Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

Identify the Entities, Find the Funding, Talk Sense!

Non-entity** ‘NATIONAL Safe Parents Coalition’ + non-entity ‘NATIONAL Family Violence Law Center’ (actually, GWU.edu) = WHOSE money behind attempt to (inter)NATIONALIZE DV, CA and the FamilyCourts? [From Feb. 6, 2022, post moved here April. 1].

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A few days ago I looked for and quickly found the Audited Financial Statements of George Washington University, which seemed to be timely, well-constructed, and quite readable.  Of course they didn’t have the level of detail needed to identify funding going to specific Centers, but I did learn more by looking for this information (seems to be privileged, in-house).  …  Know that, until more definite information surfaces (or can be dug up), donations to NFVLC ℅ Joan Meier go to the university which — again, I just looked — isn’t hurting for assets, or revenues.  You should read them!

THIS POST IS: Non-entity** ‘NATIONAL Safe Parents Coalition’ + non-entity ‘NATIONAL Family Violence Law Center’ (actually, GWU.edu) = WHOSE money behind attempt to (inter)NATIONALIZE DV, CA and the FamilyCourts? [From Feb. 6, 2022, post moved here April. 1]. (case-sensitive short-link ends “-e5D”).

**So far as I know.  One thing I do know — the website as constructed has no intention of revealing any business entity filed anywhere, or a legal domicile, or who, exactly, paid for that classy website that went up so suddenly February 4, 2022. With no legal domicile, that leaves in the USA, 50 states, the District of Columbia and (while less likely still possible) any territories or anything “USA” to be checked, individually, for a legal domiciles.  You want to do that? (Neither do I).  So for now, it’s a non-entity and that’s a big deal in this context.

My Feb. 6 post in draft is still being whittled down while NSPC, aided and abetted by NFVLC, as I speak — that is April 1, 2022 — has another press release again showing its true colors in both agenda, and modus operandi.

I brought another section from  my Feb. 6 post (now down to about 7,000 words) here, and addressed that press release while I’m at it. The section reminds readers of the misuse of the word “national” as it applies to the two website names and relentess promotion campaigns shown in the title.  It’s just a word — and not being attached to an existing entity, dba, fictitious name (in either case) it’s not even an “it” let alone “national.”

The pressure is go along with the crowd, go with the flow, the momentum is irresistible, goes approximately like this:

We’re organized, we are many, we are the good guys — and you know you’re NOT organized —  so give it up now!  We got Federal VAWA Authorization – Kayden’s Law passed now it’s (all but) your civic duty, “safe parents,” to c’mon and  — we’ll coach you how — to get your state to pass the federal model of Kayden’s Law because we say it’s the right thing to do — and look at all the press we’re getting!  Leave it to us experts; we have a track record of success… — and remember, “It’s time for solidarity!

Yeah, well, any day now I’ll be showing at least the visible identified members of NSPC (that’s fifteen logos so far) even though one has already blocked me on Twitter (custody-peace.org) and the Twitter version of NationalSafeParents.org (@Safe_Parents) also blocked me), less so the murdered-kids Moms (I’ve got SOME compassion!) than the others who know better but didn’t do better…

With still NO working definition of NSPC or any legal domicile where its existence might be determined,  an April 1, 2022 press release uses the phrase NSPC nine times in one page, and NFVLC once on the side bar, emphasizing that we must now ALL (across the United States) pass the federal VAWA Kayden’s Law (NSPC unleashed just Feb. 4, 2022, to add momentum to this push, and to lend an impression that it’s grass-roots — which it’s not…).

Part of this post reiterates what I said in two posts on this in one day, January 30, 2022, “National Nonprofit:  True or False? … Flat-Out Deception for USA-Legal domiciled Entities?] (short-link ends  “-dgS”) and “NATIONAL” Nonprofits? (Centers, Initiatives, etc.) in the USA? No Such Thing. US Treasury’s CAFR explains ‘ENTITY’… ] (“-dvu”).  

