Mercury Public Affairs launches digitalpracticeBrittaney KieferFebruary 15 2013SACRAMENTO, CA: Mercury Public Affairs has launched a digital practice led by former Virgin Americacorporate communications VP Abby Lunardini.Mercury Digital officially launched last month. It has already signed a number of public- and private-sector clients, including Virgin America. The practice offers services in social analytics, digital contentcreation and campaigns, and crisis management. It will operate across Sacramento, San Francisco, LosAngeles, Washington, DC, and New York.Mercury recruited Lunardini last October to help partner Adam Mendelsohn start the practice. Shepreviously managed PR for Virgin America for five years.“Were excited to combine elements of creative PR campaigns along with the crisis communications andissues management capabilities of our public affairs firm,” she said. “We really want to bring the best ofboth worlds into one offering for our clients. Everything is moving in that direction.”Besides Lunardini and Mendelsohn, the group also includes digital and social media SVP Jill Fletcher andMelissa Archuleta, VP of digital communications. Prior to this, Fletcher worked with Lunardini at VirginAmerica, where she served as director of social media. Archuleta previously developed and managedLatino social media channels and strategy for the 2012 Obama reelection campaign.
Mendelsohn, who founded Mercurys Sacramento office in 2007, also worked for the Republican NationalConvention in 2008, served as deputy chief of staff for former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R),and led communications strategy for Schwarzeneggers reelection campaign in 2006.Mercury Digital is in the process of filling two more roles on the team, Mendelsohn said.“We realized that corporate America needed a lot of the digital and social media infrastructure andabilities that political campaigns have,” Mendelsohn said. “Social media has put everybody in anenvironment thats similar to a political campaign, where the need to manage issues as quickly as possiblebecomes important.”Mercury will also start to focus on reaching Latinos in the digital space, Mendelsohn added.