Seven Letter Adds Michael Ricci as Partner, Emmy Winner Kobina Yankah as Creative Director

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Cate Biegun

Content Specialist

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Aida Farah

Content Specialist

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Isabel Haber

Manager

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Valentina Mendez

Paid Media Director

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Manuela Ortiz

Paid Media Manager

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Michael Ricci

Partner

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Kobina Yankah

Creative Director

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02.28.23

Firm Growth Generates Five New Positions, Expanding Roster of Senior Counselors and Content Creators

WASHINGTON, DC – (February 28, 2023) – Seven Letter, a full-service bipartisan strategic communications firm with offices in Washington and Boston, today announced that Michael Ricci, most recently director of communications for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and a former advisor to two Republican Speakers of the House, has joined the firm as a Partner. Additionally, the firm has named Kobina Yankah, an Emmy award-winning creator who formerly led the in-house creative team for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as Creative Director for Seven Letter Labs, the firm’s technology-enabled advertising and creative services offering.

“Providing industry-leading expertise has always been a priority for Seven Letter, and our newest hires continue to deliver on that promise for our clients in both public affairs and creative capacities,” said founding partner and CEO Erik Smith. “You can’t find a steadier hand in navigating crisis than Mike Ricci. His extensive background in the public sector makes him a tremendous resource both for our team internally and for the clients with whom we partner. Kobina’s creative talent is unparalleled in our industry, and investing in the expansion of our creative services with the hiring of our first Creative Director will allow us to meet the growing content needs of our clients across multiple platforms.”

While with the Maryland Governor, Michael Ricci led the state’s public relations response to the COVID-19 pandemic, coordinating daily press conferences, developing a multi-phase marketing campaign, and leveraging social media to connect directly with constituents. Michael’s approach was described as a “master class in crisis communications” on CNN and The Capital Gazette called his performance “consistent, objective, and almost omnipresent.” Prior to his time with the Governor, Mike was a longtime leadership aide on Capitol Hill, having served as director of communications for Speaker Paul Ryan, chief speechwriter and deputy director of communications for Speaker John Boehner. For the Spring 2023 semester, Michael is a Fellow at the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service, leading a discussion group about crisis communications.

Kobina Yankah brings to Seven Letter more than twenty years of experience producing high-end content for New Line Cinema, Major League Baseball, Chris Rock, and Emmy-recognized work for the National Basketball Association. Most recently, Kobina built and led the in-house creative team for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) that was an essential piece of the DCCC’s communications strategy leading to a history-making election cycle. Kobina’s proven experience developing creative content for wide-ranging platforms including broadcast, animation, web, print, digital, and social media will expand Seven Letter Labs’ ability to deliver on the needs of clients.

Seven Letter also announced the hiring of three content specialists — Aida FarahCate Biegun and Isabel Haber — to support the continued growth of the DC office. All three content specialists were hired after they spent the fall 2022 semester in the firm’s Fellowship Program, now in its tenth year. This unique program provides post-graduate students a paid opportunity to gain exposure to all facets of the bipartisan firm’s offerings allowing them to gain valuable experience and determine if they are interested in pursuing career opportunities in the field. The firm created three new positions to support their hiring. Finally, the firm has also named Valentina Mendez and Manuela Ortiz, who have been with the firm for several years, as paid media managers to support the expanding work of Seven Letter Labs. Seven Letter Labs executes strategic advertising and creative campaigns to reach target audiences, including through search, social, programmatic (display, mobile, video and audio) and native ads, as well as inside-the beltway newsletter sponsorships. Seven Letter Labs’ design team produces visually compelling and informative ad creative that can be deployed across platforms and drive action.

Seven Letter is a full-service bipartisan strategic communications firm with specialties in crisis communications, creative content development, brand and reputation management, public affairs, digital strategy and grasstops/grassroots mobilization. In 2019, Seven Letter launched Seven Letter Labs, expanding and enhancing its digital strategy services. The firm’s 2020 merger with the communications practice of Boston-based O’Neill and Associates expanded the firm’s geographic footprint, its team and reach. In 2020, Seven Letter launched Seven Letter Insight, an opinion and messaging research offering. Seven Letter was named to the 2022 PR News Agency Elite Top 100, is a multi-year “PR News Top Places to Work” award winner, a PR Week “Best Place to Work” award winner, and senior leaders of the firm have received numerous awards for industry excellence.