PR agency Red Flag hires former White House adviser

Irish firm wins two awards in New York for National Coffee Association campaign

Red Flag chairman Gavin O’Reilly, fourth from left, alongside founder Karl Brophy and other members of the Irish PR agency having scooped two gongs at the recent Agency Elite Awards in New York. Photograph: Caroline Sinno

Red Flag chairman Gavin O’Reilly, fourth from left, alongside founder Karl Brophy and other members of the Irish PR agency having scooped two gongs at the recent Agency Elite Awards in New York. Photograph: Caroline Sinno

 

Irish public relations agency Red Flag Consulting has hired former White House adviser Andy Hemming to work on international campaigns for the company, which is chaired by Gavin O’Reilly.

Mr Hemming left the White House at the end of August, having been the director of rapid response. His role there involved circulating positive news articles about Donald Trump’s administration.

Prior to that, he was research director on Mr Trump’s winning presidential campaign in 2016. Mr Hemming was also previously a senior research adviser for the Republican National Committee and research director for former Texas governor Rick Perry’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Mr Hemming was also research director for Greg Abbott’s successful Texas gubernatorial campaign in 2014 and acted as deputy research director on former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

He will report to Séamus Conboy in Red Flag’s Brussels office and John Collins in the agency’s Washington DC office.

Prestigious awards

Separately, Red Flag won two awards in the prestigious Agency Elite Awards in New York last week. Almost 1,000 US and international PR industry figures attended the event held by communications group PR News.

Red Flag became the first Irish agency to win at the awards, beating off international and US competition to win two categories, one for reputation management and the second for crisis management.

Both awards were for campaigns run for the National Coffee Association in the US.

Red Flag said the campaign “not only averted a crisis that may have cost the coffee industry and the people who depend on it for employment billions of dollars, but it actually turned the issue 180 degrees and allowed people to celebrate coffee as a potential superfood”.

Red Flag, which was founded by former Independent News & Media communications executive Karl Brophy, increased its profits by 43 per cent in 2016 to €456,964 following a strong year of expansion.

It has a presence in Dublin, London, Paris, Brussels and Washington DC and is forecasting revenues of €4 million for 2017 and growth of at least 60 per cent in its profit after tax.