A communications consultancy to businesses, associations, government and not-for-profit organizations
Words have powerful consequences, for good or ill, depending on how they are chosen and conveyed. Graham Partners helps you secure the best outcome through solutions in three parts: strategy, message and execution.
It starts with an initial meeting to help us learn all we can about you and your objectives. We'll ask questions, understand your objectives, and partner with your team to build a consensus on strategy. Together we will craft a strategy built upon sensitivity to disparate audience interests and short- and long-term business objectives. We deliver strategic plans that embrace carefully coordinated tactics, timelines for deliverables and demonstrable results. We work with you to understand audience preconceptions, both intellectual and emotional. We'll find messages that resonate, anticipate questions and prepare for the unexpected.
Foundational to good communication strategies are artfully-crafted messages, supported by facts, delivered through credible channels. These can take many forms: a blog with meaningful content, useful and believable to readers; an opinion piece in a respected national journal; an employee town hall meeting; a third party endorsement. Graham Partners starts by learning from clients, gathering the best available supporting data and writing compelling stories, narratives and explanations aimed at fostering trust and understanding. Writing projects can include:
Finally, we'll help you follow through on a timeline for execution. Here we'll nail down the specifics about such things as communication cascades and cadence, news media protocol, press interviews, selection of outlets, social media, employee town hall meetings and email messages. Graham Partners brings together experienced and proven professionals who achieve excellence by executing on behalf of clients of many kinds and sizes. Some case studies:
Walgreens each year conducted a fall-injury prevention program for senior citizens, coinciding with its "senior discount day" on the first Tuesday of every month. Promotion was modest and paid for. As a member of the corporate communications team, Jim Graham saw an opportunity. By organizing a public education initiative in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he secured numerous radio interviews with CDC executives, joint social media promotion and other media outreach. For his contribution, Graham was awarded the company’s 2018 “Champion of Champion" trophy and was credited with helping to draw 45,000 senior customers to Walgreens pharmacies, educating them about injury prevention and generating retail foot traffic and customer loyalty. On a day-to-day basis, Graham was also instrumental in coordinating issues and crisis management efforts that guarded the company’s century-old brand and reputation.
In 2019, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was nearing approval of a life-saving gene therapy, the company that developed the drug needed to rapidly expand production capacity in anticipation of patient demand. It quickly negotiated acquisition of an existing biologic manufacturing facility that already employed more than 100 highly-skilled technicians. Graham Partners mapped out a communications plan with three essential objectives: (1) alert news media and community leaders to the facility acquisition, (2) inform employees of the facility and encourage them to stay and join the new owner in its mission to cure disease, and (3) inform the acquiring company's other employees to ensure everyone they still had a continuing vital role to play in the growing company's future. A communication cascade plan was developed to include news media materials, town hall talking points, Q&A documents and employee digital messaging. Media coverage was positive and employee retention goals were met.
When a national-brand telecommunications company faced a hostile enforcement action from Illinois regulatory authorities, their government relations team called on Graham Partners for help. We recommended market research to confirm high dissatisfaction among consumers concerning reliability of its local phone service. The communications response included a direct mail campaign to acknowledge where the company fell short and explain how it would make it right. That, along with local media and government outreach, led the client to conclude that in a period of months we had “vastly improved” relations with customers, media and government officials.
General Growth Properties was one of the nation’s leading real estate developers, transforming its portfolio of shopping mall properties into innovative mixed-use community gathering places combining retailing with residential and office space. As a key leader of the communications team, Jim Graham coordinated and advised on campaigns to orchestrate favorable media coverage, community support and local government approvals. A Northern California project secured local government financial assistance with a potential value of $25 million, and master plans for projects in Columbia, Maryland and Honolulu advanced on paths toward 20-years of growth involving millions of square feet and several high-rise buildings.
The Chicago-area Metropolitan Mayors Caucus asked Graham Partners to design and implement a media outreach strategy for its “Clean Air Counts” program. The result was more than 3 million media impressions in one year, making a direct contribution to Clean Air Counts winning the U.S. EPA’s Clean Air Excellence Award.