Q. What is your role at HLG?

I am the director of issue analysis. My role is to bridge analytics with HLG’s corporate communications work. But a majority of my time is focused on developing a cutting-edge tool to enable our clients to better manage the issues that affect their corporate reputations through quantitative analysis. 

Q. Why are analytics so important for a communications consulting firm?

We find data everywhere on everything — and it’s overwhelming — but the right application of analytics can help us more quickly and confidently arrive at the best strategies for our clients. Our clients often struggle to know what crisis may hit them next or how best to position a new CSR initiative in a way that enhances company value and program effectiveness on issues like sustainability, food waste, or immigration. It’s one thing to know all these issues exist, but another to know how resonant each of these are, which companies are taking action today, and what’s the best way for them to engage. The product we are developing provides data-driven answers to these questions and thanks to its rigorous roots, can give our clients greater confidence in the approaches they take. That’s the power and importance of analytics

Q. What excites you most about issue analytics?

For me, it’s the opportunity to connect corporate action – and advocate for such action – with answers to the thorny problems of our time. How do we contribute to a greener, more sustainable world? How do we build up the workforce of the future while ensuring we don’t automate it away? It’s about finding ways to help companies become better, more effective, corporate citizens who play their part in resolving these challenges.

Q. How is HLG different from other firms or agencies you have worked with?

We are not a product company full to the brim with data scientists, engineers, or salespeople. Instead, we are a community of public policy and communications professionals with tremendous depth of experience in areas like pharma, travel, and retail. That separates us because we are intimately familiar with the problems our clients face, making it all the easier to leverage analytic products to support those needs

Q. What does a typical day like?

Typical days don’t exist, or at least not since I joined! We go from determining the activists in the food space to improving our machine learning algorithms to providing clients throughout the country with strategic insights on how to elevate their corporate communications strategies. That means I spend just as much time thinking about what our clients need to succeed as I do diving into the data to build new metrics. It’s non-stop problem-solving and innovating, which means there’s never a dull day.