Laura Packard - Communications & Digital Strategist for Progressive Non-Profits and Campaigns
Laura Packard
Usually found via @lpackard  
I'm a small business owner and digital/communications strategist located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I'm a partner at PowerThru Consulting, a growing national progressive digital consulting shop. At PowerThru I help nonprofits and Democratic political campaigns use technology to organize and activate their supporters online, to create change offline. We have staff in several states, and work on progressive state and federal issues and elections of all kinds. I also love to teach, and often share best practices at national conferences such as CampaignTech, Netroots Nation, Organizing 2.0 and RootsCamp, webinars, in articles online and trainings in-person for small groups around the country. I have worked with and trained at progressive non-profits and political campaigns around the country over the years, covering online strategy development, organizing and outreach, fundraising, messaging, advertising and social media.

I'm a veteran of many great campaigns and non-profit organizations over the past decade. In 2004 I started off organizing my Ann Arbor precinct for the Democrats, then the 4th ward, and worked up to GOTV Election Day organizing across Washtenaw County. I then served as the Secretary for the Washtenaw County Democratic Party the following year as well as serving on the County Executive Committee and on the Michigan Democratic Party State Central Committee. I also became a partner in, and helped run a major Michigan political blog and do Michigan blogger organizing for a couple years. In 2006 I moved to East Lansing to be Senator Stabenow's Internet Communications Director for her successful re-election campaign, which won statewide approval by nearly 16 points. In 2007-8 I started up my own consulting shop and was Internet Director for the Coalition for Progress 527 (the largest PAC in the history of Michigan, which helped take back and hold the House from '06-'10), as well as designing and setting up the 50 State Blog project for BlogPAC nationally and working with bloggers in startup mode around the country, and working with then-Congressman Mark Schauer's successful campaign and other congressional races. In the latter half of 2008 I moved to Washington DC as the Interim Executive Director for the New Organizing Institute in Washington DC, the groundbreaking national new media training organization for the progressive movement. In 2009-10 the AFL-CIO sent me to the key state of Arkansas to fight for passage of health care reform and labor law reform through the U.S. Senate. In 2010 I was the New Media Director for the Bill Halter for U.S. Senate primary campaign in Arkansas, which used the Internet in innovative ways and raised over 3.5 million dollars online in 3 1/2 months to fight for progressive Democratic values. I then was Director of the Secretary of State Project national 527 in the remainder of the 2010 cycle, which worked on important Secretary of State races around the country to support candidates that would protect our right to vote. In 2011 I joined forces with PowerThru and moved back home to Ann Arbor. In the 2012 cycle I worked with a variety of national non-profits, primarily USAction/TrueMajority - a multi-issue national online powerhouse with over 500K members, and also We Are Wisconsin during the critical 2011 elections, and African American Voter REP in the leadup to election day - the largest urban voter registration and participation project targeting African Americans in the state of California. In the 2014 cycle I worked with several campaigns around the country again, rolling out websites and advising on strategy on federal and statewide races in states including Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, and California.

Many of my presentations and trainings can be seen in written form on the PowerThru blog. In 2012 I helped rewrite the Democracy for America training manual's online organizing chapter, including contributing two new sections on online advertising and fundraising. Both of those sections are cross-posted on our blog. I also rewrote and updated the online organizing training for Camp Wellstone, and Camp Wellstone's Advanced Campaign Management School at the end of 2013.

I'm a University of Michigan alum, B.S. Computer Science, '97. I worked for several years in the tech industry in Ann Arbor prior to moving into the intersection between politics and technology full-time. I graduated from the Women's Initiative for Self-Employment (WISE) business development program in 2000, and that foundation helped me launch my own firm later down the road and hit the ground running with expanding PowerThru's business. I was a Michigan Political Leadership Program public policy fellow in '05, and I'm also an alum of the inaugural New Organizing Institute bootcamp class in '06 and the Wellstone Advanced Campaign Management School in '07. I have a deep interest in elections and election-related issues, having served as an election inspector, precinct chairperson, on the absentee count board and performed other elections-related work for the City of Ann Arbor in the years since the gubernatorial election of 1998. I also served for several years as the Secretary of the Michigan Sailing Club, and on the board of the Women Business Owners of SE Michigan, and volunteered in the community for Michigan Theater and others.

Contact Information
Email: laura [at] laurapackard [dot] com  
Twitter: @lpackard  
Linkedin: lpackard  
Google+: +LauraPackard