Jennifer Manley and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art

IMG_3062

Jen Manley is a Managing Director at Prime Strategies New York. 

What can you buy for .47 cents?

Not a coffee. Not a ride on the subway. Not a newspaper. But for under a buck each, Americans everywhere fund the entire budget of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This endowment creates opportunities from coast to coast for young painters to get studio space, for dancers to make a living, for theater companies to pay their staff, and for museums to mount exhibitions. All told, the arts industry that the NEA supports constitutes over $729 billion of the nation’s $15 trillion GDP.

It seems a small price to pay. However, this year, arts advocates found themselves fighting to preserve the NEA from extinction. In representing the Metropolitan museum of Art, the busiest museum of art in the country and an institution that well represents the societal value created by public support of the arts (check out the NYT’s piece Here), Prime Strategies and its New York Managing Director, Jennifer Manley, has been on the frontlines in the fight to preserve and expand funding for the arts.

This May, the President proposed a budget to Congress that eliminated funding for both the NEA as well as the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  These proposed budget cuts would completely devastate cultural organizations around the country and decimate the ecosystem of art and artists that feed big marquee institutions like the Met.

Prime Strategies, with the lead of Jennifer Manley, moved quickly when this proposal hit the news.  Joined by allies from around the country,  she helped organize a contingent of major arts and cultural institutions from across the country that made the rounds on the Capitol Hill, garnering support from both sides of the aisle to restore funding for these agencies.  This effort was a success, yielding a spending plan that retains the budgets of the NEA and the IMLS- at least for the time being.

But don’t discount your 47 cents yet.  Congress is expected to debate a budget again this fall, and again, the President has proposed dramatic cuts to cultural funding including the elimination of the NEA and IMLS. We will remain on the front lines in this fight for our clients. To learn more about this effort or to get on board with the advocacy, contact jen@prime-strategies.com

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 11.43.21 AM

Charlie Dudley on the Floridian Partners advantage

Charlie Dudley is a founding partner and managing director of Prime’s Tallahassee office, locally known as Floridian Partners. 

 

Over the past 20 years, the public affairs industry has undergone a sizeable transformation to become a more complex and dynamic industry. In this time, communications, ideas, and politics have all evolved, and in order to keep up with these changes, companies have had to evolve as well. Enter Charlie Dudley, Managing Partner of Prime Strategies, LLC and of the Tallahassee office of Floridian Partners.

A lawyer by trade, Charlie’s role as Managing Partner is to oversee the day-to-day operations of Floridian and Prime. From advising clients on drafting and passing legislation in Tallahassee to guiding their public messaging development, he works diligently to advance the interests of clients at every stop of the process.

According to Charlie, this is what makes FLAP and Prime different. Creating teams that are able to craft regulatory or legislative action, actively lobby for them, and engage the public through the press and other media sets Floridian Partners apart from the rest of the firms in Tallahassee.

“We don’t read talking points,” Charlie pointed out, “we draft talking points.”

This is not always common in government relations. A vast majority of lobbying companies in Tallahassee are hired in order to convey predetermined points to the public and elected officials. Additionally, Floridian Partners has the rare ability to determine which combination of strategies, whether it be regulatory, legislative, legal, or public relations present the best solution to the issues facing their client. The consolidation of these abilities eliminates the need for clients to hire both a lobbying company and a law firm when they want to have a voice at the table.

“Our firm eliminates the need for clients to hire a law firm who can draft legislation and a lobbying firm to advocate for it,” Charlie said. “We offer both of those services in house”.

To this end, clear and constant communications, whether it be with clients, partners, or elected officials, has become the most crucial determinate of success in Charlie’s work at Floridian.

Take Uber, who initially hired Prime Strategies to assist them in the crafting of legislation to amend insurance regulations in Miami-Dade and Broward County. After the successful passing of local legislation, Uber then turned to Charlie and Floridian Partners in Tallahassee to help them draft and pass reforms that would expand access to underserved areas of the state. Through the Tallahassee team’s efforts, Uber succeeded in passing legislation establishing common ridesharing insurance standards across the state, eliminating the need for Uber to meet differing requirements in each Florida county or municipality. In order to ensure the best outcome for the client, the Tallahassee Floridian team worked in coordination with the Miami Floridian and Prime Strategies team, applying successful public relations and lobbying strategies at the state level that were successfully implemented at the local level.