The other part shows the press release (and four or five images from it), discusses (out of curiosity) who owns which media brands involved in it, and while here (and because the press release includes a sidebar testimonial from NFVLC) I posted four screenshots (marked up) and the pdf to a pre-launch announcement about NFVLC I found on-line the other day, apparently intended for people in a certain reading list, not the general public.  I annotated it.

We already (reasonably) know that Joan Meier et al. want to copy the model of the healthy marriage / responsible fatherhood clearinghouses and university centers they won’t report on, and the domestic violence networks they work with and have been (as DV LEAP) a member of — but don’t show how are organized either — and keep safe, preserve from being dismantled, and protect their niche turf — MAKING FAMILY COURTS SAFE, AND BY THE WAY, WE’RE EXPERTS ON TOPICS A,B, AND C, and ONLY PEOPLE AS QUALIFIED AS (OURSELVES) SHOULD BE TESTIFYING OR TRAINING.

…While still cherry-picking cases to litigate and make-believe that the long, slow appellate precedent way to clean up a system filled with conflicts of interest, and identified private interests, is to write more laws..

My two January 30, 2022, posts on “National” (above) were written to point out yet another egregious, double-whammy mis-use of the word “national” while I was on a blogging theme 2022 (again) defining and promoting the use of this word entity, to call attention to gaping holes in accountability for use of public funds (and how much private funding is in the gas tank) through which almost anything can be run for any price BECAUSE of those gaping holes.  So was this post..

People who construct and operate routinely in this matter do not have the public interest in heart — only private interests.  They’ve already indicated that “the means justifies the ends” and that bullying, lying, withholding, and bossing vulnerable populations around in the name of representing their interests is what they do.  These habits typify cults, and cults within cults (definite hierarchy shown here, despite the constant use of terms of address or self-reference “we” “us” “ours” and implying major collaborative numbers.

Compared to the United States (and, because the promotion is intent to be global, I can say this — compared to the world’s) population — this is not representative.  it’s the opposite in numbers, honesty, practices, speech, education (drilling people what to say to their legislators isn’t “education” its bullying) and demanding ALL while providing, on closer look, not much.

“Dumb-it-down, build in some fail-safe fallacies (i.e., set up those carrying the banner on the front lines) and show all others involved where the “fresh meat” (gullible people already hooked up with exploiters/profiteers) may be found.”

It also gives legislators the advantage of being considered as doing good without actually having to do it — after all, what better marketing policy IS there than protecting CHILDREN and keeping everything and everyone “SAFE”?

This group (the “dynamic duo of non-entities) seems desperately urgent to get “all 50 states” (and the rest of the planet) to subscribe, sign-on, and start following their battle cry before lone wolves like myself and other (presumably) men, women and aged-out children disgusted with being constantly bombarded with sales pitches for “technical assistance and training” and more money to persuade, apparently, more judges to be good guys this time around, and do their civil-servant jobs right.  The family court (“private custody courts” language in Kayden’s law seems specifically designed to be heard outside the United States — it’s not a term in common use within the USA for the family court system — but it is in use in Commonwealth countries referring to their (not our) family courts…)

To “incentivize the states” to do (what #FamilyCourtReformists — the professionals, utilizing voices of survivors who’ve been effectively distracted from fact-checking (most things…) — and of course, not hard to persuade DV orgs already taking DOJ & HHS funding, that more of the same would be a good thing.

That quote is just my call-out; it’s what I’m saying now and have been saying…

The publicity isn’t exactly hurting Danielle Pollack’s reputation much, either — or people who paid to play “One Mom’s Battle” High-Conflict Divorce Coaching” the Tina Swithin way…  (See the release)

PRWeb.com Fri April 1, 2022 Promo by NSPC for NSPC & NFVLC re getting STATES to pass VAWA ALL 50 States to pass Kayden’s Law). The media identifications: [under CISION] logo… © Copyright 1997-2015, Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC. Vocus, PRWeb, and Publicity Wire are trademarks or registered trademarks of Vocus, Inc. or Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC.

