PSB's Alex Braun awarded the 2014 Campaign Excellence Award
4 April, 2014
–– On Friday, April 4th, PSB Senior Vice President Alex Braun was awarded the International Campaign Consultant of the Year by the American Association of Political Consultants. The award recognizes those individuals that have significantly contributed to the success of a candidate, ballot initiative or public affairs campaign.
Braun worked on a number of races in 2013, but this award recognized in particular his work as the on-the-ground Chief Strategist and Pollster in the ANO Party’s first national campaign for the 2013 Czech Parliamentary Election. PSB helped ANO and its leader Andrej Babis achieve what the BBC called a “simply astonishing” performance in the Czech Parliamentary election.
When PSB began working with ANO in May 2013, the party and its leader Babis were virtually unknown in the Czech Republic and opinion polls were showing ANO received barely any support. On Election Day five months later, the party garnered 24% of the seats in the fractured Czech Parliament, leaving well-established parties far behind and exceeding the expectations of Babis, who proclaimed, “we never imagined achieving such a result.” Today ANO is the new kingmaker in Czech politics and is part of a new coalition government. ANO’s leader Babis now serves as the Finance Minister and Vice Prime Minister.
As the campaign’s chief strategist, Braun played an essential role in ANO’s rise. The Czech Financial Times called Braun “the man who brought Babis to power” in a front-page feature story. He led the development and promotion of ANO’s political identity en route to the party’s historical success. His role blended the jobs of top advisor, campaign manager and pollster. Braun created and implemented campaign strategy, developed messaging and voter targeting programs, structured operations and generally oversaw all aspects of the campaign.
The Economist proclaimed “ANO did much better than predicted” and Agence France-Press wrote that it “emerged from nowhere,” to become what The New York times called “a surprise kingmaker;” and Agence France-Press marveled that Babis “emerged from nowhere.” The head of TOP 09, a major party competitor, told Czech TV, “I congratulate the American firm hired by ANO for the perfectly and professionally executed campaign." Braun was called “a campaign magician” and “the most influential political consultant” by the Czech media.
“We are very proud of the impressive work by Alex Braun and his team at PSB on this campaign. They continue to build upon PSB’s legacy of success advising political campaigns around the world,” said PSB CEO Jay Leveton.
Braun said he is “extremely honoured by this award. Having worked on so many campaigns, I can say that I am particularly proud of the Czech campaign and am humbled by this recognition of my work.”
PSB was previously named Pollster of the Year in 1996 and 2001.
About Penn Schoen Berland
Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), a member of Young & Rubicam Group and the WPP Group, is a global research-based consultancy that specialises in messaging and communications strategy for blue-chip political, corporate and entertainment clients. PSB’s operations include over 200 consultants and a sophisticated in-house market research infrastructure with the capability to conduct work in over 90 countries. The company operates offices in Washington, D.C., New York, London, Seattle, Los Angeles, Dubai, Dehli, Miami, The Dominican Republic and Denver, which are supported by an in-house fielding capability and are fully equipped to provide the complete creative solutions PSB clients need. More at www.psbresearch.com
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