Porter Novelli

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Porter Novelli
IndustryPublic relations
Founded1972; 47 years ago (1972) in Washington, D.C., United States
FoundersBill Novelli
Jack Porter
Mike Carberry
Robert T. Druckenmiller[1]
New York, New York
Number of locations
35 (2017)
Area served
Key people
Brad MacAfee (CEO)
Number of employees
720 (2017)
ParentOmnicom Group
SubsidiariesCone Communications
Voce Communications[3]

Porter Novelli is a public relations firm, part of Omnicom Group.[4] It has approximately 100 offices in 60 countries.


The firm was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1972 by Bill Novelli and Jack Porter, advertising executives, who worked together to market the Peace Corps. The company's first major client was the National Institutes of Health, for whom they created the National High Blood Pressure Education Program.[5]

Helen Ostrowski became CEO of the company 2001, the first female CEO of a top 10 PR firm; she served in that role until 2008.[6][7] In 2006 most of the company's revenue came from the Information technology sector, followed by the pharmaceutical sector.[6]

The firm's consumer practice area showed the most growth in 2008. Among its clients then were the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Navy Federal Credit Union, FDIC, Johnson & Johnson Corporate Communications, and Blockbuster Video.[8] The company created a jack + bill "popup agency," in September 2008 and led by eight younger Porter Novelli employees,[9] In 2008 several senior managers left along with Ostrowski, and Gary Stockman was made CEO.[7]

In 2011 several senior executives left the firm, including its global digital director, director of global health and regulatory affairs, executive VP for strategic planning and research, senior VP for global digital and PR and its executive VPs for global content director and social media.[10] Departures continued in 2012 with departures of Stockman, the CFO, the chief marketing officer, and the president.[11][12][13]

Notable campaigns[edit]

Porter Novelli was hired by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, designated with the task to attract businesses to the state, to rebrand Indiana's image after backlash from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law in March 2015.[14] The firm was fired after only three months.[15]

Porter Novelli provided pro bono services to fledgling fashion designers. Using Flickr, Twitter and YouTube, the company promoted the designers' work for New York's September 2008 Fashion Week.[16]


  1. ^ Heath, Robert L. (2005). Encyclopedia of Public Relations. Sage Publications, Inc. p. 266. ISBN 9781412952545. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Porter Novelli". Crunchbase. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  3. ^ PRWeek staff (1 May 2017). "Porter Novelli - Looking to new areas". PRWeek. Retrieved 12 May 2017.(subscription required)
  4. ^ "PRWeek profile of Porter Novelli". PRWeek.
  5. ^ "NHLBI: National High Blood Pressure Education Program, NHLBI, NIH". Nhlbi.nih.gov. 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
  6. ^ a b Chandiramani, Ravi (November 8, 2006). "Profile: Helen Ostrowski, global chief executive, Porter Novelli". PR Week.
  7. ^ a b "Editors' Choice 2009: Who to watch". PR Week. January 5, 2009.
  8. ^ "Porter Novelli". PRWeek US. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
  9. ^ Elliott, Stuart (September 16, 2008). "A Pop-Up Agency Shows Off Emerging Talent". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  10. ^ Dickson, Virgil (June 12, 2012). "Goldberg exits Porter Novelli after just six months".
  11. ^ Bruell, Alexandra (July 2, 2012). "More Turmoil in Porter Novelli's C-Suite". Ad Age.
  12. ^ "Gary Stockman to Leave Porter Novelli". Ad Age. June 22, 2012.
  13. ^ "Porter Novelli President Julie Winskie Exits Firm". Ad Age. January 19, 2012.
  14. ^ Terkel, Amanda (April 13, 2015). "Indiana Hires PR Firm To Rebuild Image After 'Religious Freedom' Fiasco". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
  15. ^ Porter Novelli, Gov. Mike Pence Tight-Lipped on ‘Religious Freedom’ Relationship Adweek, 2015
  16. ^ Alexandra Bruell (2008-06-27). "Porter Novelli to open popup fashion agency". PRWeek US. Retrieved 2012-11-30.