“It’s the integration of traditional lobbying advocacy with public affairs and social media strategies that sets Floridian Partners and Prime Strategies apart from our competitors.  Many clients face the financial burden and communications challenges of hiring a “team” of lawyers, lobbyists and PR folks to pursue their public policy objectives.  Floridian Partners and Prime Strategies brings all those advocacy skills together under one common team approach and can successfully replicate these synergies for clients in multiple local and state government and community arenas across the nation.”

Brian May on the Gig Economy

Brian May is a Founding Partner and Managing Director of Prime Strategies Miami. 

 

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this job is the perspective it gives all of us on the growth of the United States economy. Our country has had a long history of creating opportunity via creativity and innovation, and this has led to the long-lasting prosperity we as a people have enjoyed. American innovators have always and will always come from the private sector: Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, and countless more individuals have fundamentally changed the way our country, and our world, function. They do this through the art of creative destruction, wherein a new economic force pushes other, less efficient sources to either improve their offerings or get out of the way. This can be seen when the automobile put carriage manufacturers out of business, or when the advent of the cellphone led to the extinction of pagers. This process is a difficult one, and can oftentimes begin with regulatory angst and political gridlock when elected officials must decide between maintaining the status quo, or leading into unchartered territory where conventional regulation simply doesn’t work.

In my experience, I have always found that growth, whether personal, political, or economic, is often times uncomfortable. However, in the end, the world generally ends up better off because of it. Currently, we are in the midst of one of those great economic shifts. The cause this time? The gig economy.

The gig economy is one in which a portion of economic output is created through part time work that puts an emphasis on efficiency, flexibility and convenience. After the 2008 recession, individuals began looking for ways to generate income for themselves and their families aside from their 9-5 job. This was perhaps the beginning of what became the gig economy. Since that time, this source of economic output has grown in size and importance and an ever-increasing number of people are utilizing the gig economy as an important source of income. What does all this mean? To put it simply, it means that the government must now account for this in their regulation and taxation. However, in order to remain the economic powerhouse our nation has become, it is always going to be important for all stakeholders, including the companies associated with this new business model, to have a voice at that table when decisions are being made.

Prime Strategies understands the important relationship that must exist between the public and private sector. For that reason, we are constantly looking for creative ways to ensure our client’s are able to operate in a fair regulatory environment.

Two of our clients include Airbnb and Uber, who have been at the forefront of the American gig economy for a few years now. Since these two companies were the first in their respective spaces, governmental bodies around the country weren’t quite sure how to deal with the manner in which their services are delivered to the public. For example, in the state of Florida, there were no existing statewide transportation regulations that covered a ride-sharing company like Uber, who was forced to navigate through the different regulations of each county in which they operated. Clearly, this put a strain on their operations that diverted time and energy from innovation and forced resources to be spent understanding countless transportation regulations.

To solve this issue, Uber teamed up with Prime Strategies and Floridian Partners. What started as a local effort lead by Floridian Partners in Miami and Broward, has become a statewide reform effort, which includes the Floridian Partners team in Tallahassee.

Last year in South Florida, our Miami and Fort Lauderdale offices negotiated and received approval for the regulatory framework for which all ride sharing companies operate. In Tallahassee, new legislation, which still awaits passage by the Legislature, sets common regulatory standards for Uber and all Transportation Network Companies at a statewide level.

Much like Uber had their fair share of legislative battles, Airbnb is no different. Just recently, Floridian Partners saw the successful completion of our work with Airbnb result in a deal with Miami-Dade and Broward Counties to collect tourist taxes from Airbnb hosts. Previously, Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms were treated as outliers in the tourism world that did not fit well into the existing regulatory ordinances of municipal and county governments in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Now that Airbnb has established tourist tax collection agreements with these Counties, as well as 36 others throughout Florida, an important step has been taken to recognize Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms and the economic value they bring to thousands of South Floridians.

The innovative process is never an easy one. At Floridian Partners and Prime Strategies we truly understand that. In many cases, innovative platforms and ideas are rejected simply because people fail to understand them and their value in our ever evolving society.

Understanding these new platforms and business models is our job. Our passion for enacting positive and meaningful change is what drives us every day to craft innovative, individual solutions for each and every one of our clients. By creating a regulatory environment that fosters innovation and economic growth, our company is able to help countless individuals grab their slice of the economic pie that comes with it.