One year after launching Precision Strategies with fellow Obama for America campaign aides Stephanie Cutter and Jen O’Malley Dillon following the victorious 2012 election, Teddy Goff reflects on his first year in the agency business with PRWeek.
Q: What’s been your biggest accomplishment in the past year?
A: I’m extremely proud of the fact that in a noisy, messy, uncertain environment and a brand new firm, two cities, and a bunch of different practice areas, we’ve done not a perfect job, but a pretty good job of working with the kind of clients we want to work with. We’re taking on work that we’re proud to do, that we know how to do, ignoring everything else, and making sure we’re not building just a big company but a good company and doing it in the right way.
Q: What have you learned about running a firm?
A: How much you have to re-learn every day. How many times nothing goes according to plan, and nothing you expect occurs and plenty that you don’t expect occurs. Speaking for myself, I worked for a couple years at a relatively similar company; I had a job relatively similar to the one I’ve got now. I hadn’t founded the company, but I was helping to run it, working with relatively similar clients. I came into this thinking I more or less knew what I was doing, and boy, was I wrong. Part of that is just how quickly the world is always changing and how quickly the Internet is changing. Digital is a huge piece of our business, and digital changes every day.
Q: How did your backgrounds prepare you for this role?
A: We were – all three of us – extremely privileged and beyond our ability to express it to work on President Obama’s campaigns. We still think about how lucky we were every day. All of us, and not just us, all the thousands of people who worked on and millions of people who volunteer on those campaigns did that because we wanted him to win the presidency.
We truly did not think about post-campaign ever, or whether the attention the campaign was getting was going to be good for our post-campaign careers. That kind of thing is the farthest thing from your mind when you’re on the campaign. We had no conversations, not one, about doing this, or even a couple of months after the campaign as we were trying to recover from the stress of the campaign.
Q: Any plans to return to the campaign trail?
A: I would be extremely surprised to find myself working on a campaign. You never know what life will bring, but that is not something I expect or am working on.