Actively Engaging Congress Through Strategic Public Relations

Are you looking to get your message in front of Members of Congress? Compass Public Relations is here to help you advocate your organization’s issues at the right time and to the right people through targeted federal campaigns. We’ll assist in identifying your organization’s priorities to foster engagement with policymakers and their staff, media outlets, and key external audiences.

Here are ways that the Compass PR team can advance your advocacy efforts to shape policy and public opinion:

  1. Schedule site visits to your organization with Members of Congress and their staff
  2. Coordinate letters from advocacy groups, business associations, and subject matter experts to Members of Congress
  3. Gather placement of Op-Eds in local and national media outlets
  4. Craft tailored and clear messaging to help all stakeholders understand the importance of your organization’s issues

Addison Pruitt

Addison is a Principal of Government Relations and Director of Public Relations at Compass Advocacy. Wearing both hats, Addison connects the dots between government advocacy and brand strategy, helping clients on projects ranging from lobbying to logo design.

Government Relations

Prior to joining Compass in 2021, he served as the Communications Specialist for the U.S. Architect of the Capitol’s historic Cannon Renewal Project, where he coordinated messaging and outreach initiatives to House Members, staff, and key congressional stakeholders.

Addison also spent three years in the Maryland General Assembly as Chief of Staff to Delegate Darryl Barnes, Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland. In this role, he worked on legislation to improve equity, procurement, and funding opportunities for minority businesses and disadvantaged communities across the state of Maryland.

Public Relations

Aside from his political experience, Addison has helped several nonprofits and businesses in the Greater Washington Region, providing consulting services in branding, graphic design, website development, and multimedia. With a spirit for community and collaboration, he launched a creative pop-up event series in 2017 for young professionals to connect through arts and music.

Additional Background

Addison studied Marketing with a concentration in Product and Brand Management at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a lifelong resident of Prince George’s County and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Robert J. Garagiola

A triple threat for Compass, Rob serves as a Principal for Compass Government Relations and Compass Public Relations and as the Managing Member for Compass Law. With nearly 30 years of legislative, lobbying, and advocacy experience at the federal, state, and local levels of government, and over 20 years practicing law in D.C. and MD, Rob plays a leading role in managing the Compass leadership team and nurturing the firm’s enterprise growth and innovation.

Government Relations

An expert on energy, tax, business regulation, and procurement matters, Rob lobbies for clients in Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. As a former Maryland State Senate Majority Leader and State Senator for ten years, Rob understands the inner workings of state government. Prior to becoming a State Senator, he spent close to a decade on Capitol Hill – both as a lobbyist and senior staffer for U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., who is now the Chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee.

Law Practice

Rob has represented legal clients in nearly every sector, ranging from accounting firms to physician practices, trade associations, and nonprofits. Rob advises clients on general business, employment, and commercial leasing matters, helping them form and grow companies, draft corporate governance documents, and provide counsel on various contract issues. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer since 2016.

Public Relations

Having run for office at the state and federal levels, Rob has extensive media and communications experience. For nearly a decade, he has helped clients with various grassroots advocacy efforts to affect and shape public opinion on a range of issues. Rob has also worked with clients to develop innovative strategies to convey their message before traditional media, digital media, and other venues.

Additional Background

Rob served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1995 to 2003 and received his jump wings in 2000. He is a member of various nonprofit boards, including those with a focus on the arts, healthcare, renewable energy, and public safety. He is married to Hannah Powers Garagiola, the founder of Compass Advocacy, and has five children and a Jack Russell Terrier named Oyster. In his spare time, he enjoys boating, traveling, reading, and cooking.

Practice Areas

Government Relations

  • Business Regulation
  • Energy
  • Healthcare
  • Procurement
  • Taxation & Fees

Public Relations

  • Communications
  • Grassroots & Political Campaign Strategy
  • Public Affairs & Coalition Building

Law

  • Business Law
  • Contracts & Commercial Leases
  • Employment/Labor Law

Team Spotlight: Addison Pruitt

Addison connects the dots between government advocacy and communications on behalf of Compass clients. Prior to joining Compass, he served as Communications Specialist for the U.S. Architect of the Capitol, where he coordinated messaging and led outreach initiatives to House Members, staff, and key congressional stakeholders.

As the former Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, Delegate Darryl Barnes, Addison led the office’s marketing and strategic communication efforts, serving as a liaison for constituents on all legislative activities.

Addison has also worked with several nonprofits and businesses, providing consulting services in brand identity, graphic design, web development, and multimedia.

Brian Doory

Spanning sectors and issues, Brian develops unique strategies to protect reputations and achieve policy objectives. He works with clients facing challenging public affairs and communications issues arising from legislation, regulation, investigation, litigation, and other crisis situations. He has worked with clients in the technology, financial services, health care, transportation, manufacturing, energy, labor, and education sectors.

