Shop talk: Chris MartinJune 6, 2022
Martin, formerly deputy executive director of America Rising PAC, recently joined Bullpen Strategy Group as vice president of communications. When he’s not working on corporate and advocacy clients, you might find the Florida native cheering on the Tampa Bay Lightning or his adopted home team, the Washington Capitals.
Starting out: “I wasn’t really interested in politics until college,” Martin said. In his junior year at the University of South Florida, he took a class on media and politics. “It was about how the media interacts with elected officials.” It covered ad making, direct mail and an internship with a campaign of your choice. Martin sought his with the 2012 Mitt Romney presidential campaign. “I walked into a field office,” he recalled, and began volunteering — making phone calls, knocking on doors. “And before I knew it, they offered me a job on the campaign.” He took six months off of college to work as a volunteer coordinator for the Romney campaign before heading back to campus. “There was something about the energy, the feeling of being on a team.”
Most unforgettable campaign moment: “Hearing a candidate I worked for reading remarks that I prepared for them for the first time during a campaign rally was just a thrilling experience,” he said. “It’s so humbling to feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself. And to see your hard work pay off and see the words you’ve written down, communicated to voters.”
Biggest campaign regret: “The first couple of years in my career, there were a couple of really incredible job opportunities in D.C. and other states. But I stayed in Florida, and I do regret not leaving my comfort zone sooner to explore these opportunities,” he said. “But I think it worked out in the end. I just wish I had taken that leap of faith sooner and packed up my car and moved across the country, which I ended up doing in 2014. I moved to Wisconsin to work on a gubernatorial campaign.”
Unconventional wisdom: Grassroots audiences are “starving” for good political content to share with their social networks, Martin said, but “a lot of campaigns and issues advocacy groups and even corporations just don’t have the systems in place to push out that content on a daily basis.” They’re missing opportunities to identify “viral moments” to use in their fundraising or advocacy messaging, he adds. “The need for really compelling digital content is something that kind of goes by the wayside when everything else is going on.”