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, Asia and Australia.

Personnel and structure


, DCI Group leadership comprises a team of sixteen partners, including founding partners Tom Synhorst, Douglas Goodyear and Tim Hyde. Synhorst currently serves as the company's chairman. In 2006, he also founded the Dillenkoffer Endowment, a non-profit that provides college scholarships for rural gay and lesbian students. Goodyear is the CEO of the company, and previously held the role of vice president at a marketing and PR firm in North Carolina. During the 1980s he was involved in campaign politics in Colorado and New Jersey, and was the political director of the Colorado Republican Party from 1985 to 1987. Hyde is a partner at DCI and has been responsible for a number of the firm's long standing technology industry clients. Prior to the founding of DCI, Hyde was the senior director of public issues at R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for 10 years. DCI's president is Jim Murphy, who previously ran a political consulting company for 15 years and had also worked in political roles, including two years at the National Republican Senatorial Committee
National Republican Senatorial Committee
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is the Republican Hill committee for the United States Senate, working to elect Republicans to that body. The NRSC was founded in 1916 as the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee...

. Brian McCabe serves as a managing partner of DCI Group. McCabe was also president of Progress for America
Progress For America
Progress for America and its affiliate Progress for America Voter Fund are national tax-exempt organizations in the United States. PFA was established in 2001 to support George W. Bush's "agenda for America"...

 and led the 1996 New Hampshire primary campaign for Bob Dole
Bob Dole
Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole is an American attorney and politician. Dole represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996, was Gerald Ford's Vice Presidential running mate in the 1976 presidential election, and was Senate Majority Leader from 1985 to 1987 and in 1995 and 1996...

. Justin Peterson is a managing partner in the firm and oversees issue areas including energy and international expansion. Prior to joining DCI he worked for Representative Jon Lynn Christensen
Jon Lynn Christensen
Jon Lynn Christensen is a former member of the United States House of Representatives.Christensen graduated from St. Paul High School, earned his undergraduate degree from Midland Lutheran College, and his Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law in Houston...

 and also served as Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

 political director for Elizabeth Dole
Elizabeth Dole
Mary Elizabeth Alexander Hanford "Liddy" Dole is an American politician who served in both the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush presidential administrations, as well as a United States Senator....

's 2000 presidential campaign. Other notable individuals formerly associated with DCI Group include James Tobin
James Tobin (political operative)
James Tobin was President George W. Bush's New England campaign chairman. He was convicted on December 15, 2005, of telephone harassment "for his part in a plot to jam the Democratic Party's phones on Election Day 2002"...

 and Chris LaCivita
Chris LaCivita
Christopher J. LaCivita is an American political consultant, and president of the firm Advancing Strategies LLC. He was formerly with Crosslink Strategy, a conservative lobbying and political consulting firm founded by former John McCain advisor Terry Nelson...

 who were both publicly linked to the 2002 New Hampshire Senate election phone jamming scandal
2002 New Hampshire Senate election phone jamming scandal
The 2002 New Hampshire Senate election phone jamming scandal involves the use of a telemarketing firm hired by that state's Republican Party for election tampering. The tampering involved using a call center to jam the phone lines of a Get Out the Vote operation...

.

The firm is structured into five areas of work: public relations; message development; DCI Digital; Field Force; and Strategic Alliances. Message development is DCI's communications practice, while DCI Digital focuses on digital communications, Field Force is the company's grassroots communications practice and Strategic Alliances focuses on constituency relationship management.

Public relations & communications


DCI Group's main areas of expertise are in public relations and communications, and the company has developed campaigns for major companies and organizations worldwide. The firm provides public relations services using new media
New media
New media is a broad term in media studies that emerged in the latter part of the 20th century. For example, new media holds out a possibility of on-demand access to content any time, anywhere, on any digital device, as well as interactive user feedback, creative participation and community...

 to communicate a client's message, in addition to more traditional methods. Among its public relations campaigns was the 2006 launch of Aqua Sciences
Aqua Sciences
Aqua Sciences is a Miami Beach-based company providing advanced water technologies. Without any direct funding, they created a module capable of extracting up to 2500 gallons of water from the moisture present in the air.-The module:...