These people give women a bad  name. I won’t say “mothers” because I don’t know how many of them actually gave birth to and raised children.  I won’t say “Family Court Gauntlet Survivors” because I doubt those are the majority of such a coalition — but such are certainly the targeted market niche.

Besides the NINE references to non-entity (that I can see) NSPC, there’s a large call-out also calling attention (as a testimonial, some more tangible point of reference in place and time) to NFVLC at GWU. Here’s an image (also visible in the above-left smaller one above).

PRWeb.com Fri April 1, 2022 Promo by NSPC for NSPC and NFVLC re getting STATES to pass VAWA ALL 50 States to pass Kayden’s Law). NFVLC Quote (right sidebar press release) ref. Danielle Pollack.

 “Vocus, PRWeb and Publicity Wire are trademarks or registered trademarks of Vocus, Inc. or Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC).” **

Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC is in Beltsville, Maryland.

Looks like the non-entity above has no problem affording the services.  Whether such information true or not, Im showing you paid-for press releases, with significant reach. I know because years ago I looked into whether I might afford PRWeb myself (and couldn’t).  Its circulation even of that single (or more likely, a series of) announcements matters at the “granular” level.

** Vocus (software) (Wiki).  (There’s another VOCUS in Australia; this seems different):

….Vocus was founded in 1992 by Rick Rudman and Bob Lentz and was a publicly held company until June 2014 when it was taken private by Chicago-based private equity company GTCR. The company operates additional offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Since late 2014, the company merged with Cision AB to form Cision Inc. as the succeeding company.

Cision is Cision, Ltd. (and also in Chicago  but legal domicile — Cayman Islands):

Cision Ltd. is a public relations and earned media software company and services provider. The company is incorporated in the Cayman Islands[1] and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois; with clients worldwide. The company went public via reverse merger in June 2017. In addition to its web-based PR and earned media software as a service (SaaS) suite the Cision Communications Cloud, the company owns online publicity and media services PRNewswire, PRWeb, Bulletin Intelligence, L’Argus de la presse [fr], Help a Reporter Out(HARO), CEDROM-SNI, Prime Research, and Canada Newswire. The company operates in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

Company is led by Brandon Crawley, Interim CEO & Managing Director Platinum Equity

Platinum Equity — Leveraged buyouts, starting (half a decade late?  I thought the 1980s were the LBO heyday):

Platinum Equity, LLC is an American private equity investment firm founded by Tom Gores in 1995. The firm focuses on leveraged buyout investments of established companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia.[1] …. …

Platinum Equity was founded in 1995 by Tom Gores. The firm’s first acquisition was LSI, a company that generated computer graphics to re-create accidents for courtroom testimony. After purchasing it for $200,000, Platinum Equity focused on servicing existing customers and returning the company to profitability.[2]

Over the next five years, between July 1996 and September 2001, the firm made 32 acquisitions with $226 million, and realized $940 million on those investments. These acquisitions included a call center (Foresight Software), networking gear (Racal Electronics), and voice and data service (Williams Communications).[2]BusinessWeek ranked the firm number 10 on its 1999 list of the country’s top 20 private IT organizations, based on 1998 revenues.[3][4]

During this period of acquisition growth, additional partners joined the firm and several other joined through key acquisitions starting in 1999.[5][6][7]

The firm’s first fund, Platinum Equity Capital Partners, was raised in 2004 and had a 62.5% net internal rate of return as of June 30, 2009.[8] For the second fund, Platinum Equity Capital Partners II, which closed in September 2008, despite uncertainty in the financial markets. the firm initially sought a $1.5 billion leveraged buyout fund and nearly doubled it by raising $2.75 billion.[9][10]

In 2009, during the financial crisis, Platinum Equity acquired 14 companies in the first 11 months of 2009, eight of them full buyouts<.span>.[9]

. . . .In early 2019, Platinum Equity completed the purchase of customs broker and freight forwarder Livingston International for an undisclosed sum, acquiring the firm from Sterling Partners and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.[25][26][27] In November 2020, Platinum announced the sale of PrimeSource, a global distributor of specialty building materials, to Clearlake Capital Group. Details of the sale were not disclosed.[28]

Platinum Equity fn 32 (“Under pressure from activists, L.A. billionaire’s prison telecom announces reforms“. LA Times. 2020-01-21). Platinum Equity at the time (shown here) per Wiki ran CISION, which is the topic (4/1/2022 post in draft).

