North of Center can build, support, or be your public engagement team.

The world is driven by the speed, ubiquity, and mobility of communications technology — it’s fast, it’s everywhere, and it’s on the move!

Our team includes award-winning members with extensive experience navigating the rapidly evolving communication environment to build, preserve, and strengthen relationships with key publics (including media representatives), throughout good days and bad.

I worked with Cliff [ W. Gilmore, NoC CEO] during my tour as Chief of Staff for Regional Command (Southwest) in Helmand, Afghanistan. His recommendations were instrumental in guiding senior leaders’ interaction with government officials and the public. He possesses a wealth of information and practical experience building relationships with the media and managing complex issues in a methodical and principled way.

— Col. Barry J. Fitzpatrick, USMC (Ret.)

North of Center’s research grounded, field-tested Communication-Based Leadership (CBL) framework guides all our public engagement, organizational communication, and leader development work.

Both a process and a philosophy, CBL’s foundation is set by four cornerstone truths:

  • Everything is a communication activity
  • A leader’s communication capacity is finite
  • Leadership is about relationships
  • Enduring leadership success requires trust

As a process, CBL provides a path to your success as a credible, ethical, trusted public engagement; as a philosophy it will guide you along that path.

North of Center can build, support, or be your public communication team to help you achieve measurable public engagement goals through services such as:

  • Integrated strategic and crisis communication planning  to support and sustain operations
  • Community outreach to establish, preserve, and strengthen the trust of key publics
  • Real time traditional and social media engagement
  • Speechwriting and training for keynote presentations

Our Rates

Whether choosing an Internet provider or a consultant, one of the most frustrating things we encounter is trying to figure out what a product or service will cost. One principle of our own Communication-Based Leadership framework is transparency. With those things in mind, we believe you should get a sense right up front what it might cost to hire NoC.

We can tailor contractual relationships to meet your public engagement needs in three general ways.

Hourly Services

Call NoC and put our team to work when you need us. The hourly rate for NoC Core Team members is $350/hr. This allows you to request work on demand and pay as you go, but is our highest rate quite simply because piecemeal work is highly disruptive and requires us to re-align our capacity and support to other clients on the fly.

Needless to say, hourly work is a short-term solution. We encourage clients to find an alternate path as quickly as possible and work with them to do so. Other options we can provide include individual projects or services on retainer.

Individual Projects

Free up your own team’s time and capacity by focusing NoC’s experience and expertise on a narrow scope of work to deliver a specific product or service. Examples might include mapping communication pathways or refining the flow and content of meetings to eliminate redundancy, reduce information overload, and improve efficiency.

Our project fees are set based on the scope of work and invoiced in three stages: 30% up front; 50% at project midpoint; 20% upon completion to the client’s satisfaction. A project we estimate will take 40 hours would generally cost approximately $10,000 plus travel, lodging, and other expenses. This price can fluctuate based on any specialized skills or equipment needed to build the right task-organized team to meet your needs, but once the rate is set, we deliver — no matter how long it takes.

Retainer for Services

Increase the capacity and capabilities of your organization by integrating NoC into your team with a wide scope of work that covers a range of tasks. This can include individual projects and allows you the greatest flexibility to set and shift NoC’s prioirities based on emerging real-time needs.

Having NoC on retainer adds our full range of experience, expertise, and capabilities to your toolbox.

For example, you might task NoC with maintaining meeting agendas and tracking the purpose, participants, inputs and outputs of meetings to ensure alignment with your organizational priorities and improve decision-making, and we would prioritize each as you direct during any given period.

Our retainer fees are set based on the scope of work and invoiced monthly for a fixed amount. A scope of work we estimate would require 40 hours of support per month would generally cost approximately $6000/mo. and include NoC participation in staff meetings/calls and regular in-person visits. This price can fluctuate based on travel, lodging, and other expenses, but once the rate is set, we provide the support you need — even during times when your demand may spike.

Let’s Talk!

Fill out this brief questionnaire and we will schedule a free 30-minute session to discuss your public engagement challenges and explore how North of Center may be able to help.

No pressure. No obligation. Just a good conversation.


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We invite you to join our monthly From the High Ground e-newsletter subscriber list. It includes pro tips you can use immediately, a first look at planning tools, reference cards, case studies, and other resources we have in the works, and free 30-day beta test access to upcoming self-paced online courses and interactive seminars.

Warm Regards,
Cliff W. Gilmore
CEO, North of Center

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