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February 3, 2009 | last updated November 30, 2011 5:06 pm

Savvy Inc. merges with Boston PR firm

Dennis Bailey of Savvy Inc. in his Portland office. (Photo/David A. Rodgers)

The man behind one of Maine's most prominent political public relations firms has merged with another PR outfit run by his twin brother. Dennis Bailey of Portland's Savvy Inc., the image machine behind controversial anti-gambling efforts in the state, has joined up with DBMediaStrategies Inc. of Boston, led by his mirror image, Doug Bailey.

The merger unites Savvy's political campaign and consulting expertise with DBMediaStrategies' forte in corporate and crisis communications, resulting in a one-stop shop for the region's PR needs, according to the brothers."It just made sense to combine forces," Dennis Bailey told Mainebiz.

The New England natives have worked together before. Last year, they teamed up to help Casino Free Mass defeat Gov. Deval Patrick's plans for three Las Vegas-style gambling casinos in Massachusetts. They also once shared a client, a Bar Harbor bank. The duo had discussed merging their efforts before, but today the timing is right, Douglas Bailey said. "With the economy the way it is, we thought this is actually a good thing, to broaden our horizons a little bit." Shared interests, from business to clothes to hairstyles, make the two a natural team, he said, adding wryly, "I'm 12 minutes older, senior partner."

Dry humor apparently is another shared trait. In a separate interview, Dennis gave his thoughts on working with his brother. "I don't want to get into all the family secrets," he said. "It's actually pretty good, I've taught him everything I know."

Dennis Bailey founded Savvy in 2000, following a career as a reporter at several Maine newspapers, including the Lewiston Sun Journal, Maine Times and the Portland Press Herald. He later served six years as communications director for Gov. Angus King. Savvy has since worked with more than 50 clients, including businesses, but he's best known for representing CasinosNO!, which opposed Maine's five casino proposals, four of which voters rejected.

Doug Bailey followed a similar career path, working as a reporter for the Journal Tribune in Biddeford and the York County Coast Star before joining The Boston Globe and becoming its deputy business editor, political editor and assistant metro editor for health and science. He later served as senior vice president of Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications Inc. before leaving to form DBMediaStrategies in January 2008. Among his company's clients are Cambridge Health Alliance, Arbella Insurance Group, Planet Aid and Hybrivet Systems Inc.

The combined firm will maintain separate offices in Boston and Portland and Savvy's brand name will dominate; Doug Bailey's firm is now labeled DBMediaStrategies Inc., a Savvy!-incorporated company. The brothers have about a dozen clients with annual billings approaching $1 million. They plan to serve a regional audience, but Dennis Bailey's forays into social media could launch the firm into the national scene, Doug Bailey said. "This is definitely a strategy for expansion. I think I've already gotten three or four resumes this morning."

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