Hill and Knowlton: Who, Where and How Much

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Group Structure

Hill and Knowlton

Worldwide Executive Committee


  • Howard G. Paster Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Hill and Knowlton, Inc. Before taking the jobs of chairman and CEO of H&K in 1994, Mr. Paster was the Assistant to President Clinton and Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. He was previously head of H&K’s Washington office and before that executive vice president of Timmons and Company, Inc., a Washington, D.C. consulting firm. Previously, Mr. Paster served as legislative director of the United Auto Workers (UAW).
  • Paul Taaffe President, Hill and Knowlton, Inc. Paul Taaffe was previously president of Hill and Knowlton in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and before that, chief executive of Hill and Knowlton UK. Before Hill and Knowlton, Mr. Taaffe worked as managing director of Shandwick Consultants where he was responsible for financial public relations, corporate and business-to-business communications programs on both national and international clients.
  • Mark Thorne Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer, Hill and Knowlton, Inc.

Thorne moved to Hill and Knowlton from WPP Group, H&K’s parent company, where he was chief financial officer of WPP's North American operations. Before that, he was chief financial officer of Beatrice International Food Company. He worked for ten years at Deloitte Haskins & Sells, with clients including The New York Times, Union Pacific Corporation and Chanel International.

  • Maureen Blanc Director, Worldwide Technology Practice. Maureen Blanc was a co-founder Blanc & Otus - one of the leading technology public relations firms, acquired by H&K in 1999. Over the past fifteen years, Maureen has helped define technology PR for the burgeoning high tech industry. She has extensive experience of startup companies. At H&K’s technology practice, she heads one of the largest technology PR practices in the world, with revenues of more than $80 million annually.
  • Tony Burgess-WebbDirector, Worldwide Netcoms Practice. During a sixteen year career at H&K, Mr. Burgess-Webb started up H&K's European technology practice in 1993, and H&K's Netcoms division 1994. He joined H&K UK in 1985. Mr. Burgess-Webb specialises in transnational brand communications, and leads Hill and Knowlton's cross-border brand communications.

President and CEO, Hill and Knowlton Canada Before becoming president and CEO of Hill and Knowlton Canada, Mr. Coates was general manager of the highly successful Ottawa office. He remains one of the firm's leading public affairs consultants. Mr. Coates' began his career in 1983, at Public Affairs International (PAI) consultants. He become vice president of marketing before PAI merged with Hill and Knowlton in 1989.

President and CEO, Hill and Knowlton USA and Director, Worldwide Marketing Communications Practice Sachs took her position on the Worldwide Executive Committee having been chairman, European marketing communications and chief executive of the marketing communications division within the UK office. Sachs has over 22 years experience, and has specialised in marketing, international PR, sponsorship and education.

  • Thomas W. Hoog Chairman, Hill and Knowlton USA/Acting General Manager, DC

Hoog was president and CEO of H&K USA between 1996 and 2001, when he guided the U.S. firm through its recovery from its troubles of the early nineties, he concentrated on developing internal resources and acquiring other companies.

Before that, Hoog was chairman of the public affairs practice and general manager of the New York and Washington offices. Prior to joining H&K, he founded Hoog and Associates, Inc., a Colorado-based governmental affairs firm.

He was on the executive committee and national finance committee for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and also spent five years as chief of staff for U.S. Senator Gary Hart of Colorado. Hoog’s experience in national politics began when he worked for Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s and Senator George McGovern’s presidential election campaigns.

Hoog currently serves on corporate boards of directors and frequently delivers speeches and leads seminars at universities around the nation. He is the chairman-elect of the Counselors Academy of the Public Relations Society of America.

  • Paul McDade Director, Worldwide Health and Pharmaceutical Practice

Paul McDade has extensive experience of working with pharmaceutical and health care companies. He counsels companies on global communication strategies and how to accelerating global brand awareness. Paul has worked companies such as, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cigna, Centocor, Hoffman-LaRoche, Merck, Ortho Biotech and U.S. Healthcare. He has also been director of public affairs for the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists.

Chief Client Officer and President, Worldwide Corporate Practice Mr. Teller, with almost thirty years of experience working as a corporate communications consultant, has managed crises, mergers and acquisitions transactions, bankruptcies, leveraged buy-outs and restructurings, public policy issues, litigation, labor issues, employee communications and financial relations programs. Mr. Teller joined H&K from Burson-Marsteller, where he was chairman of B-M’s corporate practice, and previously general manager of the firm's Chicago office.

President and CEO, Hill and Knowlton Asia Pacific/Executive Chairman, Australia/Managing Director, Australia West was previously managing director for Hill and Knowlton Australia and senior vice president of H&K’s Asia Pacific region. He has extensive experience of managing crises such as Class 1 chemical disasters (including Australia’s largest such disaster), product contamination/tampering, extortion and technology related crises.