Prison communication[edit]

In 2017, Platinum Equity acquired prison communication firm Securus Technologies. The firm came under pressure from criminal justice activists for its alleged excessive pricing for prison calls, borne primarily by poor and minority prisoners.[32] In 2019, Platinum Equity announced plans to reorganize the company as a more diverse technology company, and created Aventiv Technologies as Securus’ new corporate parent.[32][33]

  1. “Under pressure from activists, L.A. billionaire’s prison telecom announces reforms”. LA Times. 2020-01-21. Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  2. ^ “Dallas-area company that’s targeted prison populations realigns structure, broadens reach”. Dallas Business Journal. 2019-10-08. Retrieved 2020-01-22.

(Footnotes above are 32 & 33 from the Wiki):

Read the one from the Los Angeles Times!

 

I looked up Tom Gores, who seems to be a self-made and highly motivated guy.  That said, all the major profits from buying and selling media comes with a high price tag for consumers; and the context for this post (but an area to watch overall) is who owns media.  See last paragraph (of my section from his Wiki):  San Diego Union Times bought and sold at a major profit within just two years:

In May 2009, Gores purchased The San Diego Union-Tribune for an estimated $30 million[5] (the newspaper was sold in 2011 for $110 million)[10]

It seems more and more when I go to read an article on-line, it’s limited views or, sometimes NO views, without subscribing, either for free, or “easy-in-but-don’t-forget-to-get-out!” starter subscription prices.  Including the one mentioned here.

Tom Gores (born Tewfiq Georgious,[2] Arabic: توفيق جورجيوس; July 31, 1964)[3] is an American billionaire businessman. He is the founder of Platinum Equity, a private equity firm headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In June 2011, Gores and Platinum Equity became the owners of the National Basketball Association‘s Detroit Pistons. He become sole owner in 2015. As of March 2022, his net worth was estimated at US$6.0 billion.[4]

Gores was born in Nazareth, Israel on July 31, 1964.[3] He was the fifth of six children[5] in a practicing Catholic family with a father of Greek descent and a mother of Lebanese descent.[6] When he was around five years old, he and his family left Nazareth and settled in Genesee, Michigan located 10 miles northeast of Flint.[6] His first job involved stocking shelves at his uncle’s grocery store in Genesee. While a student at Genesee High School, Gores played defensive back in football, middle infielder in baseball, and guard in basketball.[7]  // [Paragraph omitted] After high school, he attended Michigan State University, where he worked as a janitor and telemarketer to make ends meet.[5] He graduated in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in construction management.[3][6]

After college, Gores had a short stint at Continental Telephone before helping found a lumber-logistics software firm (Ventech). In 1989, Tom and his wife drove from Michigan to Los Angeles in a used Cadillac to run the firm’s West Coast operations.[5][8] In 1995, Gores founded Platinum Equity in his home in Sherman Oaks. At the outset, Gores cold-called businesses to see if they had any divisions they were looking to offload. He found his first project with Litigation Services, Inc. (LSI), a then unprofitable firm that created computer-generated re-creations of accidents for courtroom evidence and testimony. He acquired it for $200,000, reorganized some of the corporate structure, and had returned it to profitability within six months. Between 1996 and 2001, Gores led 32 acquisitions, ///

Gores was first listed on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans in 2002.[9] In 2006, he led a deal to acquire PNA Steel, ultimately selling it to Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. in 2008 for a net profit of $512 million. In May 2009, Gores purchased The San Diego Union-Tribune for an estimated $30 million[5] (the newspaper was sold in 2011 for $110 million).[10] By 2009, Gores had facilitated in excess of 100 deals through Platinum Equity.[5]

