Public Affairs and Advocacy

We develop robust digital strategies for public affairs, advocacy groups, corporate communications and other PR initiatives.

Navigating the new media landscape requires different capabilities from what traditional PR firms have in-house. Bringing a creative digital firm like BRINK into your PR mix maximizes your opportunities for success. We become fully integrated as the digital arm of your team, driving website development, social media management, content production and paid media strategy online. We don’t replace the traditional PR function, rather we become a powerful supporting tool to ensure the broader strategy is properly translated online.

Our keys to success:

  • Compelling storytelling is essential for effective public affairs. We use creative content to combat ignorance and apathy, correct misinformation and motivate supporters to take action on your behalf. This is where our proven, award-winning creative team with varied experience offers a distinct advantage as the lines blur between PR and marketing on the social web. You want a true creative team driving your content strategy.
  • Having talented website and app developers in-house ensures there are no creative limitations in our web builds and that we have proper integrations in place with CRM and Advocacy Toolkits. We have wide experience with a variety of platforms: Nation Builder, SalesForce, Salsa Labs, NGP Van, Campaign Monitor, to name a few. In addition, we specialize in A/B testing and setting up conversion-driven Analytics for data-driven, optimized campaigns.
  • Rapid execution is a vital component to meeting the demands of the here and now that comes with the social web. Our lightweight, team-driven approach to digital development ensures we meet these demands and are efficient in doing so. We’re a phone call or email away with no middlemen to muddle the process.
  • As you utilize a wide variety of channels to communicate, you need an integrated team that can maintain consistency of quality, messaging and measurement. Our digital strategy team combines organic content, search engine optimization, owned, earned and paid media to work in unison and paint a big picture for the audience online while serving the broader goals of the campaign.

The BRINK Supporter Acquisition Model illustrates how cross-channel communications integrated with advocacy tools and creative content production builds a supporter base.

Our full capabilities:

Digital Strategy, Website and App Development, Social Media Management, Content Marketing, Infographics and Graphic Design, Video Production, Animation, Email, Search Engine Optimization, Display Ads and Rich Media, Online Media Buys, Monitoring and Analytics

Our experience:

Our public affairs accounts are managed from our downtown Washington, DC office and led by our DC strategy team:

Joshua Belhumeur

Joshua Belhumeur

Partner & Strategy Director

Joshua has 12+ years of experience as a web developer, turned digital strategist, with multiple Webby and American Advertising Award honors. He has a B.S. in Marketing from University of Arizona.

Patrick Cavanaugh

Patrick Cavanaugh

Senior Strategist

Patrick has a Masters degree in Strategic Public Relations from the University of Southern California and brings prior experience in healthcare public affairs and communications.

We are trusted collaborators to many top PR firms, including: Levick Communications, Mercury Public Affairs, BerlinRosen, CLS Strategies and GMMB, developing digital campaigns for various Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, nonprofits, landmark court cases and political candidates at all levels. Our client list also includes work on major campaigns for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and respected health care advocacy group Families USA.

Case Study: Families USA

Problem: Families USA is a major advocacy organization that represents low- to moderate-income Americans who struggle to afford quality health care access. As supporters of the Affordable Care Act, they were concerned with the King v Burwell Supreme Court case that threatened to strip subsidies from millions of low income earners.

They approached BRINK to develop a digital campaign that will help emphasize the urgency of the case and give those affected a voice. All within a rapid timeline.

Action: BRINK developed a cross-channel digital strategy that included a heavy social media component and, at its core, a microsite that served an interactive storytelling piece. Our video team traveled across the country to interview 7 real families in their own homes to discuss the struggle without insurance and how they would be impacted by the case. These interviews comprised a 12 minute documentary with 8 "featurettes", or side videos. In addition, the video had "popcorn elements" or timed messages that appeared at different points throughout the film that either encouraged an additional video, provided a depth resource or gave a one-click social media post to share the campaign.

We built out a full content calendar to support the campaign with text, photos, articles and video clips on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. We also hosted a Reddit Ask Me Anything with the Families USA Executive Director and ran paid media campaigns on a variety of platforms including YouTube pre-rolls. In addition, we developed an advocacy toolkit for Families USA to share with their ally organizations.

Results: The campaign launched on time and on budget and was met with great enthusiasm not only from the Families USA team, but their partner organizations. The site has performed well: less than 10% bounce rate, 3.5 mins average time on site, 10% of users watched the full 12 minute documentary, 4% of users shared it on social media. In addition, the campaign hashtag #DontTakeMyCare became a national trending topic on the day oral arguments began for the case, with a large proportion of content being the shareables we created for the campaign.


Some other notable public affairs wins include:

  • A long-form, humorous narrative we wrote about the state of the taxicab industry in DC went viral with over 1200 likes, 250 retweets and 75,000 unique visitors in just one day, almost all targeted to an audience of downtown DC. The piece resulted in coverage in 3 different media sources.
  • Our Oscar Watch Party campaigns and shareable content pieces with the MPAA added thousands of new leads to their organizing platform to help organize the entertainment community in support of legislative issues.
  • The development of infographics and content pieces in partnership with Levick Communications helped keep a major Fortune 500 company in favorable appeal among local residents and media during an environmental crisis.
  • A satirical comic we illustrated for Mercury Public Affairs in support of legislative reform was republished on the Huffington Post front page.
  • A full digital campaign we developed for Mercury helped change public sentiment to be overwhelmingly in favor of a major Compact in a midwestern state, despite negative public sentiments around the organization for which the Compact benefited.

Whether you are a traditional PR firm looking for a trusted collaborator, or you are a company or organization that wants to augment your PR team by bringing us to the table, we want to chat. Contact us and let’s discuss how we can help.

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