|Founder(s)||Tom Synhorst, Doug Goodyear and Tim Hyde|
|Headquarters||Washington, D.C., United States|
|Key people||Chairman Tom Synhorst
CEO Doug Goodyear
|Services||Communications services, lobbying, public affairs consulting|
DCI Group is an American public relations, lobbying and business consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. The company was founded in 1996 as a 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 services to clients including large US corporations, trade associations, non-profit organizations, and government organizations including educational institutions. Services include communication campaigns to solicit public action on legislative issues, the creation of grass-roots fronts for corporate campaigns, and campaigns for clients on social media websites.
DCI has been described as a "Republican public relations firm". Oil company ExxonMobil is a confirmed client (by an Exxon spokesman), and DCI Group has engaged in climate change denial campaigns, paying skeptical scientists to write editorial pieces. Other notable clients of the firm have included Boeing, General Motors Corporation, Microsoft, the U.S. Telecom Association and the military dictatorship of Myanmar.
DCI Group was founded in 1996 by Tom Synhorst, Doug Goodyear and Tim Hyde as a grassroots consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. and Phoenix, Arizona. 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 and institutions such as the University of Arizona.
By 2005 the company had more than a hundred employees, and counted blue-chip and Fortune 50 companies among its clients. Notable clients have included Microsoft, VeriChip Corporation, Boeing, General Motors Corporation, and the U.S. Telecom Association.
DCI Group provides public relations, communications, government affairs and lobbying, and business consulting services. In addition, the firm develops and manages grassroots communications campaigns. The firm is structured into five areas of work: public relations, message development, DCI Digital, Field Force (the grassroots division), and Strategic Alliances (constituency relationships).
DCI Group's main areas of expertise are in public relations and communications. In 2000, DCI Group began publishing an online magazine, Tech Central Station, "hosted" by James K. Glassman. 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.
Among its public relations campaigns was the 2006 launch of Aqua Sciences' water harvesting technology, which was named by Time magazine as one of its best inventions of 2006. DCI Group offers a number of different communications services, including corporate communication, crisis management, new media development and message development. The company was also retained by the LGBT advocacy group Human Rights Campaign 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 and Facebook on a state-by-state basis.
In 2006 the author of a YouTube video parodying Al Gore's global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth 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. DCI Group did not admit or deny producing the video.
In addition to its traditional public relations and communications work, DCI Group specializes in "grassroots" communications, i.e. the creation of front groups that serve corporate interests while posing as grassroots activists. This type of campaigning was an early focus for the firm, which has continued to develop and manage such 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 effort against Republican Senator Chuck Hagel'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 work has included a campaign mobilizing employees of the Education Management Corporation 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.
According to Corporate Europe Observatory, DCI Group also has close ties to the European Privacy Association, an EU lobby group.  EDRi asserts that EPA has used the services of both DCI and an Italian lobbying firm, Competere, the staff of which "overlaps" with DCI Group.
Its first overseas project and only foreign client to date, according to Doug Goodyear, came in 2002, when DCI Group was hired by Myanmar's military junta, following the release of political prisoners in the state, including Aung San Suu Kyi. 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 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.
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