Now under Cision which has been bought by a Chicago-based GTCR (private equity firm, an LLC with a downtown Chicago web address.  The press release enterprise was a public company, but taken private in 2015, then a reversal (back to public) was engineered, if I am reading it right…

and now it seems these groups can suddenly afford press releases of this scale — while some of their members, apparently, can’t afford (the time) to even send in a basic annual filing to their local state — or the IRS — and stay current, which I’ve been calling attention to on Twitter recently, especially regarding California Protective Parents Association.


If we continue following and tolerating such activities by people who use their non-exploited status  (no real “skin in the game”) and financial stability to simply out-shout, out-buy, and out-promote (professional websites, university sponsorship, professional software access like this) individuals trying to manage to live in just one place at a time, and one country at a time too… here, the United States.  When I say “tolerate” — free speech IS to be tolerated.  In this case, however, said free speech is intended to unilaterally pass similar or identical legislation nationwide (USA) and to be coordinated globally, and organized to make it happen at the state levels — and doing so, basically “under cover” because NSPC isn’t properly named, and (other than the individual founding “members” and sponsor/s), NFVLC while a little better named (not much) isn’t providing tax returns because it’s operating under the umbrella of a university.

This TYPE of thing has been happening for all kinds of causes, and at many universities, not just the “fix family courts” cause.  Both Republicans and Democrats use it expertly; so do religious entities.  It was used in passing the anti-smoking (tobacco control) legislation, in promoting mental health, and it’s a generally accepted operating practice in the nonprofit sector.

BUT I’m going to speak out loudly on this one because of particular knowledge of how “off-target” the agenda has been for about twenty years now (my personal witnessing of involved entities) and, in hindsight what I can reconstruct historically, now that we do have the Internet, and organizing tactics are fairly simple and clear, as well as DIS-organizing opponents attempts to see them, I can see back to about 1970s, 1980 as far as key policy entities in the family courts, domestic violence (and to a lesser degree because it’s not been my main life issue or theme), child abuse sector.


See more under FOOTNOTE:  PAID FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS — WHO’s PAYING? (just me looking up the company names.  That it was public then taken private seems relevant).

NEXT, FVLC Launch Announcement (two to three years ago, about):

I found this — possibly intended only for existing followers or “readers” — regarding the launch of NFVLC, and promptly tweeted it.  I’m providing a pdf which should still have active links, and (beyond this) am going to show three main what looks like a 2020 update section on top) screen-shots, each one of which contains useful information — not all evident on the top level, because there are internal links.  Again:  NSPC — legal domicile (if any — if it’s a “thing” not just a website; if a website, who funded it then?) and NFVLC is a type of “Center” within George Washington University Law School.

‘Joan Meier and GW Law Announce New National Family Violence Law Center (MyEmail.ConstantContact.com, 100% undated but must be 2020ff)’~~2022.Mar.29 Tues

I couldn’t (well, didn’t) resist some annotations.  Why not?  See screen shots (doesn’t include what looks like a 2020 update expressing a concern for racism and disproportionate impact of COVID19).

Not responding to the substance of the above plans now, other than as annotated above:  there seems to be a struggle to assert how “empirical” this whole regime is:, so I counted the repetitions (i.e., how many nouns the word “empirical” could be attached to) and reference of a single study as a rich mine of data, data which can be mined, and in general, trying to make it look as important, official and ground-breaking as it actually (wasn’t — at all.  See Image 3.  But if you’re not paying attention to the networks, this wouldn’t, of course, be obvious.  I wonder if the sponsors know…)..

They’re a little hard to keep up with, given the press releases, a policy coordinator, obviously some sponsorship and who knows what’s coming in by way of the business enterprises represented within the NSPC members.  Which is another topic ….


