Public Affairs Veteran Goodwin Launches Step One
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

Public Affairs Veteran Goodwin Launches Step One

Tom Goodwin, a veteran public affairs counselor has announced the launch of Step One Communications, a new firm that will focus on message development and what he calls “front end counsel.”

Paul Holmes


WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9—Tom Goodwin, a veteran of senior public affairs positions at Powell Tate, Porter Novelli and The Hawthorn Group, is striking out on his own. Goodwin has announced the launch of Step One Communications, a new consulting firm that will focus on message development and what he calls “front end counsel.”

Goodwin says the Step One name is intended to convey the importance of sound strategic planning in the communications process, and that the firm will be targeting CEOs and other senior executives. Services include situation assessment, strategic planning, credible and compelling messaging, and media training and crisis planning.

Says Goodwin, “While it may be true that some large corporations are consolidating their agency work to achieve economies of scale, it is demonstrably true that smaller companies, and not-for-profit organizations such as trade associations, are targeting and parceling out their public relations resources with a vengeance.”

To serve clients with broader needs, Goodwin has already struck up alliances will several partners, including Peter Mirijanian Public Relations, which specializes in media relations and Broadband Solutions, a government relations consultancy network. In addition, he says, he is in discussion with “a fledgling D.C.-based network, anchored by a large law firm,” that intends to offer services including regulatory consulting, public relations, constituency mobilization, and legal advocacy in the healthcare arena.

“My early observation is that receptivity to the so-called ‘smaller practitioner’ with senior-level experience, an appreciation of the client/consultancy relationship, and a manageable fee largely free of overhead, is more robust than ever,” he says, pointing to a charter client list that includes The Personal Communications Industry Association and The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. In addition, he is working with KPMG Consulting, and serves in an “of counsel” capacity to clients of four different public relations agencies.
Most recently, Goodwin was executive vice president at The Hawthorn Group, a public affairs firm in Alexandria. Previously, while at Porter Novelli, he founded and managed the public affairs practice; and later, conceived and directed the operations of Message Mark, a division offering specialized strategic counsel. His previous experience includes positions with Powell Tate and as a journalist with FDC Reports (The Pink Sheet).

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