Meet David Hamlin, The Task Force’s Communications Guru
1. Why did you join the Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness?
My agency and I have worked with homeless housing and service providers for a long time. It became clear that there had to be a more effective way to address the issue and the Task Force has done exactly that. I’m also committed to the notion that democracy thrives when people exercise their rights to generate change; the Task Force is democracy at its finest.
2. Tell us about your work at Weisman Hamlin Public Relations (WHPR).
WHPR is 25 years old. We believe that PR is a critical element in the marketing spectrum – it’s the best tool for delivering messages and ideas to the public at large or specific audiences. By design, we’ve always worked in the nonprofit, advocacy and association sector, where we bring marketing sensibilities to issues and causes. I spent a lot of time in the nonprofit arena, so I tend to focus on campaign strategies, tactics, messaging and implementation; my partner is a former journalist with exceptional news media instincts and sensibilities and our Associates have strong journalism backgrounds, too. We think it’s a good blend and we certainly enjoy our work.
3. What role do PR and communications play in ending homelessness through Home For Good?
To end chronic and veteran homelessness, Los Angeles needs a rock solid plan and the commitment to implement it.
We have the plan: Home For Good is built on best practices, it is thoroughly researched, its timetables are challenging but achievable and it has an enormous secondary benefit – it dramatically reduces costs.
PR and communications build commitment. The Task Force has to sustain a campaign aimed at diverse audiences – elected officials, developers, community groups, government agencies at every level, service providers and the public who support all those groups – to win their support and commitment.
4. If you were written about in the newspaper, on the front page, what would the headline say?
I’d dearly love a headline that reads “Hamlin Takes Federer In Epic Five Set Match” but that’s probably not in the cards. I’ll wait for “Task Force Declares Home For Good Fully Implemented”