Former members of PR firm Baker Winokur Ryder (BWR) announced on Tuesday the establishment of The Initiative Group, a bicoastal PR company they describe as an “entertainment and corporate lifestyle public relations collective.”
Founded in 1987, BWR was dissolved and absorbed into parent company Burson Cohn & Wolf in May. The company cited “the tremendous impact COVID-19 has had on the entertainment industry” for the decision.
Partners in the new firm include former BWR senior publicists Cindy Guagenti, Paulette Kam, Gary Mantoosh, Christina Papadopoulos, Lisa Perkins, Jamie Skinner and Alex Spieller. They bring with them a roster of clients that includes Connie Britton, Drew Carey, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Regina Hall, Garrett Hedlund, Danai Gurira, Anna Kendrick, Matt LeBlanc, Allen Leech, Melissa Leo, Mario Lopez, Joe Manganiello, Tatiana Maslany, Evan Mock, Kathryn Newton, Adam Rodriguez, MJ Rodriguez, Glen Powell, Zoe Saldana, Adam Sandler, Alexandra Shipp and Bellamy Young.
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In addition, The Initiative Group’s corporate lifestyle clients will include Beaches and Sandals Resorts, Gelson’s Markets, USA Cycling, Pair of Thieves, and NALIP, among others.
“The new firm will honor the legacy of BWR while returning back to its roots as an innovative independent public relations company,” The Initiative Group said in a statement. “In addition to its traditional personal, corporate-lifestyle publicity, special event services and brand/influencer collaborations, the company will also include a digital arm focused on social media risk assessment diagnostics and reputation management.”
“We see an exciting future for The Initiative Group,” the partners said. “We are a combination of young visionaries and veteran public relations professionals. Some of us began this journey with the original BWR founders Paul Baker, Larry Winokur and the late Nanci Ryder and will always be profoundly grateful to them for showing us the way.”
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