Celebrating 10 Years

A message from KARV President, Andrew Frank

A little over ten years ago I made the decision to launch my own strategic communications firm.  For a few years prior to becoming a business owner, I had been thinking about the best possible way to build a portfolio of global clients that were engaging, dynamic and challenging. Most importantly, I was thinking about how to build a team that I wanted to work with every day to advise and support these clients. As I prepared to put up the KARV Communications shingle, many people were incredibly supportive, offering terrific advice and counsel, and some even referred clients my way. Most are still friends and colleagues today – and I thank you!

Now ten years later, we are proud to say: “KARV punches above its weight” – with crisis communications and issues management capabilities that match those of much larger firms.  

Our clients continue to be from diverse industries and geographies. Most days members of our team are waking up early or going to sleep late to support clients in several different time zones.  It’s the people we work with who have made this ten-year journey even more fun.

I am proud to say several of our team members and advisors have been with us for most of the firm’s existence. Their longevity tells me that we must be doing something right for them – and for our clients.  With that said, several team members and interns have also gone on to do some really great things over the years – and for that I am happy for them and proud that KARV was the place they chose to give some of their time and energy.

Then, there are our partners and agencies we have worked with in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and many other U.S. cities, and in global business capitals such as Tokyo, London, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Brussels, Dubai, and Stockholm. Our terrific Bench and Senior Advisors have brought us clients and worked together with us to create compelling solutions.

Of course the Covid-19 pandemic presented, and continues to pose, challenges for our company, our team members, our clients, and prospects. It was a time of adjustment but also opportunity, as we hired and integrated two new team members, only meeting them in person many months after they started. 

A couple of our clients that emerged during the pandemic stand out to me as I reflect on the impactful work we accomplished during these unprecedented times:

  • Legal issue in Belarus: A Japanese firm with a subsidiary based in Vienna and an office in Slovenia sought our help. One of its salesmen was arrested in Belarus for bribery  –  just prior to the 2020 uprising of democratic activists. . Given the extremely challenging situation on the ground, time was of the essence to ensure the employee could get out of the country safely. This required us to activate colleagues in Berlin, Vienna, and Ljubljana. This work entailed  long days across multiple time zones – all done in close coordination with a global law firm and a political intelligence firm. Knowing the company could receive blowback if this matter became public, we prepared several senior executives in three cities for potential media and political scrutiny. Ultimately, the employee was sent back to Ljubljana and the incident did not receive any media or political attention.
  • Support of Ukrainian Oil and Gas sector: Just as the pandemic was starting its initial ebb in the summer of 2021, we were brought in to assist the Ukrainian Oil and Gas Association in promoting its view opposing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on the grounds that its operation would be against the interests of Europe and the world. While we were very successful in building legislative and executive support for this position here in the U.S., and once Russia invaded Ukraine in February of this year, the significance of our work increased dramatically. Our efforts quickly shifted to advocating for our client—and the Ukrainian government—and their calls for the political, economic, and humanitarian assistance needed in the wake of the unprovoked invasion. Our team became a de facto media office for most things Ukraine and we received calls from reporters and producers the world over, looking for current information and people in Ukraine to interview. KARV’s role continues, currently in a pro bono capacity, as we generate media coverage of the association’s recovery and rebuild agenda. Proudly, KARV’s efforts were recognized by PR News, which shortlisted this work for its 2022 Platinum Awards in the ‘Public Affairs’, ‘Global PR Campaign,’ and ‘Platinum Best in Show’ categories. #SlavaUkraine

These achievements exemplify the range of global outcomes the KARV team has achieved for our clients across different industries  under very difficult circumstances. Our ability to work in high stakes situations, which require nuanced strategy, compelling messaging, thorough scenario planning, and close coordination with internal and outside legal, government relations, investor relations, and other executive functions, shows our diverse talents and ability to help clients achieve their communications and business goals – even during the most challenging of times.

I am hoping that you had a safe and restful summer as we welcome the fall season. For the remainder of 2022 and beyond, KARV will focus on continued growth and expanding our international client roster. In addition, please look out for our enhanced website and some other exciting developments during the coming months.

I hope you will continue the journey with us.

Andrew