Briefings from the Rotunda
Bascom finds a perfect match with Kristen McDonald Grissom
dding Kristen McDonald Grissom to the team at Bascom Communications & Consulting was like “getting your first-round draft pick,” declared the boutique firm’s President Sarah Bascom. “Once it was decided that we wanted to add a senior consultant to the team, she was the first one on everybody’s mind,” said Bascom. “She was too great of a talent for us to not actively ask if she would like to be a part of our team.” The newlywed McDonald Grissom left Hill+Knowlton Strategies to join Bascom Communications on May 1 when the firm was working remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the transition, said her boss, has been no problem. “She’s a self-starter, go-getter (and) super intelligent. She already knows the political side. She knows the association side. She knows the corporate side. She’s very well rounded and just fit right in with the team immediately,” Bascom said. McDonald Grissom, 32, was a senior account manager at H+K, where she had worked since 2017 advising clients on pending bills, litigation messaging and crisis management, as well as helping clients embrace new ideas. From 2012 to 2016, McDonald Grissom managed communications for the Florida House Majority Office, serving under three different leaders. The Panama City native and Florida State graduate got out of the blocks fast, moving from a communications internship with Gov. Rick Scott to press secretary for the Republican Party of Florida in a year. McDonald Grissom deftly represented the party on a wide range of issues or throwing out lifelines when PolitiFact came calling. She served as the party’s spokesperson through the 2012 election cycle, including two televised primary debates and the Republican National Convention in Tampa. In 2014, McDonald Grissom was named to the list “30 under 30 Rising Stars in Florida Politics.” McDonald Grissom will put her experience to good use for Bascom, a firm that has managed war rooms and protected brands while advising some of Florida’s most influential trade associations, elected officials, CEOs and Fortune 100 executive teams.
38 | INFLUENCE SUMMER 2020
Chloe Barr joins Allison Aubuchon Communications
allahassee-based public relations firm Allison Aubuchon Communications is growing with the addition of Chloe Barr, who began her new post as account manager in June. “It’s time for smart growth, said company President Allison Aubuchon, APR. “Chloe is passionate about public relations, poised and professional beyond her years and a joy to work with. Her support, energy and creativity will continue to add value to our purpose-driven client work.” Barr begins her full-time position after a year and a half as an account assistant while a student at Florida State University, where she double majored in political science and public relations. While at FSU, she was recognized by the Garnet and Gold Key leadership honor society for her leadership in the Florida Public Relations Association Student Chapter and the FSU Panhellenic community. She is now an active member of the FSU Alumni Association, the FPRA Capital Chapter and the Tallahassee Kappa Delta Alumnae Chapter. “Allison has been an incredible mentor to me throughout my college years and I look forward to continuing to grow this business with her,” Barr said. I am passionate about making a difference through my work. I have found that through working at Allison Aubuchon Communications, I am able to be a part of creating and influencing positive change.” Founded in 2016, the firm frequently works with clients focused on issue advocacy at the state and community level throughout the Southeast. The team specializes in strategic planning, media relations, messaging and coalition building. Current initiatives support health equity, civics education, consumer protection and a healthy insurance marketplace. To learn more, visit buzzwithpurpose.com.