One More Thing: Teneo takes on Fifa’s image problems

Declan Kelly’s US-based consultancy also acquires two major London PR firms

Declan Kelly with Hillary Clinton. Teneo was once closely linked to the Clintons

Declan Kelly with Hillary Clinton. Teneo was once closely linked to the Clintons

 

I was intrigued last week to read the latest chapter in the seemingly irrepressible rise of former Irish Examiner journalist Declan Kelly, whose US-based Teneo consultancy has just been hired by Fifa to advise on crisis communications at football’s world governing body.

Fifa, of course, is mired in a corruption scandal. A few days after Teneo’s appointment was announced, a comedian punked Fifa’s Sepp Blatter at a press conference, showering the outgoing president with a wad of fake notes. Kelly will earn his corn advising that bunch on how to handle a crisis, that’s for sure.

The Tipperary man, whose brother Alan is the environment minister, is well-known for his abundant confidence and self-belief, and he appears to have big plans for Teneo, which was once closely linked to the Clintons.

The company, whose current advisors include former US senator George Mitchell, is targeting this side of the Atlantic for much of its future growth. Earlier this month Kelly also sealed a deal to buy two major London public relations consultancies, almost doubling its workforce to about 500.

Blue Rubicon, which also has offices in Doha, Dubai and Singapore, will add about 225 staff to Kelly’s roster, while StockWell adds a further 25.

The acquisitions have immediately catapulted Teneo onto the top table of London PR firms. The Irishman will presumably mine his network of high- profile contacts to help keep it there.

It really is a long way from Tipperary.

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