Monthly Archives: April 2012

If you watched the ever-popular Master’s golf tournament two weeks ago, you saw threads of a trend that Corporate America has embraced in the past few years.

Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest company by revenue in 2011, used a “Masters Moment” to promote its “Let’s Solve This” campaign to position the company, which becomes particularly important in a time of $ 4+/gallon gas.

Now, whether you agree with its effectiveness is another matter, but studies show its smart business — people prefer to do business with companies that are good corporate citizens.

In 2003, at the behest of a forward-thinking government relations representative, we created a campaign for Exxon called “In Texas, For Texas” to emphasize the company’s contribution to the Texas economy and the tax base that funds our schools; it’s team of scientists and engineers creating innovative technologies with application to all sectors of our economy; the company’s charitable donations, and the volunteer hours and philanthropic contributions of its ‘stakeholders’, particularly its employees and retirees.

That campaign has continued throughout the company and we saw its recent manifestation during the 2012 Masters.

The current campaign promotes the National Math and Science Initiative to get more of our youth interested and trained in those subjects, where the US lags significantly compared to other countries. (we rank 25th in math, and 17th in science).  According to the company website, Exxon’s long-term success depends on a capable workforce — “it’s not just U.S. leadership in energy that’s at risk — it’s also our leadership in medicine, research, technology and other pillars of the American economy.”

Call it grassroots marketing, public relations, or advertising (the lines are blurring), but companies are increasingly looking for to put the people back in corporate as the primary way they present themselves to the consuming public.

Exxon doesn’t want to known as just a monolithic oil and gas producer; it’s important for the company to be company of people and products helping our economy grow and doing good deeds, not a faceless corporation only interested in profits.  I couldn’t find the Master’s campaign (they’re notoriously protective of their brand), but here’s a clip to give you a sense of what I’m talking about.

By the way, a recent poll of sports fans found that Masters weekend is more anticipated than the Final Four and attracts millions of viewers worldwide.   It’s no wonder Exxon is one of the event’s 3 major sponsors.

When a good message is communicated by the right messengers across several channels, brand favorability, purchase consideration, and reputation generally rise.  It will be interesting to see how this campaign tracks for Exxon.


Craig Casselberry
C 512.762.7366

“Those who have a joyful and meaningful ‘why’ to life can bear with gratitude almost any ‘how’ — Vicktor Frankl

Dear Friends and Colleagues –

I am delighted to share the news with you that Quorum Public Affairs is again open for business.  It was a mere 18 years ago (anyone remember 1994?) that I opened the doors as Quorum Direct in borrowed office space, a beat up Mercury Marquis, and no revenue for 6 months.

Someone once called it an “inauspicious debut,” and I can laugh now.   Luckily, I didn’t know enough to be worried and introduced the art of “pleasant persistence” to the business of public affairs sales.

But really, what Quorum did finally do that year was introduce sophisticated grassroots marketing and advocacy techniques to the Texas business community.

And we did it well enough (and just in time) that by mid-1995 we helped pass 8 substantive tort reform bills through the Legislature with what then Governor George W. Bush called “the most effective grassroots campaign the state has ever seen.”

Since then, we’ve had the privilege of advising some of the world’s most successful companies — namely AT&T, Allstate, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Ford, FedEx, Lockeed Martin, Pfizer, Roche, State Farm, USAA, among others — on how to talk to their stakeholders and core audiences to sell a product, an idea, or a public policy.   We experienced significant growth, re-branded, expanded our scope of services, and advised companies of all sizes on how to grow their business and open new markets by delivering the right message to the right people, across multiple channels.

Today, our commitment to innovation and results has made Quorum one of the most recognized brands in the public affairs arena.

As we resume operations, I come back committed to continuing to innovate the business of public affairs and the way companies talk their target audience(s) — whether it’s the general public or a specific constituency — underpinned by a strategic, creative, relational, and entrepreneurial approach to our work.

‘We Know Texas’ could be a tagline and in fact it’s where we’ll focus our efforts.  Having been in this market for 25 years, worked for two Texas Governors and companies of all sizes, we can provide a ‘roadmap’ for any company or organization – whether existing, growing, or re-locating — looking for a strategic assessment of where Texas business, public policy, key alliances, capital investment and communications dynamics intersect to position a company effectively and grow its business.

And, we’re committed to pro-business public policy to keep Texas economically competitive globally.  Our clients — including the Texas Coalition for Capital — have strongly supported access to capital for Texas small businesses and will continue to support that message in the legislative and regulatory arenas.

After almost two decades of meaningful interaction with clients, public officials, economic developers, CEO’s, investors, and the public, we have learned a lot about their business and ours.  Today, Quorum Public Affairs is more ready and able to offer quality service—and most importantly results—to organizations through a greater understanding of business sectors and their unique challenges.

As we embark on another decade plus, Quorum will continue to enhance brands, shape public policies, build strategic relationships, offer innovation and creativitiy in our approach, position organizations for success, and deliver meaningful results.

I hope you’ll be part of the ride.