Ruth McBain is the newest senior account executive in the Proof DC office. Ruth joined Proof after working in political communications for DraftBiden Super PAC, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, and Vermont Gubernatorial Candidate Matt Dunne. She has her Master’s in Public Affairs, and has a passion for creating a strong message on the right platforms.
We sat down with Ruth to ask her some questions and learn a little more about her background.
How did you get involved in communications?
I studied communications at the University of New Hampshire for my undergraduate degree, where I learned how to make communications decisions and took classes on the media and its role in political communications. When I was working as an intern in Senator Shaheen’s office,I got some hands-on experience. I was doing day-to-day responses to constituents and drafting congratulatory letters to New Hampshire community members– let me just say, letter writing is a lost art. This was the position that got me interested in policy communications and showed me how exciting policy communications can be.
What do you love the most about communications?
I love communications because it lets me become the master of so many different subject areas. When you are choosing what you want to do for your career, or for your life, usually you decide what subject matter you want to be in and you go from there. I was never the kind of person that could pick one subject — I was always pretty hungry for knowledge and wanted to learn about lots of different things. The beauty of communications is that you can really learn the ins and outs of so many different areas of life.
Strategies is also so complex. It’s not just what you see on the surface. It’s all about presentation, and it’s been around forever. You have examples of how people have communicated since the beginning of time, so it helps you get into the minds and the lives of people you otherwise would not be exposed to.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love to travel and explore new places. Recently, I’ve visited Stockholm and I spent this last summer in Vermont. I have so many places that are on my list to go to next.
Name a time when you had a challenging experience in communications and how you got through that.
Working on a political campaign was often challenging, especially when it came to getting your candidate’s message across. Every day in a political campaign is crisis management, some days more than others. It’s tough when someone says something unexpected and despite hours of prep you can never know fully what will happen in an interview or on a debate stage.
As a communications professional, you always want your principal to stay on message, but that can be challenging when discussing hot button issues. It becomes equally important, if not more important, to refocus the message.
What is a brand or person whose communications strategies you really enjoy?
I really love Merriam-Webster’s social media presence. I love the art of writing and spoken word and I’ve found that Merriam Webster does a great job connecting public life to their brand and advocating for using the spoken word. I do also love that they make judgements on politics and culture and strive to inform their audience.