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Public Relations on the Campaign Trail



In an Election Year, candidates rely on more than campaigning to secure their election, whether on a local or national stage.  They also rely on, and many times depend on, public relations. In a competitive race, publicity and positive reinforcement of a candidate’s record and plans for future constituent services are often needed, whether the candidate is running for re-election or a first-timer.

Candidates depend on professional assistance with PR as they reach out to voters, attend community events and fundraisers, all while doing their day jobs.  Public relations professionals provide support most often through media relations – arranging and coordinating interviews with critically important reporters and media.

But we have a lot more tools in our tool belts than media relations.  We provide guidance with message development, collateral design and development, media training, web site development, video production, and advertising.

Politics and media coverage are changing quickly.  Traditional media are not the only sources for information.  Voters now utilize online sources, including social media like Facebook and Twitter, to get their news and information.  And often both types of media intertwine.

Candidates need active and participatory web sites where voters can access their background and history, accomplishments, campaign event schedules, view photos and find ways to support the candidate through making donations or volunteering for the campaign.

For example, we worked with City Councilor At-Large Stephen J. Murphy in the race for his 10th term on the Boston City Council. Along with responding to media requests as they arose, our team worked on promotional materials designed to keep Councilor Murphy’s name, presence and accomplishments in the minds of voters as they headed to the polls on November 3rd.

We crafted a multi-page newsletter chock full of articles about Murphy’s character, why he was running for office, his accomplishments achieved while in office, and what differentiated him from colleagues and contemporaries. Taking Murphy’s own words from interviews, pieces were coordinated and shaped into articles complemented by photos and advertisements featuring supporters, including unions and others who backed Murphy and his message.the councilor

We were also at the ready with camera in hand to photograph the candidate when opportune times arose.  Campaign stand outs.  Halloween parties.  Church suppers.

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And we shot a video for Murphy describing just what he contributed to the city. The video ran on Murphy’s campaign website, Facebook pages, and more, and it was noticed by reporters covering the race.

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Steve Murphy was one of five At-Large Councilors running for one of four available spots on the Boston City Council. While he ultimately lost the election, just being able to showcase his talents and capabilities through a variety of PR initiatives proved to be a winning experience.

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— Team Paula

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