For-profit

617 Media Group LLC

Website:

617mediagroup.com/

Tax ID:

61-7MediaGroup

Location:

Waltham, Massachusetts

Type:

Political Communications Firm

Founded:

2016

President:

Jeff Hall

617MediaGroup is a left-of-center communications firm with headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts. Its clients include labor unions, Democratic and other left-progressive political candidates, and left-of-center advocacy organizations.

Senior leadership at 617MediaGroup all have prior work experience with progressive organizations, unions, or Democratic political figures. Jeff Hall, founder and president, was director of communications for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the largest labor union in America, for more than 10 years. [1]

617MediaGroup workers are organized by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, [2] a federation of 57 national and international labor unions. [3]

Background

617MediaGroup was formed in 2016 by Jeff Hall as 617MediaGroup.com. [4] It is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts and has offices in Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, California, and Washington, D.C. [5] In 2018, the organization’s name was changed to 617 Media Group. [6]

The company focuses on services for a select client base of unions, liberal advocacy organizations, and left-progressive political candidates. [7] It provides communications and public relations services, including advertising, branding, content strategy, graphic design, and public relations. [8]

Clients

617MediaGroup clients include labor unions, left-of-center advocacy organizations, and Democratic and other liberal political campaigns. [9]

In 2018, 617MediaGroup worked with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) to fight privatization of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. [10]

The Massachusetts AFL-CIO contracted with 617MediaGroup in 2018 to develop “unionsignup.com,” an online tool for labor organizations to enroll workers for union membership and union political action programs. [11]

In 2019 and 2020, clients included Electrical Industry Labor Management Cooperation Trust, [12] International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 103, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, and Kennedy for Massachusetts. [13]

Associated Organizations

617MediaGroup is associated with the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA). Its staff are unionized under an agreement with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. [14]

Leadership

Jeff Hall is president and founder of 617MediaGroup. [15] Before founding 617MediaGroup, Hall was director of communications for the Service Employees International Union for more than 10 years. [16] SEIU campaigns include free college tuition, student debt forgiveness, and universal healthcare. [17]

Senior leadership at 617MediaGroup all have prior work experience with progressive organizations, unions, or democratic political figures.

Jaclyn Kessel, managing director, started her career working on political campaigns, electing left-progressive Democrats. [18] She worked at BerlinRosen, [19] a campaign consulting and PR firm specializing in Democratic candidates and causes. [20] At BerlinRosen she developed left-wing communications strategies, including  “Fight for $15”, an SEIU-backed campaign to unionize and increase the minimum wage for fast food workers; worked on “Walmart Free NYC”, a campaign to keep Walmart out of New York City; and worked closely with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the Freelancers Union. [21]

Krissi Jimroglou, senior executive vice president, previously held positions at Working America, the political organizing arm of the AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), United Way Worldwide, and Pew Charitable Trusts. [22]

Senior executive vice president Alexandra Zaroulis was previously communications director for former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D). [23]

Taylor Maxwell, executive vice president, previously held several communications positions at Everytown for Gun Safety, founded by billionaire liberal politician Michael Bloomberg, and BerlinRosen. [24]

Executive vice president Christian Hanley founded and operated Defiance Strategies for over 8 years. Defiance Strategies was a communications firm that worked specifically with labor unions and left-progressive political candidates. [25]

Executive vice president Rachel Gumpert’s prior work experience includes having worked as political action representative for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and as regional field director for the Nevada State Democratic Party. [26]

Controversies

In 2021, 617MediaGroup created the ad campaign “Yes for RI” supporting ballot measures for various state bonds. [27] The ad campaign pushed Rhode Islanders to vote for seven bond issues totaling $400 million for investment in state beaches and parks, public transportation, public education and higher education facilities, and public and nonprofit arts programs. [28] GoLocalProv, an online news outlet for Rhode Island, criticized measure supporters for using of a Massachusetts-based firm rather than a Rhode Island business. [29]

