Hattaway builds own firm after 90 days with Daschle

WASHINGTON: After a 90-day stretch as Senate majority leader Tom

Daschle's (D-SD) press secretary, Doug Hattaway, communications director

for Al Gore's 2000 Presidential campaign, has returned to Boston to

"regroup" and formally launch Hattaway Communications.



Though the agency has been functioning with a handful of clients since

January, Hattaway's involvement in the Florida recount and Daschle's

office - where he took charge on September 10 - have delayed its debut.

"We got caught up on Capitol Hill," he said. "We're just now moving into

our offices."



Hattaway intends the firm to focus on political campaigns, strategic

message development, and corporate issues, particularly in the biotech

and hi-tech sectors. A Boston office is opening now, and one in

Washington is likely in the near future.



"Our strategy is to partner with media firms," he said. "We've also had

discussions with other, bigger PR agencies about partnering on public

affairs." He added that the shop is currently competing for a number of

"statewide and federal campaigns, as well as ballot initiative

campaigns."



Ranit Shmelzer, Daschle's full-time press secretary, is on maternity

leave until the end of the year. Democratic communications consultant

Anita Dunn, who filled the job in the weeks before Hattaway arrived,

will resume the position until then.



Regarding his time on the Hill and the anthrax scare that originated in

his boss' office, Hattaway said, "I thought I had good crisis

communications experience after the Florida recount. Now I've got

September 11 and anthrax. It's not the kind of crisis management

experience you want."



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