Perran is the founder of Persona Communications. She graduated from Robert College Lycee and has a BA in Economics from Bryn Mawr College. Perran also studied tourism at ITTCI (Washington, DC) and Infectious Diseases at Institute Pasteur (Lyon, France). She …
|"Agency independence means one very important thing – We focus exclusively on our clients."|
Peter V. Stanton
The independent firm’s only priority is its clients’ business requirements. It isn’t burdened with the demands of a parent firm to meet quarterly shareholder expectations. For the wholly-owned firms, there is an inherent conflict of interest between the expectations of shareholders and meeting client needs and expectations. While some might argue the two are interrelated because without successful client programs, agency business suffers. In fact, the conflict arises more subtly and far sooner. In the wholly-owned firm, when campaigns are structured and account teams assembled, higher budgets and younger, less experienced professionals are assigned to the work. This increases profitability and thereby shareholder returns. By comparison, the independent firm is able to assign senior professionals, continue to service the relationship even when the client budget ebbs, and maintain a long-term focus in the relationship rather than just a focus on contributions to the parent firm’s quarterly statements.
It’s good to be independent.
|"The world of smoke-filled room was real, but that world has changed."|
Simply put, public affairs is the application of public relations tactics to influencing public policy. In the past, lobbyists achieved these results through personal relationships and a deep knowledge of the legislative process. The world of smoked filled rooms was real, but that world has changed.
More than ever, organizations seeking to influence public policy are confronted with a group of concurrent dynamics that need to be addressed through integrated public affairs if they are to be successful. The public’s distrust of government, elected officials and lobbyists, combined with a 24-hour media cycle, and digital and social media tools have created a vast echo chamber that can savage a policy proposal, company, executive or elected official in an instant. Undertaking government relations efforts without incorporating issue management protocols, media outreach, digital communications, and other widely-used communications tactics will put an organization at an immediate competitive disadvantage.
Whatever your issue is, you can be sure there are groups from across the business, social, and political spectrum working to affect policy so it benefits their interests. Organizations that ignore Washington do so at their own peril. Beyond Washington, we work with clients at the state level to make sure their voices are heard and a level playing field exists.
This Congress and administration have pursued an agenda that has shown a willingness to promote legislative and regulatory proposals across a substantial number of industries. If you think yours will escape untouched, you’re wrong.