RICHMOND, March 5—Carter Ryley Thomas has launched two new practice areas, one focused on the energy industry and the other on corporate reputation and culture change.
CRT’s energy team was formed to meet the growing demand for public relations, reputation management, product marketing and branding that has evolved from energy deregulation. CRT has particular expertise in the areas of plant sitings, mergers and acquisitions, product introductions, public affairs and issues management, crisis communications and financial media relations. 
Current clients include Dominion, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative and leading energy software companies Silicon Energy and Tridium. Executive vice president Mike Mulvihill and senior associate Scott Davilia will head the new group.
The second practice, called Reputation Culture Change, protects corporate images. Known as RC2, the group counsels corporations on how to prepare for and manage change; incorporate ethical behavior into the corporate workplace; improve operational performance; and build shareholder value through strategic communication. The team helps prepare companies for issues ranging from crisis and downsizing to cultural changes and employee communication.
CRT has worked corporate communications and human resources departments at Fortune 500 companies including Capital One, SunCom (a member of the AT&T Wireless Network), Fort James Corporation, Ethyl, Albemarle Corporation, Smurfit-Stone Corporation and ITT Night Vision. Michele Rhudy, group leader and vice president, will lead the practice.
“As the world around us changes, it is important to adapt our services to meet emerging industry and market sector needs,” said CRT executive vice president J.R. Hipple. “We have counseled a significant number of clients in these areas, and the new practices will help us focus on that expertise.”