As CEO, Michael advises Fortune 500 corporations, industry associations, major litigation practices and non-profit organizations on language strategy and messaging issues. Clients that have sought Michael’s counsel include FedEx, Morgan Stanley, Procter & Gamble, UBS and The Walt Disney Company. He has also worked with a wide range of industry associations including the Financial Services Roundtable, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturer’s Association, the Personal Care Products Council, the Direct Marketing Association, and the New Orleans tourism industry.
How CEOs, companies, and entire industries communicate – whether during crises, in advertising and public relations campaigns, or with investors, Congress or the American people – often means the difference between success and failure. Clients from PepsiCo to eBay to Microsoft to Starbucks turn to Michael to understand the public mood, challenge conventional wisdom and transform not just what they say to key audiences – but how they say it.
Michael shares with clients his in-depth understanding of hot-button issues in banking and financial services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, corporate social responsibility and non-profits, technology and consumer products, and litigation and politics. Over the years, he has helped Fortune 500 companies position and differentiate their brands and products during good times, and protect their reputations during crisis.
Michael’s book, The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics, reviews the communication challenges that companies and industries face today and offers proven tools for building trust and credibility with consumers, regulators and the general public.
Michael’s strategic analysis builds on insights from his unique combination of expertise: battle-tested communications experience combined with a deep understanding of public opinion. He has conducted hundreds of research projects in over 20 countries using his firm’s trademarked polling and focus group methodology, lauded byThe New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, “60 Minutes,” “Nightline” and PBS’s “Frontline,” among others. Michael is one of corporate America’s leading communications and research strategists.
Prior to coming to m + p, Michael founded MarketResearch.com, a leading market intelligence company where he served as president and remains on the Board. Previously, he led a distinguished career as a corporate attorney with Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
After a crushing loss in a student council race in the 6th grade, Lee learned the importance of getting the story right from the beginning. In the 7th grade, when she ran again, she ran on a story that was driven by some middle school polling techniques she employed among her classmates. And, she won. Ever since she has had a passion for language. For the message. For the story. And she brings this passion to her role as partner at m+p, a research-driven language strategy firm that specializes in finding the right language and messages based on one simple idea: it’s not what you say that matters, it’s what they hear.
A member of the executive leadership team, Lee oversees a diverse range of language strategy work for Fortune 500 companies and non-profits in the U.S. and abroad. To do this, Lee has conducted, overseen, and analyzed countless instant response sessions, traditional focus groups, brainstorming and strategy sessions. and surveys in more than 15 countries. She has worked with clients in a wide range of industries including financial services, energy, automotive, sustainability, hospitality services, food and beverage, technology, and consumer products. And, she has worked extensively in public affairs, public policy, and issue advocacy.
Before joining maslansky + partners, Lee spent more than ten years in marketing and strategic communications. And, like many of her colleagues at m+p got her start in politics advocating for teaching hospitals, graduate medical education, the use of bicycle helmets, and healthcare for those who couldn’t afford it.
Lee serves as a member of the National Head Start Association advisory board focusing on messaging, is a fellow of the National Committee on US-China Relations Young Leadership Forum, and an occasional contributor to Fox News and MSNBC. A graduate of Furman University, Lee majored in History and Sociology. She also studied theater and architecture at the University of London. She lives in New York City.
Larry manages the firm’s Washington office. His experience and expertise span a range of disciplines, including strategic communications and media counsel, policy advocacy, employee communications and crisis communications. Larry has advised and worked with many industry-leading companies, trade associations, foundations and non-profits including NBC Universal, Comcast, Anheuser-Busch, AARP, the Gates Foundation, the Motion Picture Association of America and the American Museum of Natural History.
A National Emmy award-winning television producer, Larry spent more than two decades as a television executive and news producer for CNBC, MSNBC, CNN and PBS prior to joining m + p. Larry’s journalism career included a stint as Washington Bureau Chief for CNBC, directing coverage of Capitol Hill, the White House, and the regulatory agencies.
As a business journalist, Larry has extensive experience covering topics ranging from corporate strategy, international trade, health care and the financial markets. While serving as part of the management team at CNBC, Larry led the redesign of the network’s financial news programming, including the creation of popular programs such as “Squawk Box” and “Power Lunch.” Larry was also executive producer of PBS’s acclaimed “Wall Street Week with FORTUNE” and senior producer of MSNBC’s “The News with Brian Williams.”
