Political Communications in SF

Photo of Graduate Student in front of McCarthy Center Banner

Our graduate students in the Urban and Public Affairs Program have the amazing experience of interning in the political hub that is San Francisco. In this week’s blog, we get some insight to the communications realm of politics through UPA student and McCarthy Center Events Coordinator, Preston Kilgore ’20.

As a graduate student at the University of San Francisco’s Urban and Public Affairs program, I had the opportunity to intern at Storefront Political Media and their umbrella organization SpeakEasy. Storefront Political Media is a San Francisco-based, full-service communications firm that has led effective campaign targeting efforts, in both the private and public sector. As someone who has worked and volunteered on campaigns, I was excited to observe first hand the inner workings of a consulting firm. 

The opportunity to intern at Storefront exposed me to the whole gambit of political consulting services, such as communications, both digital and print, ad-buying, ad placement, political strategy, communications, media, and oppositional research. One particularly exciting project was the research I have put into artificial intelligence and its potential relationship with campaigns. As technology continues to grow, the role of technology in winning campaigns will play an even larger role than it already does. 

One of my most memorable experiences with Storefront Political Media came early on during the California Democratic Convention. Storefront’s umbrella organization SpeakEasy set up a vendor table at the event, which allowed me to check out the event for free. While there, I was able to hear from various presidential speakers as they gave their stump speeches and even caught up with some friends. The overall experience was exhilarating because of the opportunity to meet democrats from all over the state of California.

As my internship wraps up in the next few weeks, I am grateful for how inclusive the staff was at Storefront, to allow me to sit in on vendor and project meetings. I am also thankful for the team that allowed me to observe the everyday work that goes into building successful campaigns at the national, local, and state level.  

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