Bill Burton founded Bryson Gillette in January 2020 with two employees and one client. Today, the minority-owned consulting firm counts 29 team members, and has worked with more than 100 political and public affairs clients. On pace for growth at a rate of 500 percent over last year, it’s clear the agency’s work with non-traditional leaders and in social technology reform is not only exceptional, but also especially important of late. In fact, they worked with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen as she called out the platform’s role in damaging the mental health of young people, spreading disinformation and fomenting hate speech. They also guided Tristan Harris and the Center for Humane Tech through the release of the Social Dilemma, which was the most watched documentary in the history of Netflix. Overall, the agency is focused on helping amplify the voices of many marginalized groups of people, from working with law firms that fight for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to launching a coalition to increase employment and authentic representation of disabled people in Hollywood.
Bill Burton, Founder & President
Notable long-term clients:
Frances Haugen, Tristan Harris, The XQ Institute, The 1IN4 Coalition, Bulgari Hotels Los Angeles; political candidates Charles Booker, Shannon Liss-Riordan, Summer Lee
New client wins:
The Knight Foundation, Youth v Gov documentary, Kiss the Ground (KTG) documentary, Regenerate America, Native Forward Scholars Fund
How is the agency advancing DEI in the industry?
“We have intentionally built a team that reflects the diversity of our country. We proudly have 29 strategists across the country – 66.5% who are people of color and 65.5% who are women. Our commitment to DEI is reflected throughout our hiring processes, beginning with our job descriptions. We are mindful of the language we use, being careful to avoid gender-coded words, unnecessary jargon, and limit the job requirements to the must haves. We include transparent salary information and call out inclusive benefits like flexible time off and parental leave, thus ensuring equity for our employees. Finally, our selection process goes through a series of checks and balances, ensuring diverse representation in our interview panels in order to combat unconscious bias. We are also intentional about working with clients fighting for social justice. This includes the 1IN4 Coalition that increases employment and representation of disabled people in Hollywood, Black Vote PA that empowers Black voters, and Native Forward Scholars Fund, which is the largest scholarship provider to Native students in the U.S. Additionally, our firm has a special focus on recruiting and working with candidates of color to run for office. We are one of the most diverse teams in communications and politics, and we hope to set a precedent for more PR firms to follow suit.”