In 2004, Larry was appointed to the advisory board of INVESTOR EDUCATION, an organization designed to equip investors with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed investment decisions. The non-profit entity was part of the “global settlement” between the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and 10 of the nation’s top investment firms. Larry and his wife Cindy live in Maryland with their children Brooke, Nikki and Jason.
"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
George Bernard Shaw
Keith brings his passion for great language and storytelling to his role as partner at m + p, a research-driven language strategy firm that specializes in finding the right language and messages to frame or reframe how your target audience hears what you’re trying to say. A member of the executive leadership team, Keith oversees a diverse range of language strategy work for clients including Microsoft, Pfizer, Tyco International, Estee Lauder, eBay and several political campaigns.
His work has spanned a wide range of issues and industries, including consumer products, technology, pharmaceuticals and travel and tourism as well as public affairs and public policy advocacy.
Previously, Keith spent more than 15 years as a public relations executive, communication advisor, media spokesperson and political operative. This included five years as vice president and head of the communication division of New York City’s official marketing agency, NYC & Company. There he played a key role in formulating crisis communication strategy following 9/11, oversaw the city’s television, print and radio ad campaigns and directed all digital marketing and research activities.
Keith also served as vice president of marketing and communication for the French economic development agency Invest in France, where he directed a national (U.S. market) marketing and communication campaign for the French Government.
Like many of his m + p colleagues, Keith began his career in politics, working on presidential and senatorial campaigns.
Keith is a graduate of Oberlin College with a degree in government. He also studied international relations at the School for International Training and at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. A native of New York City, he has traveled widely and lived in both Paris and East Africa.
As a firm believer that brands live or die in those moments when people truly connect with them, Maria has spent 20+ years helping clients create simple, cohesive, customer-centric communications that win the loyalty of consumers and build value for brands. Maria has led customer experience practices for agencies Siegel+Gale, Sullivan, and Addison, working extensively across industries for clients such as Humana, Citi, American Express, SAP, E*TRADE, Fidelity, and TeamHealth. The red thread through everything she does is a problem-solving approach, as well as a tenacious advocacy for the audience/end user.
Maria, who earned both a B.S. in Industrial Management and an M.A. in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University, believes she has never met her match in gobbledygook; she has simplified everything from excruciating insurance claims correspondence to circuitous software product architecture, winning over in-house, outside, and regulatory counsel across the land.
Maria is particularly passionate about helping companies build a customer-first culture across the whole organization. She is a practiced facilitator and consensus builder who believes there’s a true art to understanding the needs of internal stakeholders and collaborating across silos (except in the case of any game with words, at which she becomes a rabid competitor, but is gracious in victory).
"Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite"
Sometimes referred to as “the most popular man in swine,” Clint’s experience at maslansky + partners includes issues-based research in both animal and plant agriculture. Specifically, Clint has helped both farmers and others in the agriculture industry to build trust with consumers in today’s highly politicized and emotional food environment.
Additionally, Clint has worked extensively in financial services, including in highly complex annuities and insurance products, showing clients how to simplify the language they use and emphasize the right benefits to break through to both clients and financial advisors.
Since joining maslansky + partners in 2007, Clint has contributed to research and consulting work in a dozen countries around the world, on issues as diverse as telecoms, utilities, shipping and packaging, and politics. His research experience includes moderating Instant Response dial sessions with specialized audiences ranging from Millennials to Boomers, and shopper parents to tech adopters. And he has given presentations to numerous groups and conferences, including farmers, financial advisors, and c-level executives.
Clint holds a BS in Communication Studies and Political Science from Northwestern University, and an MA in International Relations and Religion from Boston University. He lives in Arlington, VA with his wife.
Since joining m + p in 2006, Justin has completed projects and built messaging strategies for numerous clients across a variety of industries. He has conducted Instant Response sessions and quantitative surveys across the U.S. and in international markets such as China, India, Brazil, and Europe.
Justin has worked with companies such as AT&T, FedEx, Pfizer, Anheuser-Busch, and Lowe’s to build better language and communication strategies, and with non-profits such as Conservation International and AARP on critical language and messaging efforts. He has also led the firm’s work with professional sports franchises, including projects with the Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and other teams.
Prior to joining m + p, Justin was with the Corporate Executive Board, a leading best practice research and executive education firm in Washington, DC, where he worked with leading global companies.
Justin is a graduate of the College of Charleston with a degree in political science. A native of Indianapolis, Justin lives in Charleston, SC with his wife, son, and golden retriever.
David has been developing research-driven language strategies for his clients at m+p since 2012. Before joining m+p in New York, David worked in the marketing department of Australian subscription TV broadcaster FOXTEL, developing early digital customer engagement and communication strategies. During this time David developed online communication standards for the company, and implemented the company's first Twitter and Facebook customer service program.
