Susanne Bankhead brings more than 15 years of government communications experience to her role
JPW Communications (JPW) is thrilled to announce it has hired Susanne Bankhead as its new vice president of client affairs. Susanne brings more than 15 years of award-winning government communications experience to her role, having most recently served as the community relations manager for the City of Carlsbad.
“Susanne’s unique combination of public sector acumen alongside her creative approaches to community relations strategies is a perfect match for our clients,” explained Jenny Windle, founder and president of JPW Communications. “Her impressive track record and respect in the industry is unmatched, and we are thrilled that she’s joined the team.”
Susanne will oversee all day-to-day client affairs; work to expand the firm’s community outreach vertical; and implement strategies to further elevate the JPW client experience.
Prior to joining JPW, Susanne was the community relations manager for the City of Carlsbad where she helped manage a 12-person team tasked with informing internal and external audiences about city issues, services and projects.
During her professional tenure, she also worked for two public affairs agencies overseeing outreach efforts for clients like the City of San Diego, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and the City of Chula Vista, among others.
Susanne says she enjoys building public engagement strategies, which are often aimed at removing barriers to participation. For example, she recently helped the City of Carlsbad connect with its Spanish-speaking stakeholders, which included door-to-door interviews.
“Public engagement is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and that’s what is so intriguing about what we do,” she said. “I love the challenge of finding new ways to meet people where they are. Each engagement is a blank slate.”
Joining JPW directly from the public sector, Susanne said she is keenly aware of how important it is to find good consultant partners for public-facing projects.
“When it comes to public engagement, your community owns the outcome. Whether you do it well or poorly, your stakeholders will remember. It becomes either a deposit or withdrawal from the public trust account,” she explained. “That’s why it is so important to find a consultant who gets it. JPW is one of those agencies and I’m delighted to now be a part of it.”