Post-Election: Where Will the Big PR Talent Land?

We’d like to take a moment to return to a great piece posted on Ad Age earlier this week about the post-election scramble for top PR talent in politics.

There’s no doubt that elections often attract the sharpest of the communications bunch. This may have something to do with the fact that campaigns—especially presidential campaigns—also draw from some of the country’s biggest bank accounts.

We’ll let MWW CEO Michael Kempner explain it:

“There’s no better training than a campaign. They’re working under pressure, unforgiving deadlines, speaking to diverse audiences and seeing the media impact with real consequences in every program they execute.”

This makes perfect sense. Who has better experience working with media outlets and personalities across the country (and the world) than the veterans of political campaigns? Of course they’re hot commodities.

We’re fairly sure that we would want a break from the grind after the two-plus years of anxiety and adrenaline that defines the modern horse race–and what enterprising firm wouldn’t want to snatch up members of the Obama/Romney teams? In this case, political affiliations are far less relevant than raw talent, and big names like David Plouffe, Stephanie Cutter and Zac Moffat undoubtedly have that in spades (despite the fact they sometimes overdo it with the fundraising emails).

Think about this: political operatives live and breathe data analysis—and no PR firm would hurt for beefing up its numbers game. We have a feeling that those who specialize in such crucial areas will receive no shortage of great offers from top names before the ballots have even been counted.

But wait: one anonymous campaign staffer says that “Those who leave to work in PR exclusively probably weren’t the best campaign people to start”, because no political junkie worth his or her salt would submit to the unavoidable bureaucracy that comes with working at a top firm. They can’t all start their own operations, so what options do they have if they really want to leave politics behind?

PR pros: How often do firms draw top talent from political campaigns, and what sort of contractual goodies do they need to win the big names? On the other side of things, how often do campaigns court c-levels from top firms?

Check out the unofficial “PR wish list” and send us your thoughts.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.