We at Rasky Partners are proud of our talented public relations and public affairs experts across the firm’s practice areas. In our new Meet the Expert series, we sit down with a different agency leader every Monday to get their thoughts on several important and timely questions and gain a greater sense of their industry expertise and experiences. This week we sit down with Rasky senior vice president in our federal government relations practice, Graham Shalgian.

With public affairs being such a constantly evolving field, where do you see the industry headed and what can professionals do to keep up?

While some of the tools have evolved, particularly in the use of digital media, the fundamentals remain. Maintaining and continuously developing a strong network of relationships and understanding the intricacies of politics and policy are critical to success.

You worked for over a decade for the late Senator Ted Kennedy. How did this experience help shape your work today?

Senator Kennedy was hard working, incredibly thoughtful and a legislative giant whose fingerprints are all over major sectors like health care, higher education, biotech, defense, the arts and human services to name just a few. To see first-hand the impact that his leadership and commitment had on these sectors was not only exciting but educational. I learned a great deal from him about the power of advocacy and the importance of legislative champions.

What is the greatest personal or professional lesson you learned from Senator Kennedy?

I learned much from Senator Kennedy about hard work, compromise and the value of hand-written notes in developing and strengthening relationships.

Your extensive public affairs experience includes working with clients from a variety of different industries, including health care, higher education, energy and defense. How do you remain nimble so you can quickly learn and represent the interests of each of your clients?

We’re well versed in policy issues relevant to numerous sectors, but our real expertise is in navigating Washington, DC – identifying and educating stakeholders and recruiting champions for our clients. That formula holds true no matter the industry.

What in your mind sets the firm apart from the rest when it comes to its approach to public affairs?

The integration of our government and communications offerings and the day-to-day involvement of senior level strategists on all accounts.

If you could offer clients one piece of advice, what would it be?

Always allow for open communication with your public affairs team. The more we’re informed about your business, the more effective we can be on your behalf.

For more on Rasky Partners’ industry expertise, please click here.