Qorvis is 'one of Washington's best-known lobbying and public relations firms'.
- 1 Activities
- 2 Views
- 3 Affiliations
- 4 People
- 5 Clients
- 6 Publications, Contact, Resources and Notes
In March 2011 The Huffington Post reported that "in the last two months, more than a third of the partners at Qorvis have left the firm to start their own lobby shops, partly because of the firm's work on behalf of such clients as Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the Central African nation of Equatorial Guinea, say former employees".
Online Reputation Management
According to the Huffington Post:
- One of the methods used by Qorvis and other firms is online reputation management -- through its 'Geo-Political Solutions' (GPS) division, the firm uses '"black arts" by creating fake blogs and websites that link back to positive content, "to make sure that no one online comes across the bad stuff," says [a] former insider. Other techniques include the use of social media, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Highlighting Middle Eastern countries sovereign rights to manage dissent
In 2011 Qorvis helped frame the kingdom's crackdown on protests by highlighting statements made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in which she emphasized America's commitment to Bahrain and affirmed its "sovereign right" to invite security forces from other countries. Clinton's comment that the government is "on the wrong track," however, was omitted, notes the Sunlight Foundation's Paul Blumenthal.
Saudi Arabia entered into a $14 million a year contract with Qorvis shortly after 9/11 to clean up its image. Qorvis's PR blitz "helped reduce the number of anti-Saudi articles and speeches"... "which allowed the Bush administration to keep ties to the kingdom close", says Kevin McCauley, editor of O'Dwyer's Public Relations, the leading PR trade publication in the US.
- Qorvis launched a TV campaign with ads on political talk shows featuring a procession of Saudi royals appearing alongside U.S. presidents, to highlight Riyadh as a close ally. Other TV spots, which ran in 14 American cities, touted the "shared values" of the United States and Saudi Arabia. The firm also shuttled Saudi officials on whirlwind tours of major media outlets, and broadcast ads promoting the 9/11 Commission finding that there was "no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded [Al Qaeda]"—while omitting the report's conclusion that "Saudi Arabia has been a problematic ally in combating Islamic extremism." "
In an article published on 7 January 2016, it was revealed Qorvis was one of the various Washington based PR firms helping the Saudi government to shore up its public image in the wake of the execution of Shiite cleric Sheik Nimr Baqr al-Nimr. This was according to the Foreign Agent Registration Act filings, in which Qorvis is listed as one the 'active foreign principles for Saudi Arabia', and which shows a retainer of $240,000 per month, the highest of any firm on the Kingdom's payroll.
The services it provided were as follows: 'Drafted and/or distributed news releases, weekly newsletters, fact sheets and/or speeches to promote Saudi Arabia, its commitment towards counterterrorism, peace in the Middle East, and other issues pertinent to the Kingdom.'
- Stan Collender
- Sam Dealey - former Editor of The Washington Times
- Ron Faucheux - President of Clarus Research Group
- Greg Lagana - formerly senior vice-president for communications and marketing at DynCorp International
- Matt J. Lauer
- Rich Masters
- John Reid - partner and managing director for the Middle East at DC based Qorvis Communications
- Esther Thomas Smith - founding partner
- Karen Vahouny
- Yemen | Bahrain | Embassy of Great Britain | Equatorial Guinea | Government of Mexico | Kingdom of Saudia Arabia | National Democratic Party of Egypt | Republic of Cyprus | Royal Academy of Jordan | Sri Lanka | The Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq 
- Allied Capital | American Institute of Certified Public Accountants | Anadarko Petroleum | CURRENT Group | Eaton Vance | EnergySolutions | Freeport LNG | Koch Industries | Massey Energy | Nuclear Energy Institute | RESNET | Southern Company | Trafigura | Vitol
- Abbott Labs | Centers for Disease Control & Prevention | Fairfax Radiological Consultants | Kennedy Krieger Institute | Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center | Magellan Health Services | Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America | Revolution Health
- AAMCO | Adobe | Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc. | Feld Entertainment | George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens | Washington Post | Virginia Lottery | Washington Kastles
- Smithsonian Institute - Smithsonian Latino Center
- American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters | Associated General Contractors | Association of American Publishers | Association of Equipment Manufacturers | Association of International Automobile Manufacturers | Computer and Communications Industry Association | Consumer Electronics Association | Digital Music Association | Food Marketing Institute | Mortgage Bankers Associations | National Association of Catering Executives | National Urban League | Society for Human Resource Management | Sugar Association
Publications, Contact, Resources and Notes
- Sourcewatch Qorvis Communications
- Marcus Baram,Lobbyists Jump Ship In Wake Of Mideast Unrest, accessed 28 March 2011
- Putting Lipstick on a Dictator. 2007-05-07. Mother Jones
- Eli Clifton, Washington's Multi-million dollar Saudi PR Machine, Rightweb.IRC, 7 January 2016, accessed 19 January 2016
- People, Qorvis website, accessed 28 March 2011
- Qorvis, Case Studies, accessed 30 March 2011