‘When do public affairs campaigns backfire?’ Firehouse featured in PR Week

April 26, 2022


Firehouse’s Dave Vermillion comments in PR Week about the importance of measured aggression in high profile, high stakes grassroots campaigns:

“When you’re working on these high stakes, high-profile issues for some of the world’s biggest companies, there is a temptation to adopt this win-at-all-costs mentality. And when it is the realm of public affairs, you have a lot of seasoned pros who come from the bare-knuckle campaign trail,” says Vermillion.

“The win-at-all costs mentality can dominate how you approach the goal, but you have to temper that temptation by making sure you are protecting the client’s reputation, first and foremost, and using honest and transparent tactics to communicate,” he says.

“The right way to do grassroots campaigns is to think about it as a sophisticated word-of-mouth campaign that you are trying to seed. It means understanding the target audience – what their values are and what motivates them – and find that network of individuals that is around them, and educate them,” Vermillion adds. “The hope is that they will understand the value of the information, and carry it forth to their own constituents and network and have those conversations.”

Read the rest of the article by PR Week here.