Schaper exits Chamber of Commerce to join Engage

WASHINGTON: Nick Schaper, the US Chamber of Commerce's executive director of digital strategic communications, has vacated his post to become SVP at Engage, a digitally minded public affairs strategy firm.

WASHINGTON: Nick Schaper, the US Chamber of Commerce's executive director of digital strategic communications, has vacated his post to become SVP at Engage, a digitally minded public affairs strategy firm.

Before the Chamber, he worked as Speaker of the House John Boehner's digital media director.

Engage founder Patrick Ruffini, whom Schaper has known for eight years, drew him to the new position. The GOP-leaning firm has worked on projects for Boehner, as well as conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation and the NCAA.

“It was an opportunity too good to pass up,” Schaper said. “I want to bring innovative technology and data analytics to a broader base of clients on K Street and advocacy organizations across the country.”

He added that it is no longer enough to amass a large email list or a high number of Facebook “likes” to move the needle on Capitol Hill.

Schaper will work with clients to help them get a better sense demographically who supports a client's cause so they can organize supporters to take action.

“At Engage, we've always operated under the philosophy that it's not enough just to ‘do digital.' You need people like [Schaper] who understand how to craft strategies that achieve strategic objectives and maximize bottom-line success,” Ruffini said, via email. “That requires something more than the cookie-cutter vendor mindset you often see in the digital space.” 

The Chamber wished Schaper well in the new role. “[He] made a significant and positive contribution while at the Chamber, and we're sure he'll do the same at Engage,” said Tom Collamore, SVP for communications and strategy and counselor to the president of the Chamber.

The organization has found a strong candidate to boost its social media work, and it will announce this appointment very soon, Collamore added.

Nearly a year ago, Katie Wilson exited her role as senior director of communications and strategy at the Chamber to become VP of communications at the National Retail Federation.

Correction: This story was updated on April 8 to correct the spelling of Schaper's name.

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