"At Scott Circle Communications, we are very clear about our core values," agency president Laura Gross tells Doug Simon. "We're clear about who we work with in our marketing language and the staff we hire as well. It all comes from our experience and our passion."

"We work with advocacy organizations and nonprofits and associations and even corporate social responsibility programs. So, we're able to talk about that experience as a whole, as a firm. Our entire firm does this. This is not a section. It is not a division. This is entirely what we are dedicated to."

Gross discusses the difficulties of delivering messages in a fractured political environment. "The best thing to do is to come up with a compromise. So, we really have to listen to our clients. We have to listen to our prospective clients. And sometimes things aren't always the right fit for us. I really take that to heart internally, giving feedback for things like that and externally with potential clients."

She also says that local news is a key element of her agency's advocacy work. "We love the local angle. We can't just say there's always a national spokesperson, but what is the impact in that community, in that city? We need numbers, we need statistics, we need a local story to tell a local spokesperson and we have found time and time again that that resonates."

The imprortance of giving back as a way of connecting with communities and audiences is discussed as well. One way Scott Circle gives back is through its Purpose Program. "What we do is local nonprofits in the Washington, D.C. area where we're located can apply and learn how to put together a communications plan. Soup to nuts, all for free."

Another must on a communicator's to-do list is learning how to make your client's story and message stand out. "One of the first things we ask our clients during an onboarding, or even getting to know them before we're even selected as a firm, is 'What makes you different?' I think this is true for any PR firm, whether you have a product, or whether you have an issue that you're talking about, why are you different? Why should people pay attention to you? What's your message?"

Gross also stresses the imporantace of a firm having an authentic connection with the message of advocacy organizations they work with. "I am so passionate about the clients that we get to work with. I hope my passion, authenticity comes through. And I think that's true for anybody that works within an organization, especially in what we do—helping other people".

View all of the interviews in the “PR's Top Pros Talk” series. Subscribe to get notified when new episodes are available.

Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.