Nobody is going to argue that the 2016 political campaigns were filled with twist, turns, finger-pointing, mud-slinging, and more than one metaphorical fist raised in anger and frustration. That brought on a lot of long hours for those working from the PR side of campaigns, though many feel that President-elect Trump was in full charge of PR at almost every step of his campaign.
PR as a profession tends to lean a bit more to the left and blue than to the right and red, but with such a surprising conservative victory, right-leaning PR firms stand to benefit. Let’s take a look at some top contenders:
Cambridge Analytica, based in the U.K. – though working out of San Antonio for the Trump Campaign — is a marketing and strategic communications firm that uses research to target people’s unconscious biases for campaigns. Cambridge did this with success for the Brexit situation, helping the majority of English citizens choose to end participation in the European Union.
After their Brexit success and the primaries were over, they were hired by the Trump team in his run for the Presidency. In the 2016 Trump campaign they focused a great deal on those who felt disenfranchised by the political process as well as first-time voters. That approach turned out to be highly successful. Its clear this firm can see growth as a result of helping to get Trump elected.
Ronn Torossian – 5W PR’s CEO
Though 5WPR is not a political firm, their CEO, Ronn Torossian is known as an active Republican, serving on the Vice Chairman’s Council of the Republican Jewish Coalition. He is also often featured on various conservative news programs, where he often writes op-ed and other articles for conservative outlets including Frontpage Magazine, Truth Revolt, and The New York Observer, which is owned by Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in law.
A New Yorker, Torossian is regarded to have close relations with a number of people likely to become senior administration officials. 5W PR is one of the top 20 independent PR firms in America, with their headquarters in New York and satellite offices in Denver and Los Angeles. Torossian got his start in PR right after college while spending a year or so in Israel working for the Likud Party. His firm also represents various evangelical churches in the U.S.
One shouldn’t be surprised if 5WPR launches a lobbying practice in due time – especially with many people in their sphere of influence likely to be in the White House.
Erik Potholm, SRCP Media — Partner
SRCP is full-service, combining PR and advertising media and working with super PACs, Presidential nominees, and multiple congresspeople in their races for office. Potholm is one of the agency’s three managing partners and has worked with various Fortune 500 companies, such as Walmart. But most of his efforts focus on Republican campaigns. Notably, he worked the 2012 Romney for President campaign as well as gubernatorial campaigns in Texas (Greg Abbott) and New Hampshire (Craig Benson).
Doug Goodyear, CEO – DCI Group
Doug Goodyear has had his hand in politics since the 1980s when he got his footing in Colorado, working as the GOP’s campaign manager there before moving on to New Jersey. In NJ, he worked on for Pete Dawkins’ U.S. Senate bid before returning to Colorado in 1990 to help set up Denver’s major league baseball team. Eventually, he started DCI Group in 1996 with just one client, but he has built the company so it is now among the largest independent public affairs firms in the nation. Goodyear graduated from Tufts University. DCI provides their services throughout the world, but their headquarters are in DC and they also have an office in Brussels, Belgium.
All of the above firms and PR experts stand to see upticks in their business and clientele over the next four years at least with the Trump win, as well as for at least the next two years with both the House and Senate having a Republican majority. And with the nation deeply divided, there’s plenty of work to keep them busy.