We are the innovators. The storytellers. We translate the complex into the clear and elegant, the actionable
and the compelling. See how we do it, read about our work, and meet the team.

Brands and industries, disruptors and causes, come on in. We’re glad to see you.

Keep the Music Playing

In 2007, the Copyright Royalty Board, an arm of of the Library of Congress, raised royalty rates by 300%–1200% on Internet radio, which, if allowed to remain, would kill the nascent but innovative and growing radio service.

Racing against the clock, we mobilized Internet webcasters and supporters and within a matter of weeks, launched SaveNetRadio, a broad-based coalition of more than 100,000 webcasters large and small, listeners, artists, and labels that catapulted the issue onto front pages across the country. Through the powerful combination of coalition building, public relations, grassroots lobbying, and social media, we kept the issue alive in the press and helped the coalition bring groups of Internet radio executives and artists to the Hill to share their stories and sing their songs. They testified in the House, held briefings with key staff, met with members of Congress and even held concerts on the park grounds of the Senate, right in front of the U.S. Capitol.

As a result of these efforts, Congress passed the Webcaster Settlement Act the following year, which allowed webcasters to continue negotiating royalty rates, and granted them an alternative to the staggering Copyright Royalty Board rates. Internet radio would live.

The SaveNetRadio Campaign was later named the grassroots campaign of the year by National Journal.

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The Innovation Bands

Most of us know unlicensed best in the form we use every day—WiFi. Unlicensed spectrum, because it does not operate under an exclusive, interference-free license, is open to everyone, and importantly, is a real catalyst for innovation and economic growth.

It is also the subject of many controversial proposals aimed at auctioning these public innovation bands to the highest bidder instead of keeping them open. The Wireless Innovation Alliance, having won the battle for FCC rules in 2008, was faced with losing the war in Congress in 2012 unless policymakers understood firsthand from engineers and business leaders how unlicensed technologies already contribute $5 billion per year to the U.S. economy.

And so, we brought Washington to Silicon Valley.

We created a groundbreaking, interactive event in the Valley led by three key influencers—the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, the start-up community represented by Engine Advocacy, and technology media company GigaOm—where we showcased progress across the ecosystem and identified future opportunities.

Over 100 strategic influencers, including key FCC staff and other policymakers, applications developers, chip manufacturers, database developers, investors, academics and press attended the daylong event, with hundreds more watching online.

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Saving the Internet

NetCoalition, representing the Internet’s leading brands, including eBay, Amazon.com, Google, Yahoo!, IAC and Bloomberg, has long served as the bridge between Silicon Valley and the Beltway… and then came SOPA and PIPA.

The “Protect IP Act” and the “Stop Online Piracy Act” promised dangerous remedies for so-called offshore piracy, thus threatening Internet functionality, Internet freedom and even free speech.
Glen Echo created a communications strategy for NetCoalition, using advertising, infographics and events to translate the difficult engineering and legal ramifications of the bills into terms Internet users, the media and the public could understand and act on.

Up against the movie studios, record labels and the US Chamber of Commerce, we were able to create such compelling content that one ad was held up by a Member of Congress and entered into the Congressional Record. In what several reporters called the day the Internet’s sleeping-giants woke up, this true grassroots movement culminated in the “Internet Blackout” on January 18, 2012 when over 115,000 websites went dark. Armed with messaging developed by Glen Echo, Internet users signed more than 7 million petitions and placed thousands of calls to Capitol Hill, which responded by halting the proposed pieces of legislation in their tracks.

NetCoalition’s Markham Erickson was front and center, regularly appearing in leading media outlets including The New York Times, Fox News, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and CNN.

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Toppling the Telecom Duopoly

When AT&T shocked the industry with its intent to acquire T-Mobile USA, the rest of the market, consumer advocates, trade organizations and investors predicted it would put the wireless communications industry “on the doorstep of duopoly.”

They turned to Glen Echo to help them stop the deal.

We organized and branded the opposition, creating a coalition of allies and stakeholders under the No Takeover Project. The group allowed innovators, academics, legal experts, consumer rights groups and businesses to synchronize their efforts to force key regulators and legislators to take a closer look at the dire consequences of the deal.

Glen Echo developed a multi-phased campaign that included earned and paid media, events, grassroots, web outreach, infographics and advocacy designed to educate and impact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Justice, Capitol Hill, state attorneys general, and constituents in key districts. Against all odds, the No Takeover Project shifted the public discourse from prevailing inevitability to one of grave concern. The Department of Justice ultimately filed suit to block the deal, followed by the FCC, forcing AT&T to withdraw its application.