At m+p David leads teams that consult in a variety of highly regulated and complex industries. He has led conversations with thousands of consumers, financial advisors, doctors, CIOs, and many more audiences. And conducted research in 4 continents. David has been a trusted advisor on the effective use of language for companies including PepsiCo, Visa, DirecTV, Merck, Pfizer, Bank of America, Edison Electric Institute, Lincoln Financial, Microsoft, VMware, Invesco, and Waymo (previously known as Google's self driving car project). As Managing Director, APAC, David is responsible for leading strategic consulting and research in the region with a head office in Sydney, Australia.
Clients turn to David when their topic is complex, controversial, or the field is highly competitive and language can be a differentiator. David delivers the words to use, the words to lose, and why.
He holds a degree in English Literature from the University of Bristol in England.
Joining m + p in January 2011, Katie brings a background in consumer behavior to her work in language strategy. A Georgetown University graduate with a degree in psychology, Katie began with the team as an intern.
Previously, she worked in Georgetown University’s Writing Center and served as Marketing Director for an on-campus start-up. Based in the NYC office after beginning in DC, she is proud to add to the firm’s curious abundance of redheads.
Katie currently resides in Manhattan but would gladly relive her glory days spent feasting on bread and cheese in France.
Catherine joined maslansky + partners in 2014 and has worked across industries, including agriculture, financial services, and health care. She has helped clients translate what they know and love about their companies into compelling stories that really resonate. Prior to m+p, Catherine worked at Omnicom media agency OMD as a strategic media planner, with a focus on content marketing and native advertising.
Catherine graduated from Georgetown University, earning summa cum laude honors. She is a Phi Beta Kappa and double-majored in English and Art History, studying Renaissance painting in Florence, Italy. A native of horse country Virginia, Catherine resides in Manhattan and enjoys printmaking and watercolor painting.
Language is a city to the building of which every human being brought a stone.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nicole joined m+p in October of 2016 after working inside the Beltway for the better part of a decade. Her advocacy background gives her critical insight into developing language strategy and decoding what motivates human behavior.
During her time in DC, Nicole worked at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform, where she helped lead research and communications initiatives to address the litigation challenges faced by businesses across all industries. Previously, she worked in government affairs at the Insured Retirement Institute, a financial services trade association, focusing on state and federal retirement matters. With deep knowledge and experience working with Fortune 100 companies, Nicole helps clients communicate effectively through shifting political and business landscapes.
A proud native Bostonian, Nicole graduated from Boston University with a degree in psychology. She lives on the Upper East Side, and in her free time you can find her buried deep in a book (with a glass of red wine), walking around her neighborhood, or befriending puppies on the street.
"Arguments rarely shift intuitions; it's through stories that we revise our sense of what's natural."
Sachi joined m+p in 2012. In the years since, her work has spanned a wide range of issues and industries, including consumer products, pharmaceuticals, food and agriculture, as well as corporate social responsibility and issue advocacy. Whether it’s motivating policymakers to support a social policy, or helping consumers feel more comfortable about where their food comes from, Sachi specializes in finding the right language to get people to care—or not care—about tough issues.
Previously, Sachi co-founded a nonprofit that brings the first-ever anti-human trafficking curriculum to New York City high school classrooms. At m+p, she continues to mentor students and leads m+p’s PENCIL School Partnership with Manhattan Business Academy. And she’s always looking to expand m+p’s pro bono opportunities.
A New York University alumna, Sachi earned a B.S. in Media, Culture, and Communication, with a concentration in Persuasion and Politics and a minor in Studio Art. Originally from Honolulu, Hawai'i, Sachi also has roots in Columbia, Missourah and Japan. When she’s not scribbling on the brainstorm walls of 200 Varick St., you can find Sachi getting her fill of Vitamin D with a book, espresso, or yoga mat in hand.
Paige joined the team in September 2015, bringing a research background in language and communication and prior internship with m+p to her role. She comes from the higher education sector, where she focused her work on redesigning the traditional university model to suit twenty-first century needs—and how to best communicate this shift to a variety of stakeholders.
Paige fostered a love of language at Penn State and continued on to Georgetown University for a master’s degree in linguistics. Her research involved analyzing communication to see how people achieve social goals using strategies like humor, politeness, and storytelling.
When she’s not languaging, Paige can be found sifting through local record store offerings, laughing uproariously with friends, and thinking about what delicious meal to cook or order next.