References

  1. LinkedIn – Jeff H. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffhall617/ ^
  2. 617MediaGroup. Accessed January 9, 2022. https://617mediagroup.com/ ^
  3. “About Us.” AFL-CIO. Accessed January 9, 2022. https://aflcio.org/about-us ^
  4. 617 Media Group LLC. Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – Corporations Division. Accessed January 9, 2022. https://corp.sec.state.ma.us/CorpWeb/CorpSearch/CorpSearchResults.aspx ^
  5. 617MediaGroup. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://617mediagroup.com/ ^
  6. 617 Media Group LLC. Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – Corporations Division. Accessed January 9, 2022. https://corp.sec.state.ma.us/CorpWeb/CorpSearch/CorpSearchResults.aspx ^
  7. “Services.” 617MediaGroup. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://617mediagroup.com/our-services/ ^
  8. “Services.” 617MediaGroup. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://617mediagroup.com/our-services/ ^
  9. “Kessel named new managing director of 617MediaGroup.” New England Real Estate Journal. June 15, 2018. Accessed January 8, 2022. https://nerej.com/kessel-named-new-managing-director-of-617mediagroup ^
  10. “Activate L!VE Special Edition: Netroots Nation Day 2.” YouTube. August 2, 2018. Accessed January 9, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzmViRtcAWA ^
  11. “UnionSignUp.com aims to make joining a union easier in digital age.” UnionSignUp – News – Press Releases. June 4, 2018. Accessed January 9, 2022. https://unionsignup.com/news/press-releases/unionsignup-com-aims-to-make-joining-a-union-easier-in-digital-age/ ^
  12. Electrical Industry Labor Management Cooperation Trust, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990), 2019. ^
  13. “Vendor/Recipient: 617MediaGroup.” OpenSecrets. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://www.opensecrets.org/campaign-expenditures/vendor?cycle=2020&vendor=617mediagroup ^
  14. 617MediaGroup. Accessed January 9, 2022. https://617mediagroup.com/ ^
  15. “Our People.” 617MediaGroup. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://617mediagroup.com/our-people/ ^
  16. LinkedIn – Jeff H. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffhall617/ ^
  17. “Campaigns.” SEIU – About. Accessed January 10, 2022. https://www.seiu.org/about#campaigns ^
  18. “Our People.” 617MediaGroup. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://617mediagroup.com/our-people/ ^
  19. “Kessel named new managing director of 617MediaGroup.” New England Real Estate Journal. June 15, 2018. Accessed January 8, 2022. https://nerej.com/kessel-named-new-managing-director-of-617mediagroup ^
  20. “BerlinRosen.” BallotPedia. Accessed January 8, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/BerlinRosen ^
  21. “Our People.” 617MediaGroup. Accessed January 8, 2022. https://617mediagroup.com/our-people/ ^
  22. LinkedIn – Krissi Jimroglou. Accessed January 8, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kjimroglou/ ^
  23. LinkedIn – Alexandra Zaroulis. Accessed January 9, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandra-zaroulis/ ^
  24. LinkedIn – Taylor Maxwell. Accessed January 9, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/taylormaxw/ ^
  25. LinkedIn – Christian Hanley. Accessed January 9, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/christianmhanley/ ^
  26. LinkedIn – Rachel Gumpert. Accessed January 9, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-gumpert-65b69023/ ^
  27. “Yes for RI” Campaign Run by Massachusetts Firm.” GoLocal Prov – Politics. February 17, 2021. Accessed January 8, 2022. https://www.golocalprov.com/politics/yes-for-ri-campaign-run-by-ma-firm-video-with-scenes-unknown ^
  28. “Seven Questions. One Answer: Yes.” Yes for Rhode Island website. Accessed January 8, 2022. https://yesforri.org/ ^
  29. “Yes for RI” Campaign Run by Massachusetts Firm.” GoLocal Prov – Politics. February 17, 2021. Accessed January 8, 2022. https://www.golocalprov.com/politics/yes-for-ri-campaign-run-by-ma-firm-video-with-scenes-unknown ^
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