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Strategic Communications expands with D.C. office

By Journal Staff


SYRACUSE  —  Strategic Communications, LLC is ratcheting up its growth after opening a satellite office inside the beltway on Jan. 2.

The Syracuse–based consulting firm opened a new office in suite 1106 at 1012 14th St. NW in Washington, D.C. The office currently has one full-time employee but will be adding a graduate-student associate in about two weeks. And it could be home to another full-time employee within a year.

“We have room to grow,” says Frank Caliva, senior consultant for public affairs and strategy development, who is managing Strategic’s Washington, D.C. location. “It represents a terrific opportunity for us.”

Plans to add another full-time employee in the new office are not final and could change depending on Strategic Communications’ growth in the coming months. The firm could decide instead to add a new employee to its headquarters in Syracuse, or it may not add any staff members.

Strategic Communications provides services in strategic planning as well as legislative and regulatory affairs. The firm also provides services in public relations, including social media and crisis communications.

The company serves clients in a range of industries, including energy, health care, financial services, manufacturing, and education. A strength is energy — one of its clients is the American Coalition of Competitive Energy Suppliers (ACCES), a group of retail natural-gas and electricity suppliers that aims to spread information about purchasing energy in states that have deregulated energy markets.

“That client, it’s really a great example of how Strategic Communications works across disciplines,” Caliva says. “It’s really a chance to use our public-relations skills for clients who traditionally have been more on the regulatory and public affairs side.”

Strategic Communications’ Washington, D.C. office is 500 square feet. It will serve as a physical space for clients to visit as well as a hub for the company’s operations in the nation’s capital.

Before the new office opened, Caliva worked from a home office. Strategic Communications founder and President Michael Meath also traveled to Washington, D.C. to assist clients as needed.

Traveling is a major part of the job for the firm’s employees. Caliva serves clients in Annapolis, Md. and Harrisburg, Pa., as well as Albany. Less frequently, he also visits Illinois and New Jersey, he says.

“Primarily [the Washington, D.C. office is] centered in the mid-Atlantic region,” he says. “But we do work all over the country. We’ve done work all the way on the West Coast.”

Strategic Communications also has two full-time employees, a part-time administrative assistant, and a part-time graduate-student associate at its headquarters in Syracuse, which is located in suite 106 at 3532 James St. In addition, the firm employs a full-time consultant in Albany and a part-time consultant in New Hampshire who work from home offices.

The company is growing, particularly in its energy and health-care services, according to Crystal Smith, senior consultant for integrated media for public relations, who is based at its Syracuse headquarters. Strategic Communications currently has over 40 active clients, she says.

Smith declined to provide revenue totals or projections, but says Strategic Communications anticipates growth in 2012. The firm decided to open the office in Washington because it was receiving increasing amounts of work in that region, she says.

“The demand for our services in that area called for this expansion,” she says. “We decided we could support having a physical space there.”

The Washington, D.C. office isn’t just for the company’s clients in the mid-Atlantic region, according to Smith. It will also help the firm provide services to organizations around the country that are affected by federal policies — including organizations in Central New York.

“We found a way for this to benefit all of our clients, no matter where they’re located,” Smith says.      

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