Mary Peltola

Case Study

Mary Peltola

Project Overview:

After the death of longtime Alaska Congressman Don Young in early 2022, Alaska held a special election to elect a successor. Former state lawmaker, Mary Peltola, threw her hat in the ring to serve out the remainder of Young’s term along with over 40 other candidates. The winner would not only have to win the special election to fill the vacancy left by Young, but run again in November of 2022 to secure a full two-year term.

In the end, Peltola faced off against two well-known Alaskans: Former Governor, Republican Vice Presidential Candidate, and TV personality Sarah Palin, and Nick Begich — the grandson and nephew of a previous congressman and senator.

Peltola’s campaign was one of the most closely-watched races in the nation’s history. Upon her victory, Peltola became the first Democrat elected to represent Alaska in almost 50 years as well as the first-ever Alaska Native elected to Congress.

The Problem:

Such high-profile political campaigns require an experienced and dedicated PR team in order to manage everything from basic media relations to crisis communication. The Peltola campaign hired Otter PR to manage their communications and ensure that Peltola’s image in the media remained positive throughout and following her two back-to-back election cycles.

The Strategy:

Otter PR established a bipartisan team of PR strategists to assist the Peltola campaign with all areas of communication — media pitching, media booking, crafting press releases, and assisting with strategy. Additionally, Otter PR deployed a publicist to Alaska to work directly with the Peltola campaign. This included staffing Peltola for media interviews and managing press gaggles at campaign events.

Otter PR was also present in Washington, D.C. to assist with Peltola’s transition into Congress.

Business Impact (results):

Otter PR played a key role in helping elect Mary Peltola to Congress — not just once, but twice. Through our team’s efforts in helping to secure and book multiple top-tier media appearances, the Peltola campaign was able to better get its message in front of voters and donors all across the country.

Peltola was first sworn into Congress on September 13, 2022, and again for a full two-year term on January 3, 2023.

Josh Wilson

Josh Wilson

Josh has served as Public Liaison to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, the longest-serving governor in U.S. history, and provides more than a decade of public relations experience working with elected officials, political candidates, small business owners, and nonprofits. Most recently, he served as a communications director in the United States House of Representatives where he worked alongside some of the nation’s top leaders and built great working relationships with the national press corps.

Publicist

Josh Wilson

Josh Wilson

Josh has served as Public Liaison to Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, the longest-serving governor in U.S. history, and provides more than a decade of public relations experience working with elected officials, political candidates, small business owners, and nonprofits. Most recently, he served as a communications director in the United States House of Representatives where he worked alongside some of the nation’s top leaders and built great working relationships with the national press corps.

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