The effort went on to win the prestigious Silver Anvil Award for the 2012 Public Affairs Campaign of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America.

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Freeing the Airwaves

In 2007, innovators were fighting for access to the TV-white spaces, but faced powerful opposition. They weren’t being heard, so they came to us to turn up the volume.

We created a broad-based group of stakeholders dedicated to ensuring the most efficient, effective and flexible use of spectrum in order to fuel growing demand and new technologies. We branded the group the Wireless Innovation Alliance (WIA) and worked quickly to shift the terms of the debate both inside and outside the Beltway. As the FCC vote loomed closer, WIA created “White Spaces Day” on Capitol Hill, featuring Google co-founder Larry Page, which aimed at educating Members on the value of unlicensed spectrum through one-on-one meetings, technology policy panels and real-time demonstrations of white space technologies.

In November 2008, the FCC voted 5-0 to approve the unlicensed use of TV White Spaces. This was only the first of a series of victories for white spaces. WIA has managed to secure the preservation of unlicensed spectrum despite a series of bills aimed at auctioning this vital public resource to the highest bidder, all while continuing to educate lawmakers and the public on the importance of unlicensed spectrum as a catalyst for innovation and an economic driver.

In 2010, the WIA campaign was named “Public Affairs Campaign of the Year” by the Holmes Report.

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Making Fiber Sexy

As the world shifts to a knowledge-based economy and America lags farther and farther behind in broadband speeds and adoption, Blair Levin, former Executive Director of the National Broadband Plan and Chief of Staff to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, decided we could not afford to wait to build the network necessary to ensure global competitiveness for the 21st Century. To make that idea a reality, he came to the Glen Echo Group.

Levin turned to the nation’s leading research universities and the communities around them for a lesson on how to seed innovation.

So was born Gig.U—The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project—a consortium of 37 research university communities who joined together to bring world-class connectivity to their campus communities as test-beds for innovations in energy, healthcare, technology and public safety.

The New York Times’ Tom Friedman highlighted the effort and Levin in particular in his January 3, 2012 column titled, “So Much Fun. So Irrelevant.”

Glen Echo helped bring together the 37 member universities under a coordinated and compelling brand and advised the developing organization on policy, messaging, website production, executive leadership, event planning and social media efforts.

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Services

Media Relations

We know the beats, we know the bloggers, we know their perspectives, and we know the best way to get a message through the clutter. You walk the walk, and we’ll talk the talk.

Advertising

The Glen Echo Group isn’t satisfied with the everyday. That’s why we constantly strive to create new and engaging campaigns for each one of our clients that reflect its personality, product and goals.

New Media

With client needs continually evolving, the Glen Echo Group develops robust client offerings within the realm of new and social media. When it comes to new media, we are very proud of our nerd-dom, and are happy to leverage it for our clients.

Public Affairs and Issue Advocacy

Some people call them policy debates. Some people call them fights. We call them a whole lot of fun.

Coalition Building

We believe that we are stronger together than apart. The world is moving too fast for singular entities to keep up – and organizations can often find themselves paralyzed by competing membership: Enter the Age of the Coalition.

Events

With the list of do's and dont's in the world of event management growing by the second, the Glen Echo Group knows what it takes to not only navigate it, but to break through it to create standout events that move the needle for you.
Because even our mothers don't understand exactly what we do.

About Us

Named by the National Journal as one of Washington, D.C.’s top women-owned firms, the Glen Echo Group is the go-to for clients looking for strategic, cutting-edge communications and issue advocacy that integrates public affairs, media relations, coalition building, event planning, and social media with creative and compelling tools that get the job done. We represent clients across the New Economy, ranging from the Fortune 500 to the smallest of start-ups, always with the same philosophy: We listen. We think. We create. We win.

Clients come to the Glen Echo Group because we know that in order to win a complex public policy debate or launch a new technology, you just can’t fake it. We understand every angle – the press, the public, the policymakers, and most importantly, our clients. We don’t waste time with billable hours, endless meetings or inefficient (and annoying) bureaucracy. We just get it done.

And we’re growing! Check out our internship opportunities here.

