Paula Broadwell Hires Glover Park for PR Support

Move to Bring in Crisis Expertise Follows Jill Kelley's Hire of D.C. Firm Smith & Co.

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Paula Broadwell
Paula Broadwell

Paula Broadwell, the biographer for disgraced CIA Director General Petraeus who's found herself smack-dab in the middle of a scandal dominating headlines for the past week, has hired Glover Park Group's managing directors, Dee Dee Myers and Joel Johnson, for communications counsel, the WPP crisis shop told Ad Age .

Ms. Broadwell tapped the D.C. crisis and government affairs agency after news of her extramarital affair with Gen. Petraeus was uncovered by Florida socialite Jill Kelley. Ms. Kelley sparked the investigation after having alerted the FBI to "threatening emails" that allegedly mentioned the CIA director and Afghanistan war commander Gen. John Allen.

It's the second time that someone in the midst of the Petraeus scandal has brought in heavy PR artillery. Ms. Kelley was quick to bring in crisis council of her own; within a day of the affair's details unraveling it became public that she enlisted the help of Judy Smith at Washington-based crisis firm Smith & Co.

WPP acquired Glover Park last November. The mid-sized, Washington-based firm is known for its work in public affairs, government affairs and crisis communications. According to the company, GPG's total assets as of Sept. 30, 2011 were approximately $75 million in the U.S.

Mr. Johnson founded The Harbour Group, a small D.C. public-affairs firm, in 2001, and joined Glover Park in 2005. In the past, he served as President Clinton's senior adviser for policy and communications. Ms. Myers also has close ties with the Clinton Administration, having served as White House Press Secretary during the president's first term. She was also an original consultant for NBC White House drama "The West Wing ," according to the firm's website.

The Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA are now investigating the Petraeus matter. Among other things, they're looking into whether the information Ms. Broadwell obtained during her reporting for Gen. Petraeus' biography was classified.

The tone of coverage about Ms. Broadwell is already changing, with a number of news outlets of late reporting that she has expressed regret about the affair. It's not immediately clear whether Glover Park Group had anything to do with these reports, many of which point to anonymous sources. But such coverage takes the spotlight off the investigation into the affair's potential impact on national security and refocuses it on an individual trying to fix a personal mistake.

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