' water harvesting technology, which was named by Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine as one of its best inventions of 2006. DCI Group offers a number of different communications services, including corporate communication, crisis management
Crisis management
Crisis management is the process by which an organization deals with a major event that threatens to harm the organization, its stakeholders, or the general public. The study of crisis management originated with the large scale industrial and environmental disasters in the 1980's.Shrivastava, P....

, new media development and message development.

DCI Digital


DCI's digital communications team, DCI Group Digital, was founded in the late 2000s and provides online outreach for its clients, including campaigns using social networking services to raise awareness for clients and related issues. Notable online campaigns developed by DCI include the launch of a nationwide social networking campaign in 2008 for "A Complaint-Free World", a movement started by a reverend in Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, and a campaign with The Stafford Foundation
The Stafford Foundation
The Stafford Foundation is a non-profit organization which "furthers the cause of Jesus Christ by investing in education and training to empower the underserved to do good." The foundation collaborates with and invests in capacity-building efforts that equip the underserved through programs that...

, featuring Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby
William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr. is an American comedian, actor, author, television producer, educator, musician and activist. A veteran stand-up performer, he got his start at various clubs, then landed a starring role in the 1960s action show, I Spy. He later starred in his own series, the...

, encouraging volunteership for charitable causes in the U.S. by sharing stories of "good deeds". In May 2010, DCI was involved in creating a Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 campaign with video game developers Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard, Inc., formerly Activision, Inc. is the American holding company for Activision and Blizzard Entertainment. The company is majority owned by French conglomerate Vivendi SA and was created through the merger of Activision and Vivendi Games, announced on December 2, 2007, in a...

, the Call of Duty Endowment 2010 Memorial Day Campaign, which aimed to raise funds for veteran's charity Hire Heroes USA. The company was also retained by the LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign is the United States' largest LGBT advocacy group and lobbying organization; according to the HRC, it has more than one million members and supporters...

 to build support for repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy related to gay and lesbian personnel.

In addition to its client campaigns, DCI's digital team carries out research into the use of social media. In early 2011 it released a report which compared the use of social media services such as Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 and Facebook on a state-by-state basis.

In 2006 the author of a YouTube video parodying Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

's global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

 documentary An Inconvenient Truth
An Inconvenient Truth
An Inconvenient Truth is a 2006 documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim about former United States Vice President Al Gore's campaign to educate citizens about global warming via a comprehensive slide show that, by his own estimate, he has given more than a thousand times.Premiering at the...

was traced back to DCI Group through routing information in e-mails from the author to the Wall Street Journal. The alleged production of the video by DCI Group led to critical coverage of the company in the media, due in part to its work for ExxonMobil
ExxonMobil
Exxon Mobil Corporation or ExxonMobil, is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil company, and was formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas...

. DCI Group did not admit or deny producing the video.

Grassroots communications


In addition to its traditional public relations and communications work, DCI Group specializes in grassroots communications. Grassroots organizing was an early focus for the firm, which has continued to develop and manage grassroots campaigns using such strategies as direct mail
and social media. In 2008 it was reported that the company had done extensive work for Freddie Mac, running a multi-state grassroots effort against Republican Senator Chuck Hagel
Chuck Hagel
Charles Timothy "Chuck" Hagel is a former United States Senator from Nebraska. A member of the Republican Party, he was first elected in 1996 and was reelected in 2002...

's bill to tightly regulate the company. Freddie Mac acknowledged the hire, and DCI stated it had complied with "all applicable federal and state laws and regulations".

DCI's recent grassroots work has included a campaign mobilizing employees of the Education Management Corporation
Education Management Corporation
Education Management Corporation is an operator of private for-profit post-secondary educational institutions, primarily in the United States. The company's institutions provide primarily career-focused educational programs...

 against a proposed regulation focused on for-profit colleges. It was one part of an overall industry effort that resulted in more than 90,000 comments being received by the Department of Education, more than for any previous rule. In 2011, the company produced a campaign for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, arranging for small business owners to meet with their senators and holding press events, as part of the organization's campaign supporting the Durbin Amendment regulating bank debit card transaction fees.

