Joanna Klonsky Communication Strategies is the Chicago-based communications consultancy founded and managed by media strategist Joanna Klonsky.
JKCS helps political candidates, elected officials, government agencies, advocacy organizations and other civic organizations create and implement strategies for communicating with their target audiences so they can advance a progressive agenda that improves people’s lives.
Joanna’s years working on political campaigns, fighting policy battles in Chicago City Hall and Springfield, and her previous career as a journalist covering foreign policy and U.S. politics, shape her approach to forging successful media and messaging campaigns. Her reporting was published by CFR.org, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune and Newsweek International, among other outlets, before she transitioned into the world of public relations and progressive political strategy.
Joanna has served as communications director or press secretary on political campaigns in the national, state, municipal and judicial arenas. She provides strategic consulting on media and messaging for a range of clients, including political candidates and campaigns, elected officials, government agencies and initiatives, non-governmental agencies and private sector entities.
Joanna was a 2011 New Leaders Council fellow and was a founding board member of Chicago Votes Action Fund. She was named as one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ 40 Under 40 in 2016, and one of Chicago Magazine‘s “New Power Players” in 2019. In 2015, she was named Chicago’s “Best Political Flack” by the Chicago Reader. Joanna co-produces The Girl Talk, a monthly live talk show at The Hideout dedicated to highlighting badass Chicago women hosted by award-winning teacher and activist Erika Wozniak and Block Club Chicago founder and editor Jen Sabella.
JKCS is a lean, efficient shop. We focus on:
We’re all about telling clear and compelling stories, drawing sharp contrast with opponents and appealing to voters’ values, self-interest and common sense.
We work with reporters, editors, columnists and producers to make sure our clients’ stories and perspectives are represented their way, on a regular basis, in front of lots of people. We’ve worked hard to create durable and trusting relationships with members of the media — in Chicago and other markets — to ensure it gets done.
People tend to like our trainings because we get right to the point, work from soup to nuts, and keep it as interactive and fun as humanly possible.
Bringing Teams Together
Coordinating teams of communicators–including direct mail, TV/video consultants, digital strategists and online organizers–to make sure messaging and our strategic approach are cohesive and consistent.
Guiding clients in response to public crises related to their own images and reputations. You might not realize it’s us behind the scenes helping public figures respond to big problems with discipline and dignity, but we’re there.
Past and present JKCS clients include:
Lightfoot for Chicago, 2019
American Federation of Government Employees Local 704 (Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 employees)
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)
Fritz Kaegi for Cook County Tax Assessor, 2018
Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for Congress, 2018
Alma Anaya for Cook County Commissioner, 2018
Bridget Degnen for Cook County Commissioner, 2018
Aaron Ortiz for State Representative, 2018
Kim Foxx for Cook County State’s Attorney, 2016
Chicago City Council Progressive Reform Caucus
Chicago City Council Women’s Caucus
Ald. Roderick T. Sawyer (6)
Michael Rodriguez for 22nd Ward alderman, 2019
Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36)
Just Democracy Illinois/the Center for Secure and Modern Elections
I’ve seen Joanna Klonsky in action as Communications Director on a high profile congressional race and as a communications strategist for the kick off of MoveOn’s Run Warren Run campaign. She has rock-solid judgment, is a top-notch communications strategist, and consistently over-delivers when it comes to executing media events and strategies. If I’m ever in a high stakes campaign, I’d want Joanna on my side.Ilya Sheyman
When the stakes are high, Joanna is exactly the person you want on your team. She’s calm and focused in a crisis, and brings her thoughtfulness and experience to bear to make sure you’re communicating exactly the right message. I wouldn’t be where I am without Joanna’s guidance and expertise.Will Guzzardi