CLS News
April 24, 2019

Politico Playbook

How/where are you celebrating your birthday and with whom? “I’ll spend the day in D.C. with my husband, Roy, as well as my mom, dad, oldest sister and two nieces who are all visiting this week. It’ll be a touristy birthday day but super excited to have family in town.”

How did you get your start in politics? “During my junior year in college, I had the opportunity to volunteer for an American hero, the late Sen. John McCain, during his presidential campaign.”

Read more from her interview below -- and happy birthday, Ruth!

Read Full Article


CLS News
April 18, 2019

CLS Strategies, a Washington, D.C.-based public affairs and strategic communications firm, is currently seeking applicants for a Managing Associate position.

CLS Strategies serves a range of clients – including Fortune 100 corporations, trade associations, foreign governments, international organizations and non-profits. Some are in the midst of regulatory and legislative challenges, or high-stakes litigation. Others are facing government investigations, reputational, or competitive threats. Most of our clients choose CLS because they have a terrific story to tell and wish to affect change, yet need help finding their voice, raising the saliency of their message, and engaging and persuading target audiences. All are looking for creative solutions at the intersection of politics, public policy and communications. That’s where the team at CLS Strategies comes in, and where we thrive. 

Responsibilities of Managing Associate include:

  • Contributing to strategic planning and account execution for clients
  • Assisting in the day-to-day management and client reporting for multiple account teams
  • Managing specific projects and work streams for multiple account teams
  • Drafting op-eds, talking points, memos, social media content and other communications materials
  • Pitching stories, establish / cultivate media relationships, organize press events and other media relations activities
  • Supporting firm leadership in business development, including writing proposals and participating in pitches

Qualifications: Ideal candidates are driven self-starters with the ability to grasp complex subject matter quickly and work well within teams. Candidates must possess strong writing and research skills, experience in media relations, and ability to formulate creative communications strategies and messages. Three to six years experience in journalism, political campaigns, on Capitol Hill, a PR agency, or association is the kind of background that helps an application stand out. 

CLS Strategies offers a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package that includes:

  • 401(k) plan with employer match
  • Employer-subsidized medical/dental insurance
  • Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • Optional Life and AD&D Benefits
  • Paid vacation and sick time
  • Paid holidays
  • Employee stock purchase plan
  • Gym membership
  • And much more

CLS Strategies. We don’t just raise the issue. We raise the game.If you thrive on the challenge of finding solutions to complex challenges and want to join our team, please apply by clicking the button below, and don't forget to attach your resume. For more information, visit www.clsstrategies.com.

CLS Strategies. We don’t just raise the issue. We raise the game.

 


CLS News
March 29, 2019


Kiana is a current junior at American University majoring in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government (CLEG) and minoring in Justice and Law. She is from Orange County, California and loves warm weather and the beach, and she is a firm believer that the West Coast is the best coast. Last semester, Kiana interned on Capitol Hill for a congressman, where she enjoyed learning about the U.S. political system.

1. Who/what has had the most impact on your academic or professional interests?

Definitely my freshman year political science professor. Her expansive knowledge surrounding policy influenced my desire to learn more about public affairs. Studying a variety of disciplines, including communications and government, has also peaked my curiosity in the intersection between public affairs and strategic communications.

2. What do you look for in an internship experience, and how has this shaped your career goals?

As an intern, I hope to gain hands-on experience where I can be challenged and expected to be a team player. I also aim to strengthen my ability to communicate, write, and think critically. I think that while learning about different industries through various internships is important, it is the skills that are gained from these experiences that matter the most.

3. What are your long-term career goals?

As I continue to learn new things every day, I like to keep my future career options open. Having said that, I plan to continue down a career path in the realm of public affairs and strategic communications.

4. What has surprised you so far about your journey towards your career goals?

My major in various disciplines has taught me that it is common for career paths to cross – a revelation I found not only beneficial, but unexpected.

5. Can you expand on your interest in public relations?

I did not know much about public relations up until my time with CLS. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the various strategies used to promote and protect a company’s brand.

6. What comes easiest to you as an intern at CLS Strategies?

Being able to stay on top of my daily tasks such as media monitoring has been the easiest for me. At my previous internship, I was also responsible for doing media sweeps and daily clips, so I quickly got used to that. I also enjoy doing clips because I get to learn about the client.

7. What has been your biggest challenge as an intern at CLS Strategies? How do you address that?

My biggest challenge as an intern at CLS has definitely been knowing which projects to prioritize. While working on a handful of client accounts can be exciting, it can become hectic unexpectedly. It shows how important it is to be able to multitask and ask for help when needed.

8. What is your favorite thing about living in Washington, D.C.?

I love D.C. because there is so much to do and get involved with. I love exploring the city and dining with friends, especially brunch. I’ve also been to a good amount of concerts in D.C. and get excited when one of my favorite bands or artists comes to town.

9. On our website, we ask all of our staff to share three things about themselves. What are three things about yourself that we might not know?

  1. I’m a bit of a music nerd and could talk about artists and genres for hours
  2. I am a twin
  3. I am Filipino, Lebanese, and Irish

CLS News
March 22, 2019

Kristie Larimer is a senior at American University majoring in Communication and Media Studies and Law and Society. Most recently, she worked as a Digital Fellow at Mothership Strategies, where she helped manage fundraising for political campaigns and organizations through writing, coding and analyzing the results of email blast testing. Originally from Rhode Island, it’s no surprise Kristie loves the ocean.

