A Year of Growth: Clyde Group’s Public Affairs Team
by Geoff Vetter
by Geoff Vetter
2020 was the most successful year yet for Clyde Group’s growing public affairs practice. In addition to our work supporting existing clients in higher education, health care, and agriculture, Clyde Group added a number of new high-profile clients from a variety of industries.
Clyde Group was hired by the Yes on Proposition 22 campaign in California to lead communications and media relations efforts. The Yes on 22 campaign was supported by some of the biggest names in tech, including Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart. The ballot initiative—which would decide whether California’s app-based drivers should be employees or independent contractors—resulted in the most expensive issue campaign in American history, costing more than $220 million. Initial media relations efforts were limited to California publications, but as the campaign progressed, Clyde Group staff fielded inquiries from major national (e.g. CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, etc.) and even international outlets (e.g. BBC, Agence France-Presse, France Ouest, etc.).
In addition to providing a traditional earned media strategy, Clyde Group staff were instrumental in approaching the editorial boards of every daily newspaper in California and multiple national outlets like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. As a result of our efforts, Yes on 22 won 25 endorsements in papers across California, including 17 of the 21 largest-circulation newspapers. On Election Day, Yes on 22 won the vote by an 18 point margin (59-41), setting the stage for similar efforts both nationally and in key states with classification challenges.
Clyde Group was hired by The NewsGuild-CWA, a trade union representing more than 30,000 journalists in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada, to launch and execute a public affairs campaign—Save The News—highlighting the loss of local news across the country and the harmful impacts that the consolidation of the news industry has on our democracy. The launch of the advocacy campaign was called “historic” by The Daily Beast and was covered by other Beltway publications like POLITICO and The Hill.
The campaign, supported by thousands of journalists and citizens across the country, sought to provide stimulus funding for local news outlets in the form of an expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to include newspapers affiliated with larger chains that were left out of the initial program. By publishing op-eds, executing a letter-writing campaign, and coordinating meetings with members of the House and Senate small business committees, Clyde Group and the NewsGuild were successful in incorporating PPP changes in the passed version of the HEROES Act and a companion Senate bill with a majority of Republican co-sponsors.
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA)
Clyde Group was hired by NACBA to launch a public affairs and media campaign highlighting the need for congressional reform to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Clyde Group supported NACBA’s lobbying efforts by developing a one-pager detailing the financial peril facing many Americans and the forthcoming wave of COVID-19-related bankruptcies. Beyond supporting NACBA’s direct engagements with senators and representatives, Clyde Group helped place nearly a dozen media stories highlighting the critical need for bankruptcy reform at the federal level in high-profile national outlets like Bloomberg Law, Forbes, and local TV in the Dallas media market.
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