Jared Kamrass is a highly experienced political strategist and communications expert with a proven track record of success. He currently serves as Principal at Technicolor Political in Washington, DC, where he is the primary strategist for Democratic candidates and causes. In this role, he advises clients on paid communication strategy, budgeting, and targeting, as well as script, produce, and deploy electronic communication on behalf of clients, including TV, digital, and radio ads.
Before joining Technicolor Political, Jared was the Principal and Chief Strategist at Rivertown Strategies in Cincinnati, OH, where he consulted with clients to design communication and messaging strategies, wrote campaign plans, and marshaled staff and consultants. He also organized and executed large-scale fundraising operations for campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels, built coalitions and fostered relationships between business leaders, community groups, elected officials, and the press, and crafted general strategic advice to candidates and campaign operatives. During his time at Rivertown Strategies, Jared raised funds totaling $30 million over the course of working with 41 clients, including the DCCC, NRDC Action Fund, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Mayor John Cranley (Cincinnati), Mayor Nan Whaley (Dayton), Senate Minority Leader Jeff Yarbro (Tennessee), State Rep. Brigid Kelly (Ohio HD-31), and the University of Cincinnati.
Jared is also an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Cincinnati, where he has appointments from the Department of Political Science (McMicken College of Arts and Sciences) and the Department of Planning (DAAP). In this role, he designs and creates course material for undergraduate students and creatively develops content about politics and government for students. He also brings a bipartisan group of local elected officials and candidates to campus to engage with students.
Jared holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati’s Lindner College of Business. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Strategic Communication (with honors) from The Ohio State University’s College of Arts and Sciences.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
I believe in waking up early. I wake up and try to get caught up on email and outstanding to-do list items as early as I can. This usually leaves me in a position to be as responsive as possible to the needs of clients or other stakeholders during the day, and also creates space to do longer-form work during the day without being distracted by a growing inbox.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The key is to visualize the end product in its ideal usage, and then work backward from there. You create a roadmap for yourself and help anticipate potential obstacles that you can plan for at the outset.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m very intrigued by the usage of AI. Right now, we’re struggling to even fully grasp its full range of usages. From writing copy, to creating images, to reducing the time that comes from data warehousing and optimization, the implementation of AI will make us all more productive. I do worry about nefarious actors using AI for deepfakes and the lack of regulation in the space right now, but at this point it’s hard not to be excited about the good.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
Always set aside time to decompress. Whether it be going to the gym, reading, or watching sports, we simply cannot be productive if we don’t reset at some point everyday.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t forget your goals. Whether it’s the larger objective as part of work project or your own personal goals, don’t get lost in the weeds to the point of forgetting your purpose.
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you on?
I have no problem with the Designated Hitter!
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
Read. Read as much as you can, everyday. There’s so much information and knowledge that is so readily available at our fingertips, don’t take it for granted. Make sure to use our access to information to make yourself smarter everyday.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
I try to talk to someone who knows me best and cares about me, and never about the issues that are causing me to be overwhelmed. There’s great power in being able to be re-centered by even a 20 minute conversation with someone who cares about you.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
Relationships have to be real. They can’t be transactional with no substance or else they’re worthless. Make sure your relationships are real and tend to them even when you don’t need something. This is both more fulfilling personally, but also will make sure that when you need help, you can count on the people in your life to really be there for me.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Clients, customers, and vendors will always prioritize efficiency. They’ll pay a little bit more for something that they feel is saving them time or energy. And always air on the side of transparency.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Always Google Sheets. I run my life on sheets. Client reports, managing cash flow, or doing projections. It’s the most useful and indispensable piece of software out there.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast you’ve gotten a ton of value from and why?
I found a lot of value in Saving Freedom, the Joe Scarborough book about President Truman. Even before becoming President, he was dealt setback after setback. When he finally reached the top, he was met with skepticism and had his abilities questioned unceasingly. Yet, much of the country’s progress and our global world order can be traced back to the decisions he made. It’s helpful to keep in mind that even when you’re being doubted by others (or yourself) to keep working and doing what you think is right.
What is the best $100 you’ve spent recently?
Anything for self-care or to make yourself smarter. Whether it be a gym membership, healthy foods, someone to talk to, or even just something that will make you feel better about yourself, don’t short yourself on self-care. You’re your own best investment, so don’t ever stop making yourself smarter.
What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?
My wife and I have really enjoyed Succession. It’s such a well-written show, but also delves into the tortured minds and emotional states of highly successful people in a way that I think most similar shows haven’t been able to.
- Visualize success and work backward from there
- Never lose sight of your goals
- Make yourself smarter everyday
- Always make time to take care of yourself
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.