1. Who/what has had the most impact on your academic or professional interests?

I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by supportive mentors throughout my professional and academic career. I would say the largest impact on my interests has been my internship in London at a soliciting firm, where I acted as a legal assistant on a high profile criminal case. The experience was extremely rewarding but made me realize that litigation was not what I wanted to do in the future. The experience pushed me to explore other fields, where I discovered my interest in public relations. 

2. What do you look for in an internship experience, and how has this shaped your career goals?

In any internship experience, I look to contribute meaningful work to the organization I’m working for. Any role that offers hands-on experience in the industry with people willing to spend a little extra time to teach me has been among my favorite and most valued experiences.

3. What are your long-term career goals?

I plan to continue in the field of public relations and communications and hope to join a company that aligns with my core values. Wherever I am, I aspire to contribute meaningful work and deliver results to clients that make a difference.

4. What has surprised you so far about your journey towards your career goals?

It’s a bit cliché, but for me, it was understanding that career paths are not a straight line and that's perfectly okay. A year ago, I was planning to head straight to law school after graduation and now I can’t imagine doing that at all. Taking new classes and applying for internships in different fields were essential for me on my path to discover what got me excited about going to work every day and where I could see myself contributing a meaningful voice.

5. Can you expand on your interest in public relations?

Within public relations, I am constantly challenged and learning new things every day. I love that no two days are the same and daily projects constantly evolve. I enjoy thinking creatively and being able to work collaboratively with teams to find solutions and achieve positive results for clients.

6. What comes easiest to you as an intern at CLS Strategies?

I think having previous experience in communications such as writing press materials, writing summaries for clients and media monitoring helped prepare me well for this internship. In addition, I think my ability to multitask has proven very useful in tackling different client accounts and projects. 

7. What has been your biggest challenge as an intern at CLS Strategies? How do you address that?

I work on five different client account teams, and I think the biggest challenge has probably been learning to balance them along with evolving daily and long-term projects. Learning how to prioritize tasks and staying organized are definitely key.

8. What is your favorite thing about living in Washington, D.C.?

I think my favorite thing about living in D.C. is being so close to so much history. I feel lucky that I can just metro down to the national monuments and Smithsonian museums. Even after four years of living here, it never gets old.

9. On our website, we ask all of our staff to share three things about themselves. What are three things about yourself that we might not know?

  1. I am in an acapella group at American University called Treble in Paradise.
  2. I studied and interned abroad in London last year.
  3. I love the outdoors and have hiked almost half of the Appalachian Trail.

CLS News
March 19, 2019


Jonathan is a master’s student of political communication at GWU’s School of Media and Public Affairs. Originally from Kent, England, he received his bachelor’s degree in political science and history from the University of Edinburgh. Previously, he worked in a press office on a Senate committee and for a closely-watched house race in Virginia in the run up to the 2018 midterm elections.

1. Who/what has had the most impact on your academic or professional interests?

Probably my thesis advisor in my senior year of undergrad. They got me from being broadly interested in political science to someone specifically interested in political communication. From there, my studies sent me to a different continent to study the discipline and dive headfirst into public affairs and strategic communication as a career path.

2. What do you look for in an internship experience, and how has this shaped your career goals?

Something that will develop me as an independent thinker. So much of the beginning of your career involves being directed or instructed by others, so it can be hard to transition to a place where you’re establishing yourself and your own skills. So ultimately, my internships have been about putting me on the best footing to become that person.

3. What are your long-term career goals?

At the moment, I’m favoring working in the private sector and getting a really deep understanding of how successful campaigns are run and communications hurdles are overcome. I then at some point down the line hope to bring that knowledge into the political sphere and help candidates and causes I care about get into office.

4. What has surprised you so far about your journey towards your career goals?

The importance of asking people for things. For opportunities to arise, you have to put yourself out there. Asking for advice, a recommendation or offering your skills to contribute can go a long way to building your resume and network.

5. Can you expand on your interest in public relations?

My interest has really stemmed from my obsession with political campaigns. I’ve always been fascinated with narratives and framing and was more interested in how candidates and movements were selling themselves as opposed to the actual content of what they were selling. That’s evolved into my broader interest in how the business of managing perception operates.

6. What comes easiest to you as an intern at CLS Strategies?

I enjoy writing, so drafting blog posts, op-eds or social media content is hardly a chore.

7. What has been your biggest challenge as an intern at CLS Strategies? How do you address that?

Multitasking. Dealing with multiple accounts at the same time means you have to quickly transition from one task to the other and change your mindset from, say, a tech account to one that is a foreign political campaign. The best way of dealing with it is fairly obvious – don’t rely on your memory, write everything down and just schedule. 

8. What is your favorite thing about living in Washington, D.C.?

How manageable its size is. I’m used to London, which is so sprawling that travelling from one neighborhood to the next is a serious undertaking. I love running into a person you know by chance, which never happens back home.

9. On our website, we ask all of our staff to share three things about themselves. What are three things about yourself that we might not know?

1. I was once inches away from a leopard in the wild, with no barrier between us.

2. I’m about to become an Irish citizen – I’m using my Irish ancestry to get a EU passport following Brexit.

3. I once had to call and speak to Ariana Grande’s mother and ask her to donate to the campaign I was working on.