Sarah joined the team at m+p in February 2017. Prior to that, she worked as a Senior Linguistic Analyst for Verilogue, a testament to her passion for using a love of language to help solve interesting and unique client challenges. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied cognitive science and linguistics, and developed her skills in a foreign language while studying abroad in Beijing. She is currently pursuing her MBA at the Fox School of Business at Temple University.
Coming to New York after spending many years in Philadelphia, Sarah spends her time trying to navigate the more complicated transit system and exploring new restaurants and museums.
Will has been part of the m+p team since February 2015. Before finding his way here, he worked with organizations providing healthcare, education, and advocacy services to Spanish-speaking immigrant communities. He graduated cum laude from Princeton University, where he studied comparative literature, translation, and creative writing. His background in intercultural communications has allowed him to experience firsthand how profoundly a person’s individual context can influence what he or she perceives as truth.
A native of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Will grew up floating and fly fishing on the Potomac River. He once spent $5 (US) on an iPhone app that makes ambient rain sounds—an anecdote meant to illustrate his love of thunderstorms, not his business acumen.
Leemor’s driving interest in language and storytelling led her to m+p in August of 2014. Since joining the team, Leemor has worked on messaging strategies across multiple industries and countries. She brings with her an ability to identify, break down, and analyze the difference between language that works and language that doesn’t.
Leemor graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University with a major in Writing and minor in Entrepreneurship and Management. She also studied creative writing and English literature in Cambridge, England and the interplay between Italian politics, history, and literature in Florence, Italy. Currently living in New York, she often walks past Bikram yoga classes only to be lured in, yet again, by the Mr. Softee truck across the street.
Since joining m+p in 2014, Ali’s work has ranged from helping her clients differentiate new products in crowded marketplaces, to developing a corporate vocabulary for social responsibility initiatives, to launching industry-wide, consumer-facing educational campaigns.
Ali’s expertise in messaging strategies has helped her clients in the financial services, pharmaceutical, automotive, and food and beverage industries to tackle global reputational and product challenges. She has conducted research across the US as well as the U.K., Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, and China.
An engaged and collaborative internal leader, Ali co-leads m+p’s new staff onboarding experience, and is a steering committee member of OmniWomen Next, an Omnicom-wide initiative to help female employees rise through the ranks.
A life-long love of exploring new places, cultures, and languages led her to Harvard College, where she graduated cum laude with a degree in History and Literature and minors in Global Health Policy and French. Living across the U.S. and briefly in France and Botswana also developed her love for food, and she spends much of her free time scouting out the best dining that NYC has to offer.
Kat joined m+p in July 2016 after starting as an intern in their DC office. Before m+p, she worked to improve communication in the military at a government-funded startup, and further developed her love of all things linguistic while promoting the science of language at a scholarly non-profit.
Kat graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University with a degree in Linguistics and a Japanese minor, and stayed on to complete a master’s degree in Language and Communication. Her research specialized in identifying – and repairing – breakdowns in communication, from misunderstandings in everyday conversation to acquired speech disorders.
When she’s not tinkering with words, you can find her waiting for the C train and dreaming of her native Kentucky’s rolling hills and bluegrass. She loves a good pun – and also a bad one.
Arabella joined m+p in October 2016. Before joining the team, Arabella worked in management consulting, focusing on marketing and sales analytics in the pharmaceutical industry—and struggled through a much appreciated, but painful crash course in Excel shortcuts. Never one to shy away from a challenge, she also founded Motxo Wine in 2014—a company that combines red wine and cola to make drinking wine a little less intimidating for a younger audience.
A graduate of Northwestern University, with degrees in Journalism and English Literature, Arabella has always loved words and their infinite potential for expression. It’s that simple fact, along with an affinity for consumer insights and an insatiable need to get at the “why” behind human behavior, that brought her happily to m+p.
A Southern California native and now proud resident of the East Village, you can find Arabella running on the Hudson and pretending it’s the Pacific, hunting for the best hamburger in New York (Corner Bistro is the current first contender) or walking wistfully around Gramercy Park and plotting—unsuccessfully—how to get inside.
Monica joined m+p in August of 2016. Prior to m+p, she directed the branding and marketing strategies for a college campus start-up and a global pro bono law firm. She also brings experience working at a lobbying firm that advocates for Latino voting rights, researching issues surrounding word choice for the question of race and heritage in the decennial Census.
A child of an airline employee, her frequent travels led her to develop a deep appreciation for language and culture, which piqued her interest in discovering new insights into how people perceive themselves and one another. She delved further into the world of human behavior and language at Georgetown University, where she graduated cum laude with a major in Government and a minor in Spanish and Sociology.