BELOW HERE (except any footnote) is the section I removed from my Feb. 6, 2022, post which I hope and pray (hey, if it helps, right?) I’ll be able to get out within two months of when I started it! It’s only about 1,500 words, but still better off here, than there… My jab about the “58,000 children a year” is still appropriate:  

I see BatteredMothersCustodyConference.org is featuring the number, still, after all these years… along with the usual incomplete and odd labeling, and claiming (now) to be “part of a nonprofit” but exactly which one, good luck guessing… (I’ll get to this, too, in due course).  //LGH April 1, 2022.


Some countries do, but the USA doesn’t have a legal jurisdiction for any private  organization labeled “national.”  Most things here (unless the actual federal government) called “national” aren’t.  The word is meaningless absent the actual context — if it’s a legal business name, that is ALL it is.  Usage absent specific context leading to an entity is a big red, flag.

I have another post just tough to get out (the subject seems so deep) on the importance of identifying an “entity” or lack thereof, when reading about any cause, campaign, and especially when public financing or private solicitations are being requested.  This may come soon (in a month or so) but meanwhile I wrote on “National” and I’m writing now on just one example of it — good timing from the perspective of an investigative blogger.  Always nice to have current examples…

Overuse of the label “national” is rampant, but when used not in reference to our own government operations, the word should still be understood for what it is: an attempt to bypass and/or undermine existing legal structures (separation of powers) and, for the public when it’s at campaign level, to seem larger and more influential (typically) than “it” is.  That is indeed what we have here in the “National Safe Parents Coalition” (sic). It’s a public relations campaign trying to look more representative than it is, or ever will be, and its members, I gather, hope most of us don’t notice if or when our own legislators (Senators, House of Representatives) go along… good for their images too, to show concern about children’s safety.

It’s also aimed at people with little sense of size, scope and number, based on the claims to be representing “100,000” in a country this large.  Same people not so long ago (and some still) were promoting “58,000 children a year” as a realistic (and not highly under-stated) approximation of children sent into “unsupervised contact” with known abusers.  Get real! How many people in a small city within a single county within a single state of the USA?

I suppose ‘100,000’ was, like 58,000, just a handy number that sounded good — not too big, not too small.. The population of the USA is measured in hundreds of millions — not hundreds of thousands.  Its revenues on its comprehensive annual financial reports (US Treasury) are displayed in BILLIONs as I recall, representing where you see anything over 100 in a column, trillions.  

My two most recent posts broke this down (analyzed and because of that analysis, characterized) this practice of using the word “national” for a self-reference, whether of an individual entity, a resource, or a collection of aligned people/entities.  It’s been an ongoing theme on the blog; some prior posts referenced in these also:

First, I posted  “National Nonprofit:  True or False? Wishful Thinking or Flat-Out Deception for USA-Legal domiciled Entities? […publ.Jan.30, 2022] (case-sensitive short-link ends “-dgS”), then “NATIONAL” Nonprofits? (Centers, Initiatives, etc.) in the USA? No Such Thing. US Treasury’s CAFR explains ‘ENTITY’… [Yesterday’s (Jan. 30, 2022) post, second half] (case-sensitive short-link ends “-dvu”)

As to the NSPC, I don’t see that it’s an “it” rather than a collection of people with an agenda — represented on the website by logos.

True to form, some of those logos refer to actual nonprofits, at least one (last I checked) to an extinct (failed to file and IRS revoked its nonprofit status — but the logo remains), and some to private for-profit businesses.  Strangely, several of these really do incorporate AFCC lingo and, I’ve known for a while (before it showed up on the NSPC website) it was basically endorsing AFCC, perhaps the most problematic entity affecting family courts in a few different countries.

