News Release

July 6, 2015 

Contact: (703) 791-9434

The McPherson Square Group, Washington, DC’s Newest Strategic Communications Firm, Opens for Business

Fairfax, VA – The McPherson Square Group, LLC, a northern Virginia-based public relations and strategic communications firm co-founded by Brandon Friedman and Lauren Bailey, opened its doors this week. The new firm is offering clients a full range of services which include strategic planning, reputation management, media relations, writing and editing, website design and branding, social strategy, and crisis response.

The agency expects to grow quickly by servicing a variety of government, corporate, nonprofit, and campaign clients who work in areas where its founders can offer deep insight. Those areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Defense
  • International Business and Foreign Policy
  • Veterans Affairs
  • Housing, Urban Affairs and Community Development

“Having watched media evolve over the past decade, we see gaps in expertise which we know we can fill pretty easily for companies, government agencies, and nonprofits,” said McPherson Square Group CEO Brandon Friedman. “We’ve worked for all three, both in-house and as consultants, so we have an innate understanding of what our clients’ needs are. We’re really looking forward to the one-on-one interaction—where we can make our clients’ challenges our challenges.”

Friedman and Bailey first joined forces at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in 2009 where they worked closely to transform America’s second-largest federal agency from a press release-bound organization to one that effectively embraced all forms of digital communication. Brought in by then- Assistant Secretary (now Congresswoman) Tammy Duckworth to create VA’s first Office of Digital Media, they oversaw a “burgeoning social media empire” which was profiled on the front pages of the Washington Post, Federal Times, and Stars and Stripes. In 2011, AOL Government noted that VA’s digital operation had become “a model for other agencies.”

The McPherson Square Group co-founders later worked together at global PR firm FleishmanHillard, consulting for some of the world’s largest and most successful brands. While focused primarily on international business, Friedman and Bailey played an instrumental role in establishing FleishmanHillard’s military and veterans affairs practice—an internal team of consultants dedicated to advising clients working in those fields.

In early 2014, Friedman joined the Obama administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development—a cabinet agency with a $49 billion annual budget. There, he played a key role leading communications for new HUD Secretary Julián Castro and the department’s 8,000 employees. full suite of services

“We’ve helped cabinet secretaries and business leaders successfully navigate some fairly tricky situations,” Friedman continued. “We’re confident our clients will appreciate that.”   

About CEO Brandon Friedman

For nearly a decade, Brandon Friedman has been a trusted adviser to Fortune 500 companies, large government agencies, and fast-moving nonprofits. Before co-founding The McPherson Square Group, he served in the Obama administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Beginning his career in 2000 as an infantry platoon leader and executive officer in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, Friedman led soldiers in both Afghanistan and Iraq. After leaving active duty in 2004, he changed careers and spent the next decade as a communicator in politics, government, and business. Friedman has advised senior-level corporate clients as a vice president with global PR firm FleishmanHillard, launched and led the first Office of Digital Media at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and served as a spokesperson for, helping to elect veterans to public office.

A regular media contributor since 2007, Friedman’s memoir, The War I Always Wanted, was recognized in 2010 by The Military Times as one of “The Best Military Books of the Decade.” He has also been published by outlets like The New York Times, The Huffington Post, TIME, and The Guardian. For his work in media and communications, Friedman has been profiled by The Washington Post, Stars and Stripes, and Government Executive. He is quoted in the press often and has appeared on CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Al Jazeera and C-SPAN. Friedman was selected in 2010 as a Truman National Security Fellow and designated an “emerging leader” by Government Executive in 2012. In 2013, he was named by Stars and Stripes as one of the most influential voices on Twitter for veterans policy.

About COO Lauren Bailey

Since 2009, Lauren Bailey has played a central role at the confluence of public relations and technology in both business and government. At the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, she served as special assistant to the first Chief Technology Officer in America’s second-largest federal agency. In that role, she led efforts to implement the White House Open Government initiative while overseeing the technical aspects of VA’s adoption of social media.

Less than two years later, Bailey became Deputy Director of VA’s first Office of Digital Media—a role in which she managed day-to-day operations for a team featured in The Washington Post, The Federal Times, Government Executive, and Stars and Stripes.

In 2012, FedScoop called Bailey a “rising star” and “up-and-comer,” naming her to its annual list of the top 50 innovators in government and industry. After leaving VA in early 2013, Bailey joined the award-winning digital team at global PR firm FleishmanHillard where she led communications projects for some of the world’s largest companies. She most recently led a team of digital strategists at CDR Fundraising Group.



The McPherson Square Group helps clients build brands and reach stakeholders across today’s rapidly
changing media landscape. We work with the most successful companies, largest government agencies,
and fastest moving nonprofits to communicate critical messages to the right audience at the right time.