• Strategic Communications
  • Crisis Management
  • Public Affairs

What we do

Petkanas Strategies is a boutique strategic communications firm that brings more than a decade of in-the-trenches experience and expertise to help clients navigate a challenging political environment to achieve meaningful impact, build their brands and ultimately fulfill their missions.

Strategic Planning & Execution

Smart, innovative strategy should drive everything. No two clients are alike. So no two strategies are the same. That’s why we work together with each client to identify specific goals and develop tailored action plans. Then we help get it done.

Message Development

Whether you’re an issue advocacy group looking to reach the constituents of specific lawmakers back home or a non-profit focused on building your narrative from scratch, we will help craft your message with precision and get it to the people who need to hear it.

Crisis Communications & Rapid Response

Whether facing a challenging situation that needs to be neutralized or driving an issue campaign in a media environment that changes minute-by-minute, we are experts at effectively communicating in high stakes environments because we've done it countless times before.

Earned Media Execution, Booking & Training

It’s never been harder to break through than in the current media environment. It takes careful planning, cultivated media relationships, flexibility to jump at the right moment and the calculated bravery to differentiate yourself from the pack. We have you covered.

Who We Are

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About Zac Petkanas

Zac Petkanas is a veteran Democratic strategist and messaging expert with more than a decade experience in competitive federal and state campaigns. Petkanas served as Director of Rapid Response for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and communications director for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. 

Following the 2016 election, he was asked to build the acclaimed Trump War Room at the Democratic National Committee to hold the new administration accountable through its first 100 days.

Petkanas is a frequent commentator on cable news and appears regularly in the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press and many other major media outlets.

Our Experience

Zac has spent years in the trenches working in the halls of Congress, on the campaign trail and with non-profits. He cut his teeth in fast-paced, high stakes environments crafting winning strategies that break messages through the noise and stop crises in their tracks.

Whether it's building a “war room”, delivering talking points to stakeholders, handling press logistics, leading media trainings or designing a hard hitting digital campaign, Zac brings years of experience to the table to get it done right.

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In the News

"Zac Petkanas, the director of rapid response for Clinton’s 2016 campaign, said Democrats may have miscalculated four years ago in ignoring conspiracy theories that sprouted on the fringes of the Internet. They quickly went mainstream, Clinton’s campaign realized. 'The false attacks really were effective at sowing doubt, not only within a right-wing sphere, which is what we originally thought, but within our own supporters,' Petkanas said."

Washington Post: In Trump’s attacks against Biden, Democrats see a worrisome reprise of 2016

"It’s important for him to show the primary electorate that he knows how to handle the vicious smear job that is coming his way,” said Democratic strategist Zac Petkanas, who worked on Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. "The episode is a test of his candidacy and whether he’s about to do what Hillary Clinton wasn’t able to do and survive Trump’s attacks."

The Hill: Joe Biden faces off against Trump in impeachment storm

"'The inequality in online ad spending between Trump allies and Dems is a potential crisis,' warned Zac Petkanas, a party strategist and former aide to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. "

Daily Beast: Dems Are Getting Torched by Trump in Impeachment Ad Wars

"'Every single candidate in this race is going to have their time in the barrel, that is the way that Trump and his allies work,' said Zac Petkanas, a Democratic strategist who ran the Hillary Clinton campaign’s rapid response team. 'His ability and willingness to manipulate the levers of power to his personal and political benefit is a huge concern going into the 2020 election.'"

NBC News: Trump's target is Biden for now. Democrats fear others could face the same playbook

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