Coffee Break with Firehouse Strategies’ Alex Conant

Former RNC press secretary and Rubio campaign comms director dishes on this year’s national conventions and how the parties have approached virtual formats.

“What the voters want more than anything is authenticity.”

A 15-year veteran of the American political sphere, Alex Conant is well-versed in the dealmaking and networking that goes on behind the scenes at national conventions, an aspect of this year’s election cycle that’s been lost due to the pandemic.

But even with both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions taking place virtually this year, not much has changed from the viewer’s perspective, Conant says.

According to Conant, the Democratic National Convention, which took place last week, “embraced” the new medium while the Republican counterpart, currently in progress, has tried to “recreate what a convention is."

Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses, and there are still a few more days to see what else the RNC has in store.

Conant also shares his experience starting a public affairs firm, Firehouse Strategies, in the wake of the 2016 election, after his stint leading communications for presidential hopeful Marco Rubio.

“Really all we do is apply lessons that we learn from politics to public affairs and public relations campaigns,” Conant says of the bipartisan team.

Conant reflects on all of this and more in Coffee Break, a weekly 15-minute intermission in your working day to discover more about PR pros occupying interesting roles across the industry, live each Wednesday morning by 11 a.m. ET.

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