Organizations and industries are increasingly looking to political professionals for “outside game” strategies to complement their “inside game” lobbying and advocacy efforts. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent nationally and in all 50-states reaching constituents, mobilizing coalitions, and influencing opinion on behalf of public affairs campaigns.
During AAPC’s August 16th webinar, the folks hiring the firms and building campaign teams including Tim Rosales (The Wayne Johnson Agency), Margita Thompson (California Resources Corporation), and Javier Angulo (Walmart, Inc.) discussed how to increase your public affairs book of business. Check out speaker tips & takeaways below!
- It is important to know how to approach a client, but it is key to engage a client throughout the contract agreement.
- There is a fine line between a needy consultant and a proactive consultant.
- Ballot measure campaigns and Initiative campaigns are a great way to meet potential clients because you have a coalition of businesses, non-profit organizations, and activist organizations working together. It is easy to expand your network rapidly in this way.
About Tim: Tim Rosales is the Vice President of The Wayne Johnson Agency, a nationally recognized Public Affairs firm specializing in ballot measure campaigns and regulatory/issue advocacy efforts, to public awareness, brand management and multi-media strategies. Since coming to the agency, Tim has developed an impressive bi-partisan catalog of clients from diverse sectors such as healthcare, education, disability rights, hospitality and travel, manufacturing and green energy.
- Companies need to focus on the issue of reputation. It’s not enough to do no harm, but you must also be a part of doing something good.
- Look at the Board of Directors as an entry point for client outreach and potential partnership.
- You will need to connect with stakeholders through emotion and authenticity first, and then talk logic.
- Understand that people trust other people with similar thoughts and beliefs. Explain how you will create a safe environment for your client.
- Every press release needs to have forward-looking statements.
- You must proactively think about how to define success for your clients, as measurement is crucial for results and potential outcomes.
- Be able to predict both trends and threats before they happen. Companies don’t want to have any surprises.
- It’s very important to find the parallels between political consulting and public affairs. Using combined vernacular is key to showing clients they can trust you. They ultimately want to know the partnership is a good culture fit.
About Margita: Margita Thompson is currently Vice President of Communications for California Resources Corporation (CRC), the state’s largest independent oil and natural gas producer. Thompson leads a team charged with unprecedented community and media engagement. Previously Thompson was Vice President, External Communications for Disney Consumer Products (DCP) leading PR teams spanning Disney Publishing, The Disney Stores and DCP Licensing, the world’s largest licensor.
- Potential clients look for trust, honesty, and integrity in political consultants.
- Political consultants will be privy to a lot of confidential information, and clients want to be sure that confidentiality will be well established.
- Be straight forward with your clients. At the end of the day, you need to provide honest advice and own up to any mistakes.
- Treat client money as if it were your own. Make sure you are clear about the anticipated cost of the campaign. Lowballing or shortchanging might jeopardize your relationship with a client.
- It’s important to understand the global ramifications of your actions.
- Make sure you are looking out for the interest of your client at all times—not only when the client needs you, or reaches out to you specifically.
- Be sure to have more solutions and ideas than questions, in order to make less work for your client.
About Javier: Javier Angulo is responsible for Walmart’s regional and state business growth strategy, legislative and policy affairs, stakeholder outreach and organizational partnerships in Los Angeles and Orange County, California Central Coast, New Mexico and Hawaii. He is a member of the Walmart Foundation’s California State Giving Council and the Los Angeles Giving Committee which are responsible for distribution of foundation resources to high-impact non-profit organizations.
A huge thank you to our speakers for sharing their expertise with the AAPC membership!