Team

Glen Echo Group team member headshot

Maura Corbett, CEO & Founder

Maura Colleton Corbett is the CEO and Founder of the Glen Echo Group, with over two decades of communications, media, public affairs and coalition building experience with companies and organizations building the New Economy.

Corbett provides strategic counsel to clients faced with complicated issues particularly within the high-technology industry, including Internet competition, wireless technologies, broadband deployment and applications, and content-related policy issues including privacy, security and copyright.

A proud New Jersey native, Corbett graduated from the University of Notre Dame and used to moonlight as the lead singer in band.

She is the mother of two marvelous daughters and one neurotic dog.

Glen Echo Group team member headshot

Ben Finzel, Executive Vice President

Ben Finzel joins Glen Echo Group as Executive Vice President. He is skilled in integrated communications efforts built on strategy, messaging, media relations, partnership development and social media.

Finzel began his career as a Congressional press secretary and legislative director. He was then a presidential appointee during the Clinton Administration and worked with four communications firms on public affairs and media and consumer campaigns and issues.

A D.C. native, Finzel graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in history. In addition to attending every home college football game, he was a college radio news director and on-air DJ (and he often played artists such as Peter, Paul and Mary and Anita Baker in the same set).

Glen Echo Group Team - Katie Barr

Katie Barr, Vice President

Katie Barr serves as the Glen Echo Group’s Vice President, specializing in issue advocacy, message development and coalition building.

Prior to joining Glen Echo, Barr served as a Director at Qorvis Communications where she represented clients specializing in public relations, grassroots and issue advocacy, and social media communications. As an associate at Trippi & Associates, Barr learned under the tutelage of one of the nation’s premier political consultants, Joe Trippi, providing multimedia and strategic communications for progressive political, nonprofit, and corporate campaigns.

Barr graduated from Brown University with degrees in Political Science and Public Policy and American Institutions.

A Chicago native, Barr remains a long-suffering Cubs fan.

Glen Echo Group Team - Ellen Satterwhite

Ellen Satterwhite, Director

Ellen Satterwhite joins the Glen Echo Group as a Director. She helps clients formulate policy positions and tell their stories with good one-liners backed by solid data.

As a co-author of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan, Consumer Policy Advisor to the Commission, and freelance consultant, her work has been written about in Huffington Post, AllThingsD, CNet, Geekwire, GigaOm and CivSource. Previously, Ellen served as Program Director for Gig.U, supporting communities seeking gigabit speeds.

Satterwhite earned a Master’s in Public Affairs from UT Austin and a BA from Grinnell College. She believes brevity is the soul of wit and someone should tell that to YouTube commenters.

Glen Echo Group team member headshot

Angela Hooks, Associate

As an Associate with the Glen Echo Group, Angela Hooks provides communications support, from research and writing to public relations, for a plethora of clients.

Prior to Glen Echo, Angela completed a fellowship at FWD.us, an organization dedicated to getting the technology industry more involved in politics, where her work focused primarily around grassroots and issue advocacy, event management and research.

Hooks is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with a minor in English. In her spare time, Angela can be found managing fashion shows and avoiding injury on the rugby field.

Glen Echo Group team member headshot

Jazmyn Blockson, Associate

Jazmyn Blockson specializes in media and public relations and serves as an Associate with the Glen Echo Group.

Previously, Jazmyn designed and implemented strategic communications strategies for the Congressional Black Caucus, two Members of Congress and a national presidential reelection campaign. Moreover, she effectively leveraged Congresswoman Marcia Fudge’s chairwomanship of the Congressional Black Caucus to elevate the Representative’s profile, visibility and legislative agenda.

Jazmyn graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in strategic communications and public affairs journalism. She is a true Buckeye with a relentless passion for Cleveland, which only intensified when LeBron James announced his return to the Cavaliers on her birthday.

Glen Echo Group team member headshot

Justin Cline, Associate

Justin Cline brings his style and cunning to the Glen Echo Group as an Associate with strong expertise in visual storytelling. He serves as Glen Echo’s graphic designer and videographer and happily dabbles in a slew other forms of communicative media. He most recently piloted a program at Ohio State creating iBooks and interactive online courses for graduate programs.

Justin draws inspiration from literature, art, television and humor and is eager to draw on his personal flair for Glen Echo clients’ creative needs.

He was raised in Ohio and is a graduate of The Ohio State University. Football drove him away from Columbus, Ohio to his new home in DC. He looks forward to visiting the red pandas at the National Zoo.