If you take a glance at Martin Charlton Communication’s website, you’ll see that there’s a number of former political staff that work on the team.
It’s not a coincidence.
Mary-Lynn Charlton, President of Martin Charlton Communications (MCC) and a former legislative aide in the Saskatchewan government, believes former political staff bring a particular set of skills and experiences to the type of work that MCC has handled for the past decade.
Along with Charlton, both vice-president Kelly Gallagher and Dale Richardson – the newest member to the MCC team – also have experience working as political staff. Gallagher was a ministerial aide during the Grant Devine government and then served as a chief of staff early in the Brad wall government, while Richardson was a media and communications aide to the Minister of Health and then worked as Scott Moe’s director of digital operations.
So, what exactly is it about former political staff that make them excellent communications advisors in the private sector? Charlton points to several things.
Handling pressure and tight timelines when working with clients is a given when working with clients, and that’s something that is the most prevalent as a political staffer. Whether you’re turning around a press release for your minister within minutes or providing advice on a potentially damaging issue, the speed and constantly evolving nature of issues is always front and centre.
Charlton also notes that former political staff build up exceptional people skills, like managing relationships and talking with stakeholders and taxpayers, talking to all levels of government, and of course managing relationships amongst other colleagues at the Legislative Building.
And of course, there’s also the deep and intimate understanding of politics and managing issues that escalate quickly. Who knows what can happen if an executive or senior manager misspeaks to the media, or an organization is suddenly turned upside down because of an internal crisis?
Staff at MCC do know, and it’s partly due to their experience as political staffers.
In the end, there’s many reasons why former political staff make great communicators and advisors for clients at Martin Charlton Communications. The question is: how can we help?