CASE STUDY: REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION PLATFORM DRAFTING COMMITTEE

Overview

Last Spring/Summer Senior Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings was appointed Chair of the Platform Drafting Committee for the Democratic National Convention to be held in Philadelphia July 25-28, 2016. As Chair, Congressman Cummings hired SJSC to manage media inquiries, liaise with Convention press contacts on his behalf, and provide media strategy and general communications support.

SJSC-Identified Goals/Plan:

  • Manage and implement high-profile short-term communications strategy for Chair Cummings
  • Develop and execute a media triage system to tackle high-volume inquiries quickly
  • Identify traditional and nontraditional ways to leverage the Chair’s high-profile political position
  • Provide high-level media strategy and crisis communications counsel

The Details

  • In June 2016, Congressman Elijah Cummings hired SJSC to handle media inquiries as he served as chair of the DNC platform drafting committee. Congressman Cummings looked for a seasoned Communications firm with experience in high-profile media management he could trust to respond quickly to media inquiries, manage all requests, and provide reactive and proactive responses when necessary.
  • Congressman Cummings relied on his prior four-year relationship with SJSC principal Safiya Jafari Simmons and her work managing press for his congressional campaigns.
  • SJSC hit the ground running and went right to work. The firm fielded all media, responded to requests in a timely manner, provided on-site media support for events, and identified new opportunities to leverage Congressman Cummings’s is high-profile position.
  • The firm also drafted statements on behalf of the Congressman, worked with Convention staff to finalize press statements and quotes developed by DNC staff, and served as the Congressman’s media point of contact.
  • SJSC coordinated Congressman Cummings coverage in outlets like The Washington Post and The Daily Beast.