Strategic Partnerships; Strategic Insights


SP Spotlight: Meet the Summer Associates

This summer, SP Consulting was lucky to work with 3 rock star summer associates: Kelly, Suzanne, and Anna in our Washington, D.C. office. Through record heatwaves (up to 113 degrees with humidity!), a surge of D.C.’s subway shutdowns, and a fiery political race for the White House, our summer associates made the most of their 3 months with SP. Get to know who they are, what they gained from their experience with SP, and what else they’ve been up to this summer.




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JAG Finds Success for Opportunity Youth

By Kathleen McDonnell, Program Manager, Jobs for America’s Graduates


How do you define success? Reaching a goal? Breaking a record?

At Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), we define success as consistency. For the past 36 years, JAG has consistently achieved 90% graduation rates for one of the most challenged populations of students, those who face multiple barriers to high school graduation. This year, not only did JAG reach its graduation goal across our national network, but we also set a new record of achieving our “5 of 5” award for the first time on the national level. “5 of 5” is given to programs that reach high standards for graduation, post-graduation employment, and post-secondary educational enrollment. JAG has collected performance outcomes for our national network of affiliates at the close of each 12-month follow-up period (a full year after students graduate from high school) and, since 1981, the JAG model has ensured that high risk high school students receive the support needed to turn their academics and career pathways toward success.



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Snapchat Earns a Gold Medal

While the upcoming Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil have gained an unusual amount of less-than-positive media around issues like the Zika outbreak and banning of the Russian track and field team, one news cycle marketers may have missed is the partnership between Snapchat (and BuzzFeed) and the 2016 Summer Olympics.


Some may argue that platforms like Twitter and Instagram would better service the needs of brands during the Olympic Games due to their number of users, demographics, and user experience; however, in early June, it was reported that Snapchat surpassed Twitter (and Instagram) in the number of daily users to over 150 million. As Twitter is slowly declining in active users, Snapchat is becoming a platform that can’t be (and shouldn’t be) ignored anymore.

BuzzFeed earned a major win in this partnership as well due to (major Buzzfeed investor) NBCUniversal’s exclusive U.S. distribution rights to the Olympics. It’s in both NBC and BuzzFeed’s best interests to partner together and be able to produce and share quality content due to the fact that BuzzFeed is currently receiving seven billion monthly global content views, 70% of which come from mobile devices and 75% from social platforms.


How will Snapchat affect Olympic viewership? What about audience reach and diversifying? However the data plays out, this will definitely alter how agencies and brands strategize, target, produce, and distribute content in the very near future.


Big Pharma and Co-Pay Charities: No good deed goes unpunished…or is it pay to play?

By Erik Foehr, Ph.D.


Picture13Pharmaceutical companies cultivate relationships with non-profits and patient advocacy groups. These so-called co-pay charities help get patients access to important medicines. They provide assistance to pay for the initial prescription co-pay and access to government and private drug program benefits. However, these programs often result in taxpayers (via Medicare) paying drug companies huge sums of money and may be one of the reasons why drug prices continue to skyrocket. The federal government took notice and recently subpoenaed several drug companies and charities. What can charities, pharma companies, and taxpayers do?

Prescription medicines are of central importance to managing disease. However, over 50 million Americans still lack health insurance and, many who have it, do not have prescription drug coverage. In 2003 Congress expanded Medicare to cover prescription drugs. Drug companies can help patients afford pricey prescriptions via discount cards and, if they are on Medicare, they need to utilize charities to gain access to pharmaceuticals. These changes kicked off a rapid expansion in prescription assistance programs and co-pay charities.

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The Star [SP]angled Banner!

How did SP Senior Partners around the country celebrate the Fourth of July? With festivities like parades, fireworks, and time spent with family and friends of course! See how staff, Senior Partners and even our CEO, Paul Johnson, spent their time enjoying the holiday weekend.

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A Marathon, Not a Sprint: SP’s Nicole Duritz Discusses the Importance of Setting Goals and Teamwork

By Nicole Duritz


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I ran my first two marathons in 1999 and 2000, then I got married and had twin boys. My life got a little crazy and as a working mom, I had to fit in my exercise where I could. I woke up at 4:00 AM and rode a stationary bike in my basement. I started distance running again in 2007 when the boys were five but didn’t enter a race until 2010.  My first race was the 2010 GW Parkway Classic 10 miler. I was 44 years old and I set my sights on another marathon. I decided to wait until my boys were a bit older and I decided on 2016 to celebrate my 50th birthday.

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Ken Boughrum: Former Global Communications Guru at Novelis, Atlanta Native and Family Man

  1. How did you connect with SP Consulting?
    • After Karen Kaplan departed FH, I was keen to remain connected with Karen (I am also a fan of alliterations). I had left my role at Novelis and re-launched TUNE Communications. Karen and I made the requisite pledge to keep each other in mind as we independently secured client assignments and might need a partner. In early 2016, we had a conversation that went something like this…“Is your new year off to a good start?” “Yes it is, I signed on with SP Consulting. Maybe you should meet Paul Johnson next time he is in Atlanta.” “Sounds good, let’s set it up.”
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SP Spotlight: Dr. Danny Sands

In this week’s spotlight video learn why Dr. Danny Sands joined SP Consulting, what moments were pivotal in his medical and professional career, and how he enjoys spending his weekends.


Lincoln Mitchell discusses new book, “The Democracy Promotion Paradox” in San Francisco

Lincoln MitchellOn Monday, June 20 at 7:00pm, SP Consulting Senior Partner and international political development expert Lincoln Mitchell, Ph.D., will discuss his new book “The Democracy Promotion Paradox” at Green Apple Books, 506 Clement St., San Francisco, CA 94118.

In his latest book, Dr. Mitchell raises difficult but highly important issues by questioning and uncovering numerous inconsistencies and paradoxes that lie at the heart of democracy around the world. Furthermore, Dr. Mitchell provides an overview on the origins of the U.S. international democracy strategy, examines its development over the last few decades, and explains how democracy has grown to be a core element of U.S. foreign policy.

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From His POV: SP Consulting’s Eric Lee Runs in MuckFest MS

On June 4, SP Consulting Digital Marketing Associate Eric Lee ran in the Philadelphia MuckFest MS 5 kilometer run benefitting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. While a 5K run may not sound too difficult, the biggest challenge is that the course is full of other runners, big obstacles, and mud. Lots of mud. With his GoPro Hero4 Silver strapped to his chest and along for the ride, Eric provides us with a unique perspective of his incredible journey through 5km of flying mud action.

As Eric tells it, “While running the mud run was exhilarating and an intense physical challenge, ultimately it was knowing that my participation helped raise awareness and fundraising to find better treatments and, one day, a cure for those with MS that made this experience so worthwhile.” Way to go, Eric!