We won’t spam you – each edition will contain interesting and helpful insights into today’s public affairs and communications worlds.
We are Drumfire.
Integrated public affairs programs. Blue collar work ethic.
We are a public affairs firm born out of the demand to provide high-impact results—faster, smarter and less expensively than what’s currently available in the marketplace. The fact is businesses, trade associations, and nonprofits today have grown dissatisfied with mega-agencies and self-absorbed boutiques that spend more time promoting themselves than their clients. Our goal at Drumfire Public Affairs is not to make ourselves look good – it is to make you look good. And our promise is that we will toil ceaselessly to provide hard-hitting, sophisticated and well-integrated campaigns that achieve the advocacy and marketplace outcomes our clients deserve.
We do everything you’d expect from a public affairs firm: Direct Advocacy. Ally Mobilization. Grassroots. Strategy. Messaging. Training. Media. Digital. But our true expertise is the effective application of these tools toward achieving a government affairs or business objective. The reality is, while the concept of integrating communications and lobbying has been embraced for decades, very few companies and organizations actually practice it. Or, if they do, it’s usually reserved for million-dollar, high-profile legislative battles. We take the power of integration and put it to work for our clients every day, whether the issue is unfolding on Capitol Hill, a state government, a regulatory agency, the marketplace, the mainstream or online media, or the workplace.
Hire us if: You are trying to raise the profile of your issue or position, especially if your company is under intense scrutiny. You can’t spend weeks “educating the agency.” You need seasoned, experienced counsel. You need an arsenal of advocacy tools directed at the right audience, at the right time, in the right way. You need results that truly make a difference. And you don’t think it should all cost more than a Lear Jet. If, on the other hand, your preference is to bring in a fleet of young account executives to “service your business,” or to hire an agency with outposts in every corner of the world, we’re probably not for you. So, give us a chance to bring a fresh perspective to your challenge and to implement a program with the energy and effectiveness that’s required to win in an ever more competitive environment.
We can help with your challenge.
We have a bias for action.
How do I build support for my issue?
It starts with connecting your interests with the interests of others. Unless you already represent a broad swath of the public, you’ll need to demonstrate that people who matter are just as motivated as you are to achieve mutually beneficial change. That calls for more than a message; it requires a narrative that resonates with deeply held beliefs and values, and ignites pre-existing political passions. You then must recruit “issue warriors” who will articulate the issue, lead the charge, and help to attract other supporters. With this core in place, leverage early successes—and the appearance of momentum—to build out your coalition and mobilize a diverse, credible and energized cadre of interests. Peaking at the right time is essential, but stay at it. Most political fights are marathons, not sprints. “Outlasting the other side” is a decidedly unglamorous strategy, but often the most essential.
How do I prepare my CEO for a congressional hearing?
A congressional hearing, especially one involving a company’s CEO, is one of the most agonizing predicaments for any corporate lobbyist or communications professional. Especially when matters of legal liability, regulatory penalty, and corporate reputation loom large. Obviously, this situation calls for a highly integrated game plan, involving political intelligence, pre-hearing staff outreach, media management and, of course, extensive rehearsal and prep for the CEO. But, as intimidating as this process might appear, be heartened by the notion that these hearings are rarely well-orchestrated interrogations. A 90-minute appearance by your CEO is actually a series of five to 10 minute exchanges with individual Members who may take up half of their time delivering remarks intended for their hometown newspaper. Success requires blending an overarching set of messages—and answers—with an individualized strategy for each Member interview.
How do I raise my media profile in Washington?
We probably don’t need to tell you that the Washington media market is a very crowed, competitive place. So, if you are expecting to get extensive press coverage for your well-reasoned policy position, forget about it! The media’s not interested in your “facts.” What they are interested in is 1) a novel, dramatically stated idea, especially if it challenges orthodoxy, 2) that you can associate with real-world people and impacts, and 3) you can articulate via a media-savvy spokesperson who is available 24-7 to talk to virtually any reporter or blogger. In short, the way to get on TV is to be on TV. Bookers want someone who is predictably good—and that means pithy, provocative, polished and, most of all, available. They want someone who will take a side and intelligently fight for it. Either be prepared to enter the fray, or seek out other venues to promote your point-of-view.