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Election Insights for Today’s Communicator


Time:2:00 PM EDT/11:00 AM PST 

Duration:60 minutes 

While every presidential election cycle impacts the public greatly, the one this year has put every American on an emotional rollercoaster the likes few have ever seen.

The perfect storm brought on by political vitriol, a continuing pandemic, economic angst, and an historic racial reckoning has facilitated a constant state of crisis that is impacting our daily lives. This includes our emotional mindset, which plays a huge role in stakeholder behavior and employee engagement.

Technology is allowing brands to better understand, gauge, and act upon key stakeholders’ constantly fluctuating sentiments. Insights that were once unattainable are now directly available through tools such as Peppercomm’s new analytics dashboard, Mindset AI.

The intelligence is there, but how can communicators best use it to bolster their efforts on the myriad fronts they touch? This webcast, presented by Peppercomm and featuring top industry leaders, provides that guidance and inspiration. And it does so with proprietary insights gleaned from both the 2016 and 2020 election cycles.

Among the topics covered will be:

•Identifying what stakeholders need to hear and recognizing where and when they will be receptive to it
•Pivoting your external and internal messaging in real time
•Comparing and evaluating the emotional spikes from both election cycles and their impact on stakeholder behavior
•Staying politically neutral as you manage internal comms and productivity
•And much more


Jack Bergen

managing partner, Bergen Partners; former VP of HR and corporate affairs, Alcoa

As leader of Bergen Partners, Jack provides strategic planning counsel to PR agencies, coaches agency leaders and develop and guides high performing teams. Prior to founding Bergen Partners, Jack was a member of Alcoa Corporation’s Executive Council, led the company’s Communications and Government Affairs function and was head of the global HR function serving Alcoa’s 60,000 employees. He founded, managed and taught in the Alcoa Academy, where the company provided leadership training to executives, operational managers and emerging leaders from around the world. Jack was a coach and mentor to several of the company’s executives and business unit leaders as well as a number of high potential managers. Earlier in his career, Jack was Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Marketing, for Siemens Corporation; and Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Westinghouse and CBS Corporation, responsible for all communications, government affairs and investor relations. During his 12 years in the PR agency world, he was President of Hill and Knowlton US, CEO of GCI Group, and President of the Council of PR Firms. In 2007, PRSA honored Jack with the Atlas Award for Lifetime Achievement in International Public Relations. After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Jack trained as an Army Ranger and paratrooper. A Vietnam veteran, he also served in Germany and Korea. After receiving an MA in English from Indiana University, he taught English, philosophy, and ethics at West Point. During the Reagan Administration, he was Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger’s speechwriter.

Ann Barlow

West Coast president and senior partner


I have the pleasure of leading Peppercomm’s West Coast team, partnering with them and our colleagues from here to London to support our clients’ success. I work on businesses such as Wilbur-Ellis, Cisco, Arconic and others in food, agriculture, technology and financial services, building programs and providing counsel to help them meet their business goals. I’m especially focused on employee engagement and reputation management, particularly with employees’ growing expectation that their leaders take a stand on today’s issues. Before I joined Peppercomm, I was with TSI/Mindstorm as a senior vice president and head of Mindstorm’s New York office. I had my own consultancy, was PR director for a large health system and worked at GCI in Toronto. I was named PR Professional of the Year and one of the Top Women of the Year by PR News, one of San Francisco’s 100 Most Influential Women by the San Francisco Business Times, and a Make Her Mark award winner by Silicon Valley’s Watermark. I’ve spent nearly all of my adult life on the U.S. coasts, but I was born in Davenport, Iowa, and grew up mostly in Illinois. I’m proud to be a Fighting Illini with a degree in public relations from the University of Illinois. A sense of humor to me means we stand a good chance of being friends.

Brian Grace



Brian Grace, CCO, Nationwide Brian Grace is Nationwide’s Chief Communications Officer, leading the company’s internal communications, public relations, and reputation management functions. Grace joined Nationwide from Progressive Insurance where he served in a similar capacity. Before joining Progressive’s Marketing team, Brian led strategic communications at Target. Prior to that, he was a communications manager at NASA and Pentagon contractor, ATK. Earlier in his career, Brian honed his storytelling and relationship-building skills while working as a news reporter and anchor in his hometown of Minneapolis. He graduated from the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and received a post-graduate certificate in Managing High-Performance Teams from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. He is active in the community both personally and professionally. He most recently served on the board of the Public Relations Society of America’s Cleveland chapter, and has previously provided pro bono PR counsel for Toys for Military Kids and Urban Ventures – an organization focused on breaking the cycle of generational poverty.

Myiah Hutchens

Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Public Relations

University of Florida

Dr. Myiah Hutchens is an assistant professor in the Public Relations department at the University of Florida. She is a political communication scholar whose research generally examines counter-attitudinal information. In particular, she studies how individuals seek and process political information they disagree with. Hutchens 39; work can be found in several high-impact journals, and has been cited over 1500 times. She currently serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Communication, Communication Research and Communication Methods and Measures. Prior to arriving at the University of Florida, she was a faculty member at Washington State University, University of Arizona, and Texas Tech University.

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