COMMUNICATORS SOLVE PROBLEMS.
Communications are a means to an end.
They are instruments — strategies, tactics and tools — aligned to achieve something larger. They accomplish goals, conquer challenges and deliver wins.
Most of all, they solve problems. We created New West Communications to solve yours.
New West develops proactive, comprehensive, fully integrated messaging and communications strategies. We craft arguments for today that solve problems tomorrow. We tell your story to large and small audiences, and we show decision-makers how your objectives align with their own.
With decades of experience in media, politics, and public policy, we know communications are not ends. No one should write press releases out of obligation, chase media coverage aimlessly, or tweet just because there’s Twitter.
Communications are means. Let New West deploy them to solve your problems, achieve your goals, and strengthen everything you and your organization do.
We integrate communications solutions into broader organizational strategies and goals.
We identify key decision-makers and influencers — and avenues to reach them.
We work with advocates, allies and in-house teams to coordinate messages and deliver them effectively.
We align channels and platforms to drive public opinion and shape outcomes.
We manage crises in ways that turn them into opportunities.
Why do we want this in the media?
How do we get it there?
How do we survive this?
How do we move past it?
STRATEGY & AUDIENCE IDENTIFICATION
What are we trying to do?
Who do we need to reach?
MESSAGE DEVELOPMENT & DEPLOYMENT
What do we need to say?
How do we say it?
How will we tell our story?
What form will it take?
Who are our constituents?
How do we motivate them?
EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATION & THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
How do we connect with stakeholders?
How do we build trust?
BUILDING COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGIES
How do we deploy our team?
How do we build long-term systems?
WHO WE ARE
We formed New West Communications out of deep experience communicating with the public in a variety of roles — we are journalists, spokespeople, advisers and operatives. Our approach has been shaped through a gauntlet of different stories and challenges, ranging from City Hall to presidential campaigns to the highest levels of state government and academic medicine.
We have worked in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate, for Democrats and Republicans. We have been in the room when historic decisions were made. And we have been on the vanguard of profound communications transformations that changed not just how leaders and influencers talk about issues, but how issues themselves play out.
Jason Embry has been a professional communicator for more than 20 years. He recently served as Communications Director for Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus. In that role, he was Speaker Straus' lead spokesman, speechwriter, and strategic communications adviser, and he managed Speaker Straus’ digital presence. He also led communications and rapid-response efforts for Speaker Straus’ re-election campaigns in his legislative district, and he wrote and edited numerous pieces of direct mail and other campaign collateral.
Jason also advised members of the Texas House on communications strategy and media relations. He also oversaw all correspondence in the Speaker's office, reading thousands of letters from constituents and directing the office's response to each. As the highest-ranking communications specialist in the Texas House, he developed an extensive network of contacts among reporters and opinion leaders stationed at the Capitol and around Texas.
Before joining the Speaker's team, Jason spent 14 years as a newspaper journalist, most notably as the Capitol Bureau Chief and political columnist at the Austin American-Statesman. He covered statewide campaigns and specialized in writing about public education and state fiscal policy, and he was the Statesman’s Washington Correspondent before the newspaper closed its Washington bureau in 2008. He previously wrote for the Waco Tribune-Herald and Killeen Daily Herald.
Jason has provided political analysis on MSNBC, C-SPAN and SiriusXM, as well as numerous local news stations in Texas. He graduated with honors from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.
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Steve Scheibal has been solving communications problems in Austin and Central Texas for more than a decade. He specializes in crisis communications, media and messaging strategy, and alignment of a wide variety of tools and tactics to help clients achieve their goals.
He served as Director of Media Relations and Community Engagement for the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, where he directed media and community relations for the first new medical school in decades to be built on a Tier 1 research university campus. There, he served as a primary conduit between the medical school and the public, working with journalists, industry experts, and community leaders to raise awareness of the school, increase understanding of its mission, and execute communications and public relations strategies designed to help make Austin a model healthy city.
Before joining inaugural Dean Clay Johnston’s staff, Steve was Policy and Communications Director for Texas state Senator Kirk Watson. He managed external communications for the Senate Democratic Caucus leader, oversaw crisis communications, and coordinated strategy and messaging with other groups and partners. He also served (in a volunteer capacity) as communications director for the campaign to pass Proposition 1, a 2012 ballot initiative to support a UT Austin medical school and other health care initiatives in Travis County.
Steve also was a staff writer at the Austin American-Statesman for six years. There, he grew the City Hall beat into a wide-ranging platform to explore issues such as growth and development, infrastructure, demographics, the environment, and local and state politics. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1997. He is also a senior strategist for Influence Opinions, a leading digital media strategy firm based in Austin.
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Gary Susswein came to New West with more than 25 years of experience in media and communications, including as State and Metro Editor of the Austin American-Statesman and Chief Communications Officer at The University of Texas at Austin.
In his decade at UT, Gary shaped messaging and communications strategy for three presidents and served as a trusted advisor to each. He steered the response to multiple public safety, political and athletics crises across campus. Gary led public relations around increased graduation rates and financial aid, the opening of the Dell Medical School and expansion of research — which enhanced UT’s global reputation and rankings. And he was the lead spokesman as UT protected its mission as a public research university during the political battles of the early 2010s.
Gary also reorganized the 30-person office of University Communications to fully align media relations, social media, crisis communications, content creation, internal communications and marketing with one another and with the university’s mission. He served on the public affairs steering committee for the prestigious Association of American Universities.
Before joining higher education, Gary worked for 15 years as a newspaper reporter and editor, both in the Northeast and at the American-Statesman. At the Statesman, he covered multiple political campaigns and legislative sessions, specializing in budget issues, and helped lead the newspaper’s early innovations into digital journalism.
Gary graduated with honors in history from the University of Pennsylvania and earned a master’s degree in communications from Stanford University. He is a graduate of Leadership Austin and has served on various community boards, currently as president-elect of Congregation Agudas Achim.
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New West Communications
P.O. Box 13557 | Austin, TX 78711