Former Bush-Cheney Political Director Terry Nelson Joins Mercury Public Affairs as Washington, D.C., Partner

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Mercury, Fleishman-Hillard Merge Government Relations Operations in D.C.

    NEW YORK and WASHINGTON, May 4 -Mercury Public Affairs, a full-service communications firm headquartered in New York, and a member of the Fleishman-Hillard family of companies, today announced that Terry Nelson, former political director for the Bush-Cheney '04 Campaign and a senior adviser to Senator John McCain's Straight Talk America Political Action Committee, has joined the firm as a partner in its Washington, D.C., office. Nelson's firm, Crosslinks Strategy Group, a leading grassroots organization, will become an operating unit of Mercury Public Affairs.

    In addition, Fleishman-Hillard today announced the merger of Mercury's Washington, D.C., government relations operations and Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations. Mercury will assume day-to-day management of both businesses which will continue to operate under their existing brands. "Mercury and Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations will provide a sophisticated and uniquely bipartisan government relations offering that includes lobbying, polling, grassroots organization, strategic counsel and management, and issues advocacy and advertising," said John Graham, chairman and CEO of Fleishman-Hillard Inc. "We are confident that our new team in Washington will build Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations into one of the largest nonlaw-firm lobbying shops in our nation's capital. With Terry Nelson on board, our strong client offering has gotten even stronger."

    Kieran Mahoney, managing partner of Mercury, added "Terry Nelson is highly respected by both the political and corporate community as the best grassroots operative in the business. Today's world demands a clear understanding of the political environment, as well as a solid understanding of the issues, in order to achieve results. Our newly integrated team knows how both sides of the aisle approach issues, and has the ability to communicate effectively with Republicans and Democrats alike. That translates into success for clients at every level of government."

    Nelson marks the latest powerhouse addition to the firm's Washington, D.C., office, joining former Executive Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) John Hishta and former Deputy Political Director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Michael McSherry.

    "I have great respect for the talented people at both Mercury and Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations," Nelson said, "and look forward to working with this new team to provide our clients with an unrivaled level of strategic services. Together, we can offer our clients a full array of public affairs services that few firms can match."

    Nelson has consistently demonstrated a high level of success in both campaign strategy and tactics, and has played a senior role in the last three national elections. He brings a unique and effective approach to achieving goals, seizing opportunities, and solving problems for his clients in the public policy arena.

    Nelson served as National Political Director for the Bush-Cheney '04 Campaign and was cited twice by Roll Call newspaper as one of the "50 Most Influential Operatives in Politics." Prior to that campaign, Nelson was Deputy Chief of Staff and Executive Director of Political Operations at the Republican National Committee (RNC). While there, he helped craft the historic takeover of the U.S. Senate and gains in the U.S. House in 2002.

    John Hishta, who is managing director of Mercury Public Affairs' Washington office, is a nationally recognized expert in government relations, public affairs, and political consulting. He has spent more than 15 years as a political consultant and senior strategist to a variety of Republican elected officials. While Executive Director of the NRCC in 2002, Hishta helped Republicans achieve history. For only the third time in the 20th century, the majority party in power increased their majority in the Congress during a mid-term election. During the 2000 campaign cycle, Hishta directed the NRCC's $45 million national issue advertising campaign to help Republicans retain their majority, at a time when many political analysts and media pundits predicted a return to the minority.

    Hishta also has served as a Chief of Staff to two members of Congress, most recently with Representative Tom Davis. Hishta has also managed numerous political campaigns, including Mr. Davis' initial election to the Congress, as well as a successful re-election of Senator John Warner.

    Michael McSherry, a former Deputy Political Director of the NRSC, led successful and historic efforts throughout the South to regain the Republican Senate majority in 2002, and then to further strengthen the majority in 2004. Prior to joining the NRSC, he served as director of Government Affairs for the RNC. As Executive director of the Republican Governors' Association, McSherry advised 29 Governors and their staffs on both state and federal issues.

    About Mercury Public Affairs

    With offices in New York, Albany, Los Angeles, Austin, and Washington, Mercury Public Affairs is a full-service strategic communications firm that specializes in high-value public affairs at the intersection of business, government, politics, and media. MPA's services include state and federal government affairs, issues/crisis/strategic counsel, public opinion research, advocacy/issue advertising, grassroots organization, strategic media relations and public relations, and public affairs and political campaign management. MPA's corporate division provides counsel to some of America's leading companies, including AT&T, Pfizer, Lockheed Martin and Sallie Mae, among others. Its political division has been involved in successful political campaigns in over 30 states, including Governor George Pataki's three victories in New York State. Mercury is a part of the Fleishman-Hillard International Communications network and can be found on the worldwide web at http://www.mercurypublicaffairs.com .

    About Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations

    Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations provides strategic advice, research, and advocacy services to public and private sector clients as they seek to influence government decisions and policies in Washington, D.C., and other capital cities. The firm's specialties include: international trade; banking and finance; energy and natural resources; homeland security; strategic marketing to the federal government; healthcare; technology; transportation; and state and federal appropriations. Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations and its predecessor firms have been assisting corporations, associations, governments, and other organizations since 1982. Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations is an operating unit of Fleishman- Hillard Inc., and can be found on the world wide web at http://www.fhgr.com .

    About Fleishman-Hillard

    Fleishman-Hillard Inc., one of the world's leading public relations firms, has built its reputation by using strategic communications to deliver what its clients value most: meaningful, positive, and measurable impact on the performance of their organizations. The firm is widely recognized for excellent client service and a strong company culture founded on teamwork, integrity, and personal commitment. Based in St. Louis, the firm operates throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Australia, and South Africa through its 80 owned offices. For more information, visit the Fleishman-Hillard Web site at http://www.fleishman.com .

    Fleishman-Hillard is a part of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC). Omnicom is a leading global advertising, marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom's branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, direct and promotional marketing, public relations, and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.
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