PR & Politics: The 2014 Election

Political races can be the ultimate test of public relations skills and acumen and in many cases the lines are blurred between PR and research, advertising, digital and grassroots efforts.

From a U.S. Senate primary race delayed by a hurricane to a general election that saw three candidates vying for Governor and a local ballot initiative that became the most expensive in the country, the 2014 Hawaii election cycle was one for the record books. 

Barbara Ankersmit, President, QMark Research 
Barbara specializes in opinion polling and market research and is the founder of QMark Research. Formed in 1995, QMark serves a broad range of clients, including non-profit organizations and associations.

Barbara has more than 30 years experience in research and has completed projects in Hawai‘i, Guam, U.S. mainland and Asia. She is credited with establishing the first call center and formal group focus facility in Hawai‘i.

Barbara is well known for her issues management work as well as for providing quantitative and qualitative services to a wide range of clients including political candidates, government entities (federal, state and county level), and numerous business institutions and nonprofit organizations. 

Dennis Christianson, CEO, Anthology Marketing Group 
Dennis Christianson is CEO and Executive Creative Director of Anthology Marketing Group, with offices in Honolulu, Seattle and Guam. 

Dennis began his career as a filmmaker and has to his credit two feature films, dozens of documentaries and an award-winning educational television series. His work in television, social marketing and politics led him into the dark side of advertising, where he delights in persuading people through the art of story-telling, bold ideas and proper spelling.

Dennis is known for his political, issues and advocacy work including rail transit, water conservation, land use, drug treatment and the Hawaii Superferry, as well as campaigns for Kirk Caldwell, Dan Inouye and Colleen Hanabusa.

John Williamson, Sr. Vice President, iQ360
John Williamson is a public affairs and issues management specialist at iQ 360, with more than 15 years of experience advising CEOs, board members and leadership teams at public-sector, nonprofit and private-sector organizations.

John has lead strategic communications efforts  for a number of candidate and issues campaigns and helped clients navigate many of Hawaii¹s most controversial issues in the fields of energy, transportation, legislative policy and land use. John brings a collaborative leadership style to his work and a record of creating successful coalitions.

John's multi-disciplinary approach draws on his depth of experience in advocacy advertising, public opinion research and media relations.

Please RSVP by Friday, December 12, 2014.

The December program will also serve as our annual membership meeting. The newly elected 2015 PRSA Hawaii board of directors will be announced.

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