Coverup of the AFCC is problematic and extreme.  Among Family Court Reform groups (some involved in NSPC here) and among lawyers and psychologists and social scientists, as well as “family prevention” advocates addressing (so they claim) the issues IN family courts regarding minimization and denial of evidence of child abuse and spouse/domestic violence.  As I blogged (2020 was a tough year; not so many posts published) last June:

Think About It: Will Any of These EVER Admit to AFCC’s Influence AND US-based Fatherhood | Access Visitation agenda for the (AFCC-promoted, specialized) Family Courts? (My Sentiments + Evidence May 29, 2020, Updated and Published June 26). (short-link ends “-crl”{<~last character “l” as in “lovely”), as drafted about 5,000 words, as published probably MUCH longer) (almost 21,000 words!).

You’d think we’d touched the “holy grail” or entered the Holy of Holies (of the family courts venues worldwide) without proper obeisance sacrifice and attire, whenever some lone Mom (or Dad) dares to mention it without the proper framework — as “one of the good guys..”  I think it’s a cult, and like many cults, likes to replicate itself. I also think the AFCC may have copied its format and operational expansion model from the earlier NCCD (now “Evident Change”) addressing more the juvenile delinquency / juvenile law section, but that’s another topic.


 

FOOTNOTE:  PAID-FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS — WHO’s PAYING?

(more details of the type i included above also… Just paying attention to who owns the distribution networks, media, how much a “pay-to-play” platform it is these days — with mega profits from those who know where to focus and are focusing on business start-ups, LBOs, and buying and selling more than (as the rest of us are coached CONSTANTLY to do) be nice little employees and hope the retirements are there by the time you reach them — IF you reach that age…)

 

Vocus (the software)

Vocus was a public relations software company based in Beltsville, Maryland, United States, serving clients worldwide from 1992 to 2014. In addition to its web-based PR software suites, the company owns the online publicity services, PRWeb and Help a Reporter Out (HARO). Vocus was founded in 1992 by Rick Rudman and Bob Lentz and was a publicly held company until June 2014 when it was taken private by Chicago-based private equity company GTCR. The company operates additional offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. Since late 2014, the company merged with Cision AB to form Cision Inc. as the succeeding company.

Vocus Inc. was founded in 1992 by chief executive officer Rick Rudman and his business partner, Bob Lentz.[3]The two had previously been investors at First Data Software Publishing, which they co-founded in 1991 to develop software supporting political organizations‘ external communications. Rudman and Lentz bought out the firm’s other two partners and quit their jobs to relaunch the company as Vocus.[4][5]

In its early years, Vocus developed software to help political action committees and grassroots organizations track and organize donors and contacts.[5][6] In 1997, the company expanded its services to offer public relations software, including a product developed specifically for clients outside of the political sector, to help them manage external communications.[4][6] In 1999, Vocus discontinued the use of packaged software products, choosing instead to offer its software over the Internet.[6]

2000s[edit]

During the 2000s, the company continued to expand its public relations services. In October 2002, Vocus announced the release of its application programming interface (API), built using Microsoft XML, which allowed companies to integrate Vocus software with other business productivity applications.[7]

In 2005, Vocus held its initial public offering, selling 5 million shares of stock and raising a total of $45 million.[1][8] The same year, Vocus was ranked number 50 on Washington Business Journal‘s list of the fastest growing companies, after its revenue grew 32.5% from 2004 to 2005.[8]

Vocus purchased PRWeb, the press release service, in August 2006 for $28 million in cash and stock.[9][10][3] The acquisition allowed Vocus customers to access PRWeb’s online press release distribution services.[9][3] The following year, in 2007, Vocus established a partnership with the Associated Press, allowing Vocus users to distribute press releases within the AP network.[11]

2010 onwards[edit]

The company continued to expand through acquisitions from 2010 onward. In 2010, Vocus acquired two software companies offering public relations services similar to Vocus’: the French company Datapresse and the Chinese company BDL Media.[12] The same year, the company also acquired the online service Help a Reporter Out (HARO).[12][13] In February 2011, Vocus announced it had acquired two social media marketing companies, Engine 140, which develops marketing software for use with Twitter, and North Social, developer of Facebook customization software.[14][15] In 2012, Vocus acquired the email marketing software company, iContact, for $169 million in cash and stock.[16][17]

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