Head Office Hill and Knowlton, Inc. 466 Lexington Avenue 3rd Floor New York, NY 10017 Phone: +1 212 885 0300 Fax: +1 212 885 0570

London Office Hill & Knowlton 35 Red Lion Square London WC1R 4SG Phone: +44 207 413 3000 Fax: +44 207 413 3111

Practice Structure

H&K now employs 2000 people in 66 offices in 35 countries. Like Burson-Marsteller, it structures its global business around five regions: Asia Pacific; Canada; Europe, Middle East & Africa; Latin America; and the United States. Also like Burson-Marsteller it organises its services into seven ‘practices’: Corporate, Public Affairs, Health & Pharma, Technology, Marketing, Netcoms, and Financial.

The Corporate Practice

H&K’s corporate practice offers help and advice on managing clients’ “perceptual assets”, by which they mean the client’s reputation as perceived by shareholders and investors, employees and the wider public. The corporate practice also handles crisis communications, “strategic philanthropy”, and “litigation support”[10].

Public Affairs Practice

Public Affairs is the term given to those aspects of PR and lobbying aimed at influencing governmental organisations. H&K was the first PR company to offer an integrated PR and lobbying service and the Public Affairs practice continues to offer “state of the art” services at the local national and international levels[11].

Health and Pharma Practice

Like B-M H&K offers a separate practice specifically for the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector. In this way they can offer PR expertise for this highly sophisticated and rapidly changing industry sector. The practice is composed of several ‘asset groups’ offering specialised knowledge of life sciences, pharmaceuticals, consumer health care, and corporate reputation management, amongst other areas[12].

Technology Practice

The Technology practice offers the full range of PR services for “today’s changing technology landscape - software and services, consumer technology, internet computing, wireless, networking and telecoms, and equipment and hardware manufacturers.” The practice works with a diverse array of clients from big multinationals to small internet startups.[13]

Marketing Communications Practice

The Marketing Communications Practice offers state of the art services in marketing for its clients. The practice employs an armoury of different marketing techniques and is able to use H&K’s global presence to great effect in building international branding and marketing[14].

Netcoms Practice

With the ubiquity of electronic communications H&K now offers a practice entirely devoted to PR on the internet. The Netcoms Practice researches clients’ presence on the internet, offers advice on addressing internet issues, and offers web design and e-business project management[15].

Financial Communications Practice

The Financial Communications Practice is aimed at tailoring clients’ communications to the financial markets. Through specialised financial expertise they aim to help clients attract investors, and achieve optimal share price[16].


Blanc & Otus - a specialist hi-tech PR firm, Blanc and Otus works for big software and hardware companies as well as small start-ups[17].

Byoir and Associates –a highly respected Washington based PR firm acquired by H&K in 1986. Byoir saw falling revenues from then until the mid-90s when it was re-launched as a “premium boutique agency—offering strategic counselling and creative thinking to blue-chip clients that wanted a more personal approach”. In spite of some initial success, revenues fell again and the Byoir brand was suspended indefinitely in 2000. It may however be revived in future[18].

The Wexler Group – aka Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates has been lobbying in Washington since 1981, and is known to be involved with the USA Engage front group (see below). Anne Wexler began her Washington career in the Carter Administration. Wexler’s partner, Bob Walker is a former Republican congressman and Chairman of the House Science Committee[19]. Socket Public Relations – another hi-tech PR company representing clients in the IT sector or other companies using the internet[20].


[9] H&K web site, www.hillandknowlton.com/index.php?section1=company&section2=mgmt, date viewed 8-5-2002 [10] H&K web site, www.hillandknowlton.com/index.php?section1=practices&section2=corporate, date viewed 3-5-2002 [11] H&K web site, www.hillandknowlton.com/index.php?section1=practices&section2=public, date viewed 3-5-2002 [12] H&K web site, www.hillandknowlton.com/index.php?section1=practices&section2=health, date viewed 3-5-2002 [13] H&K web site, www.hillandknowlton.com/index.php?section1=practices&section2=tech, date viewed 3-5-2002 [14] H&K web site, www.hillandknowlton.com/index.php?section1=practices&section2=marketing, date viewed 3-5-2002 [15] H&K web site, www.hillandknowlton.com/index.php?section1=practices&section2=netcoms, date viewed 3-5-2002 [16] H&K web site, www.hillandknowlton.com/index.php?section1=practices&section2=finance, date viewed 3-5-2002 [17] Blanc &Otus web site, www.bando.com [18] Holmes Report, www.holmesreport.com/holmestemp/story.cfm?edit_id=1506&typeid=1, date viewed 11-6-2002 [19] Wexler Group web site, www.wexlergroup.com [20] Socket PR web site, www.socketpr.com