Hailstone is a leading progressive communications consultancy. We are passionately driven by a mission to utilize the most powerful, cutting-edge strategies to help organizations reach their highest goals. With our decades of experience, we have helped clients across the country achieve dozens of victories through a proven approach. First, we seek to clearly and deeply understand our clients’ needs and objectives. Then, using impactful messaging, tools and tactics, we work alongside our clients to accomplish concrete results. We are a full-service consultancy and offer the broadest range of communications:
Press outreach and media strategies—including press releases, pitching, events, op-eds and letters to the editor—to garner maximum public attention
Social media strategies, content production and advertising
Video production from start to finish, including script writing, planning, coordination, shooting, interviewing, editing and distribution
Advertising in every medium, including radio, print, TV, online, transit and billboards—from strategy, content and design to ad placement
Mail, literature and flyers, including content creation, design and distribution
Email and text messaging campaigns
Website design, content production and promotion
Signage and promotional materials including banners, rally signs, picket signs, t-shirts, hats, buttons, bumper stickers and more
Speech writing and spokesperson training
Strategic advising, organizational branding and communications planning
Mobilization for actions and event planning
Support materials such as talking points, white papers and fact sheets
Political communications, organizing and campaigning
We have an extremely effective and successful approach which has been honed over decades of experience:
UNDERSTAND CLIENT'S GOALS
First, we seek to clearly and deeply understand our client’s needs, challenges, stakeholders and strategic goals. This is accomplished through a series of discussions, asking questions, active listening, background reading and research.
IDENTIFY KEY AUDIENCES
Once we fully grasp our client’s needs and goals, we seek to identify and understand the key audiences in every campaign.
DEVELOP A COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
Then we develop a comprehensive communications plan which we present to our client for feedback. The plan includes overall strategy, messaging, tactics, timeline and a budget.
BUILD A POWERFUL MAIN MESSAGE
After the plan is approved, we move forward with polling (if needed), further research, and building out powerful messaging which speaks to our key audiences’ core values. We believe strongly that effective messaging must speak not just to audiences’ “self-interests,” but also to their deepest values and sense of identity.
TELL COMPELLING STORIES
Then we proceed to deliver our messaging through telling the compelling, personal and emotionally powerful stories of credible messengers in the most impactful mediums. For all of human history, people have used stories to convey knowledge and pass down truths, and we believe this is the best way to affect change. It is important that the messengers telling these stories are trusted by our key audiences.
SPEAK TO THE MAJORITY
We believe the best way forward is often to speak to “the middle” of an audience rather than the extremes of the ideological spectrum. The vast majority of people do not consider themselves to be on the extreme left or right, and so it is important that messages resonate with everyday working people. We vigilantly avoid the pitfalls of jargon, lingo and insider terms that laypeople may not understand or care about.
MAINTAIN MESSAGE DISCIPLINE
We maintain message discipline, control the discourse and do not allow the opposition to define our agenda. On the contrary, we strive to put the opposition on the defensive and make them respond to our agenda.
MODIFY AS NEEDED
As every campaign progresses, we analyze press coverage, online comments, social media activity, polling results and other feedback to determine if any strategic modifications need to be made.
PROMOTE EVERY VICTORY
Finally, once a victory is achieved we promote awareness of this accomplishment to all audiences in order to enhance our client organization’s reputation and brand, as well as build toward their future successes.
Our clients are some of the largest progressive organizations in America. We have a long track record of helping our clients achieve their strategic goals of promoting good jobs, clean energy and a better world. We have worked with clients and campaigns throughout the country, including in Washington, D.C., New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Washington State, Nevada, Iowa, South Carolina and Michigan.
DAVE BATES, PRESIDENT
With over 20 years of experience running communications and grassroots campaigns, Dave Bates is a deeply passionate and driven advocate for good jobs, clean energy and a better world. His life’s mission is to utilize the most powerful, cutting-edge communications strategies to help progressive organizations achieve their goals. Dave has led staffs of up to 24 team members, and has extensive skills in all aspects of strategic communications, campaign planning, mass mobilizations and political organizing.
As the communications director for the largest healthcare union in the country, he helped lead scores of successful efforts, including the campaign for New York's $15 minimum wage; the election of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio; a contract victory that protected medical benefits for over 120,000 healthcare workers; and organizing thousands of participants for the Climate Marches in New York and Washington, D.C. In his role as president of Hailstone Communications, Dave has helped win dozens of campaigns for major progressive organizations throughout the country.
He holds a master’s degree in multi-media from Hunter College in New York City and a bachelor’s in film and video studies from Bard College.