News and Trends

Albrecht: Translating political skills to a corporate world

Political campaigns are multi-million dollar start-up companies with the same stresses and goals as companies in the real world. You build a product (candidate) through a series of smart hires and effective marketing, you establish an IPO (fundraising) to get the start-up capital you need in order to get your venture off the ground, you file disclosure statements (FEC reports) and get everything in place so you’re ready for when your product is available for purchase (election day) by consumers (voters.)

Where campaigns differ, however, is in the amount of public scrutiny the product receives ahead of its launch. One errant tweet, a misstep on your issue position, a facial tick at the wrong time or even the color of outfit you wear – everything gets scrutinized.

It’s that level of attention to detail, examining every corner of your operation combined with every nuance in the public square, that has corporations taking notice.

The need for rapid response, image management and public persuasion has grown by leaps and bounds in the corporate world, so it comes as no surprise the folks at America Rising recognized this and have taken their top-shelf approach to political rapid response and research to the corporate world.

Check out this Wall Street Journal article for the full story. Of note:

“Corporate communications is shifting toward where political communications is now,” said Matt Rhoades, chairman of America Rising and the chief executive of the newly formed Definers affiliate.

Some political operatives have been doing this kind of corporate work for years. But as outside groups take on more of the responsibilities once performed by the parties or individual campaigns, all aspects of the business have become more professionalized. Firms such as Definers on the right and American Bridge on the left give political practitioners a permanent home to hone their craft between election cycles.

The Rising team launched Definers to address demand from trade associations and private-sector companies to hire political operatives to help navigate the media landscape. The team opted to stick with politics during the last election cycle but decided a few months after the midterms to launch a spinoff focused solely on the private sector.

If you have to ask whether you need this level of involvement within your organization, the answer is: you do. Don’t wait for a punishing social media post or television news story to convince you after you waited too long.

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