As a public affairs strategist, Brian has worked to achieve policy goals at the local, state, and federal levels. He creates strategic campaigns, communications programs, coalitions, grassroots digital infrastructure, and relationships to broaden support for his client’s policy agendas. In the political world, Brian has managed campaigns for Governor, Congress, and other offices. He has also advised campaigns internationally, across the United States, and in Maryland at every level. Among many others, he has worked for Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MD), Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD), Gov. Jon Corzine (D-NJ), Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD), and Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-IL). In 2017 and 2018, Brian managed the gubernatorial campaign of Jim Shea for Governor and Brandon Scott for Lieutenant Governor in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Later in 2018, as a Senior Advisor to the Maryland State Education Association, he helped elect dozens of the association’s endorsed candidates across Maryland including in a number of hotly contested county executive races.

Brian also has significant experience counseling clients and protecting their reputations during high-profile crisis communications situations. He has advised clients dealing with matters before the United States Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general, and other regulators in the U.S. and many countries around the globe, including China, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

Previously, Brian was a Managing Director at CLS Strategies, a Washington, D.C. crisis communications and public affairs firm for eight years. He counseled clients facing high-stakes and complex challenges where his clients included Fortune 100 companies, non-profits, technology companies, financial services companies, health care companies, international governments, and trade associations.

Brian is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and lives there with his wife and two children.

Hannah Garagiola

Founding Compass Advocacy in 2018, Hannah Garagiola has shaped the Compass brand into a political powerhouse for government and public relations, spanning Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Delaware. Hannah leads Compass as the founder and President of Compass Government Relations and Compass Public Relations. As a private sector lobbyist for 16 years, she understands the intersection of public policy, political messaging, branding, and grassroots advocacy.

Government Relations

Known for her political savvy, understanding of policy issues, and energetic approach, Hannah directs a bipartisan team with a proven track record of commonsense solutions to business matters before the Maryland General Assembly and local governments across Maryland. Hannah’s practice also includes lobbying before the D.C. City Council and Mayor’s Office. Advocating on behalf of fortune 500 businesses, major energy developers, infrastructure companies, and large trade associations, Hannah’s clients are afforded access at the highest levels to meet their organization’s needs. As Deputy Chief of Staff to the late Maryland Senate President, Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, Jr., Hannah’s public sector role gave her the experience, institutional knowledge, and concrete relationships with decision-makers to be effective for clients seeking results. 

Public Relations

Aside from her lobbying expertise, Hannah has also helped clients navigate media, communication, and political campaign strategies to educate decision-makers. As Deputy Chief of Staff to the late Maryland Senate President and staff to the Maryland Senate Democratic Caucus, Hannah honed her skills on various political campaigns over multiple election cycles. As a veteran on statewide and national campaigns, Hannah uses her skills to help clients educate policymakers on complicated issues by employing multi-faceted grassroots and grasstops tactics to meet client needs.

Additional Background

In February 2022, Hannah was named one of the 40 most powerful leaders in government and lobbying in Maryland by The Daily Record. She has also been awarded by The Daily Record as one of the state’s Leading Women as well as a Very Important Professional (VIP).

Hannah is married to former State Senator Rob Garagiola, and they have two young children together and a Jack Russell named Oyster. A former collegiate sailor, Hannah can be found cruising the Severn River with her family when she isn’t working. She also enjoys cooking, entertaining, and travel.

Montgomery County Black Chamber of Commerce

On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, the Montgomery County Black Chamber of Commerce hosted several Black and minority businesses for an emergency townhall to discuss contracting opportunities and MBE participation within the Montgomery County government.

In a short marketing window, the Compass team served as the lead public relations arm for the townhall, providing the following services to make this gathering :

  • Deigned event branding and invitation
  • Designed and managed the registration page
  • Provided press support
  • Coordinated email communications to all registrants

MBE Night in Annapolis

Our Compass PR team led the branding and marketing efforts for the 2022 MBE Night. Over 400 minority businesses joined in Annapolis on Thursday, April 28 for an evening centered around opportunities in procurement and capital.

The event featured a host of state legislators, state agency officials, panel discussions, and a presentation from the U.S. Small Business Administration. It was an honor to work on this event from start to finish.

Throughout the process, we established a brand identity, designed all marketing collateral, and developed an all-inclusive website (www.mbeannapolis.com), allowing attendees to register, access key event information, and view media from previous MBE Nights.

Fundraising

The Compass PR team helps manage and operate a variety of nonprofits and associations. Our services span coordinating meetings and events, membership management and recruitment, and handling financial and compliance matters.

One of our specialties is fundraising! Are you looking to host an event to raise funds for your nonprofit, raise awareness for your company, or something else? We can help!

Whether it’s a small fundraising event, a large-scale fundraising event, or even grants – the Compass Public Relations team is here for you.

Elections, Ballot Measures, and Grassroots Advocacy

With warmer weather on its way, many are looking forward to the beaches and vacations. However, at the same time, candidates in Delaware, Maryland and DC at the local, state, and federal levels are gearing up for their Primary and General Elections this summer and fall. In addition, voters will have to decide on an array of ballot initiatives in the coming months on a range of issues.

Compass PR can help get your message out to the candidates and their constituents. We can also help frame issues before the voters to ensure the passage or defeat of ballot initiatives. Compass PR has the tools to inform voters with phones, digital media, text messages, and mail.

Consider reaching out to Compass PR now to devise your strategy, frame the issue, and execute the advocacy plan.

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