I’ll be honest. I really did not want to work for a political vendor. It’s nothing against them. I have hired a lot of vendors over the years, and overall, they have been quite good – some have even become good friends.
But… I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend my time selling. I was nervous that I would go from someone people turned to for advice, to someone whose words were going to be viewed through a skeptical prism because I was “in sales.”
I want to be in the trenches, finding creative solutions to tough problems.
I spent the last near-decade with Governor Charlie Baker (MA) and his team. I served in roles up and down the organizational chart, including Political Director, and Finance Director for our Lt. Governor. I am so proud to have been part of the team that helped Gov. Baker consistently be the most popular Governor in the nation.
But when a highly respected friend in the industry took the time to set up an interview with what was described to me as “the next big thing,” I listened. It was a polling and analytics firm called Cygnal.
To be short, it doesn’t take a political savant to know that polling is broken. (Highly recommend clicking this link and take 90 seconds to read it. It’s really good.)
So if I was going to take the leap to ‘the dark side,’ would I really want to pick the sector that everyone knows is in deep trouble? Who would choose an industry that had been doing things the same way for the better part of fifty years with diminishing accuracy and value? Apparently, I would.
As a former Congressional Campaign Manager, I understand what it’s like to sift through endless political vendors hoping to make the right choice. The more I learned about Cygnal, the less it felt like I would be joining a political vendor, and the more it felt like an opportunity to do what I love to do: help campaigns to use the best data and information available to make smart decisions. Ooh and most importantly, to win.
Now, I am able to ask those in the same shoes I was once in to consider Cygnal, not just to “help me out” – but because I’ve seen from the other side how we are best prepared to help them. That changes the entire game for me.
Cygnal has spent the last few cycles developing modern methods that match the times, while other companies are just starting to pick their heads up and realize the landscape has changed. To quote a member of our team, “Why doesn’t everyone else do what we are doing? Well, it’s hard, really hard.” Like most things, working harder and more creatively than your competitors creates better, and in this case, more accurate results.
Campaigns have an endless list of problems to navigate. My role at Cygnal is to be a part of the solutions.
Turns out I am right where I want to be: in the trenches.
Director, Client Strategy