Widmeyer Communications

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Widmeyer Communications is an independent public relations agency with offices in Washington DC and New York City, founded in the late 1980s. It identifies as its areas of expertise "public affairs, media relations, integrated research, marketing communications, risk and crisis communications, advertising and design." [1]

U.S. government PR contracts

Widmeyer's Web site states, "For more than 20 years, we’ve crafted effective messages, forged lasting relationships, secured top media placements, defined brands, advanced issues and ideas and helped individuals and organizations quietly move agendas or boldly take the stage." [2]

According to the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform Minority Office, Widmeyer received the following amounts per year, for federal PR contracts: [3]

  • $689,000 in 1997
  • $1,090,000 in 1998
  • $81,000 in 1999
  • $545,000 in 2000
  • $3,476,000 in 2001
  • $275,000 in 2002
  • $1.215.299 in 2004

Widmeyer's federal contracts have included work for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on their National Bullying Prevention Campaign; U.S. Department of Education, on family involvement in children’s math education; National Institute for Literacy; U.S. Department of Agriculture, for their Farm Service Agency; and U.S. Department of Defense, for their Deployment Health Clinical Center.

In February 2007, O'Dwyer's PR Daily reported that the U.S. "Environmental Protection Agency's radiation unit has moved to award a crisis PR contract to Widmeyer Communications without a competitive review. ... The firm has previously conducted focus groups with EPA emergency responders and communicators to develop responses in the event of such a disaster." [4]

PR work summary

  • Media relations - "Our staff's close working relationships with leading reporters and editors have resulted in major print, broadcast and online media coverage for our clients", they do "scheduling radio and television talk show interviews; and handling media tours and editorial board meetings"
  • Media training - for speaking to the media
    • Interactive exercises
    • Training with a broadcast quality camera, audio, lights, video monitor for real-time playback and critique
    • Detailed post-session analysis
    • Review of progress and consultation
  • Public affairs - "we know how to influence public policies that can advance a client’s interests"
  • Design & advertising
  • Writing & editorial - "Widmeyer's pool of seasoned writers includes former editors and reporters; White House and congressional speechwriters; copywriters and corporate speechwriters. Our team creates ad and web site copy, develops speeches for C-suite executives, drafts interview talking points, and produces media-friendly materials". "Our writers have also written and placed op-eds on topics such as campaign tax reform, teacher tax breaks, pandemic flu, higher academics for athletes and the off-shoring of jobs. Such commentaries have run in publications like the Washington Post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Rocky Mountain News"
  • Crisis communications
  • Search engine optimization - "allows clients to index and improve their rankings in key word search results. By adjusting a site’s structure and content, clients experience a dramatic improvement in driving audiences to their web site"
  • Blogs
  • E-cards, online banner ads - "these cost effective online tools provide a unique way of driving audiences to a web site for more information"
  • Interactive games - "these can be incorporated in most any kind of public education or campaign oriented web site. Games pages are often the most popular pages on a web site and because games can be designed so that the player must be familiar with the web site’s content in order to “win” the game, they help ensure that target audiences are reviewing key pages on a site"
  • Mobile communications – "utilizing mobile communications (such as cell phones, blackberries and PDAs) may provide the opportunity to incorporate text messages, ring tones, wallpaper images, short animation sequences and other tools in any communications campaign"[1]

Income and employee totals

O'Dwyer's PR lists Widmeyer as earning $9,244,000 in net fees in 2006, no change from the previous year. It notes the firm has 52 employees. [2]

PR Week ranked Widmeyer Communications as the thirty-ninth largest independent PR agency in the United States in 2008, with 2007 revenue of $9,000,000, a 3% decrease from the previous year's total revenue of $9,244,000. The ranking also notes its staff total of 41 (2006 total: 52), with $219,512 in revenue per employee.[3]


From their website as of June 2010: [5]

  • Scott Widmeyer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
  • Margaret Dunning, Principal and Chief Strategy Officer
  • Jason F. Smith, Principal
  • Henry Engleka, Principal and Managing Director, New York
  • A.J.Young, Chief Financial Officer
  • Ben Finzel, Senior Vice President
  • Barry Reicherter, Senior Vice President
  • Dan Kaufman, Senior Vice President
  • Phyllis Blaunstein, John Burness, Joe Carey, Robert C. Dickeson, Edward B. Fiske, and James A. Kelly, Senior Counsel

Former Staff

  • Henry Engleka, formerly Senior Vice President
  • Douglas Usher, formerly Senior Vice President
  • Susan Tifft, formerly Senior Counsel



Former Clients

Coca Cola

Contact Info

Washington, DC
1129 20th Street, NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
Phone 202.667.0901
Fax 202.667.0902
Email margaret.dunning AT widmeyer.com

New York, NY
102 West 38th Street
Fourth Floor
New York, NY 10018
Phone 212.260.3401 Fax 212.260.3402 Email henry.engleka AT widmeyer.com

Website: http://www.widmeyer.com


Related SourceWatch articles


  1. What we do, Widmeyer Communications, accessed June 2008.
  2. "2006 Worldwide Fees of independent Firms With Major U.S. Operations", accessed June 2007.
  3. "2008 Agency Rankings," PR Week, 28 April 2008.

External articles