Government affairs


DCI Group has developed campaigns for clients in areas of public policy including telecommunications policy, overseas trade, copyrights, patents and intellectual property issues, and federal appropriations. Clients for its government advocacy services have included organizations in the education, pharmaceutical, health care, technology and telecommunications industries, and corporate clients, non-profit groups and trade associations. Specific past clients have included ExxonMobil, for whom the company has lobbied Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

, the United States Telecom Association
United States Telecom Association
The United States Telecom Association , founded in 1897, is the trade association for broadband service providers and their suppliers. The Association represents the broadband industry before the United States Congress, the United States federal courts, and the White House.-External links:* * *...

, and General Motors
General Motors
General Motors Company , commonly known as GM, formerly incorporated as General Motors Corporation, is an American multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Detroit, Michigan and the world's second-largest automaker in 2010...

. Since 2008, DCI Group's income from lobbying has decreased from over $3 million to less than $400,000 per year.

In addition to client representation, DCI has also established forums for individuals working in politics and policy arenas to meet and discuss important public issues. In 2011, the firm offered a series of policy discussion events for U.S. and European political and policy figures called "American Conversations".

Its first overseas project and only foreign client to date, according to Doug Goodyear, came in 2002, when DCI Group was hired by Myanmar
Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

's military junta, following the release of political prisoners in the state, including Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi, AC is a Burmese opposition politician and the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy. In the 1990 general election, her National League for Democracy party won 59% of the national votes and 81% of the seats in Parliament. She had, however, already been detained...

. DCI's work for the government included public relations efforts to improve the leadership's image in the U.S., raising the profile of more moderate officials and emphasizing its negotiations with Suu Kyi. According to media reports, the firm was paid $348,000 to represent the Myanmar government. DCI Group ended its contract with the Myanmar government in 2003.

In May 2008, DCI Group's Doug Goodyear and Doug Davenport resigned from the John McCain presidential campaign
John McCain presidential campaign, 2008
John McCain, the senior United States Senator from Arizona, launched his second candidacy for the presidency of the United States in an unsuccessful bid to win the 2008 presidential election. His candidacy, in the works for a number of years, was informally announced on February 28, 2007 during a...

 following media coverage that was critical of the company's work for the Myanmar government. According to Goodyear, they resigned in order to prevent further distraction from McCain's campaign.

Other operations


In 2000, DCI Group began publishing an online magazine, Tech Central Station
TCS Daily
TCS Daily is an online magazine with commentary and analysis on current news from a free-market perspective.TCS is an initialism that now stands for "Technology, Commerce, Society"; when the Web site was founded in 2000, those three letters stood for its original name, "Tech Central Station." The...

, "hosted" by James K. Glassman
James K. Glassman
James K. Glassman is an American conservative editorialist, journalist, diplomat and author. He is currently the host of the television program Ideas in Action, which airs on PBS member stations across the country. On December 11, 2007 Glassman was nominated by President George W...

. In its original incarnation, TCS was primarily funded by sponsors, including some DCI clients, a fact reported in the Washington Monthly. The magazine reached a readership of around 100,000 per week by September 2006, when it was sold by DCI to its editor, Nick Shulz.

Notable clients and awards


Notable clients of the firm have included Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

, General Motors Corporation, Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

, and the U.S. Telecom Association
United States Telecom Association
The United States Telecom Association , founded in 1897, is the trade association for broadband service providers and their suppliers. The Association represents the broadband industry before the United States Congress, the United States federal courts, and the White House.-External links:* * *...

.

In 2009 DCI Group won several industry awards for its work with The Stafford Foundation
The Stafford Foundation
The Stafford Foundation is a non-profit organization which "furthers the cause of Jesus Christ by investing in education and training to empower the underserved to do good." The foundation collaborates with and invests in capacity-building efforts that equip the underserved through programs that...

and its "People's Inaugural Project", including PR News's Platinum PR Award for best pro-bono campaign. In 2011 the company was awarded a Reed Award for use of social networking technology for its work with Activision Blizzard on its Call of Duty Memorial Day Campaign to raise money for Hire Heroes USA.

External links