A New Jersey native (a fact she is not afraid to tell you), she considers the horrid Newark Airport her second home and spends most of her time daydreaming of where to fly to next. When she’s not traveling, you can find her dancing at a music festival, feasting on tapas, or scouring the internet for new music.
Elyse joined m+p in September 2016. She has a knack for crafting language that meets audiences where they are, oftentimes breaking through competitive noise or high-stakes emotion. With a background in strategic communications, Elyse began as an intern at m+p and has grown to work with a wide range of clients from consumer-packaged goods, tech, financial services, to healthcare.
Elyse graduated with honors from New York University with a major in Global Media and a double minor in Politics and Management. She spent a year in Prague and Shanghai studying the ways that ideas move through behavior, culture, and politics. The nuances of intercultural communication is where she found her passion for language. She's fascinated by how and why two different audiences can react differently to the same idea.
Despite living in New York for years, she can talk your ear off about the snowfall accumulation in the Colorado Rockies this year.
Emily’s passion for new challenges led her to join maslansky+partners in January 2017. She helps a wide variety of clients determine their most impactful messaging using her strategic communications skills and knowledge of behavioral science. Prior to joining the team, Emily worked as a brand planner for an advertising agency, mcgarrybowen, with a focus on digital strategy and storytelling.
Emily is a proud alumna of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State where she graduated with honors in advertising and holds minors in psychology and business. She spent a too-short semester abroad in Australia where she discovered that her dislike of roller coasters did in fact transfer to bungee jumping. This redhead currently resides in Brooklyn, but a piece of her heart will always belong to Happy Valley.
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”
Robin Williams, Dead Poets' Society
Daniel joined the m+p team in July 2017. His work spans a variety of sectors, including financial services, fintech, pharmaceuticals, and non-profit advocacy, so he’s not afraid of a little industry jargon. Before m+p, Daniel spent two years in sales and strategy as a Venture for America fellow, helping to support entrepreneurship and job creation in American cities.
Daniel graduated magna cum laude from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he concentrated in Marketing and Operations Management with minors in Cinema Studies and English.
When he’s not finding the
best appropriate right words to say, he’s probably running around Manhattan or Queens or Brooklyn or away from pigeons. He also enjoys crossword puzzles.
Emily Arnold is a Financial Analyst at maslansky + partners. She holds a bachelor's degree in Public Relations from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master's of Science in Finance from Vanderbilt University.
When she isn't crunching numbers and making rad Excel sheets, she can be found getting a bagel at Blackseed, exploring New York, and looking at cute dog pictures online (especially ones of her own dogs back in Texas: Grunty, Olive, and Minx).
Hana has been m+p’s Recruiting Director since February 2016, working to bring the most qualified respondents into our instant response dial sessions and helping facilitate various projects across different methodologies. She’s passionate about research and enjoys exploring new technologies and tools for engaging respondents.
She graduated with a degree in Philosophy from Binghamton University and worked for Radius GMR for two years prior to finding m+p. She has been living in New York since she was 7 and loves all the cultural perks of the city. When she’s not working, she enjoys live music, gallery hopping, any activity involving the outdoors and making baked mac & cheese at home.
Lee joined the m+p team in 2014 and combines her background in communication with her passion for video and graphics. She was a winner of the 2012 Blue Mountain Documentary Festival. Before joining the New York office, Lee graduated from Appalachian (that’s App•uh•latch•in) State University in North Carolina where she earned a B.S. in Advertising and a B.S. in Electronic Media & Broadcasting, graduating Cum Laude.
Lee was born and bred in Blacksburg, VA (Go Hokies!). She loves music, the outdoors, going on adventures, and finding any reason to laugh. When not making media magic, she has made it her mission to find the best swath of grass in the city.
Benjamin Rosloff joined the m+p team in September 2016. He grew up in Great Neck, New York and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Electronic Media from Long Island University. Ben has always been a big movie buff, and has been making films of his own for more than a decade.
Ben’s documentary short “Can I Call You?” was screened in the U.S. and Russia during an internship with DCTV. He has also created and screened multiple films for the United Nations. These include a film for World Autism Awareness Day—where Ben interviewed then-Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon—and “#Envision 2030” for Disability Awareness Day.
In his spare time, Ben volunteers for Autism Speaks, doing video shoots and interviews. His interest in creating films about autism and other disabilities goes beyond just spreading awareness—it’s a personal passion. As a person with autism who is always striving to improve his communication skills, Ben is excited to have the opportunity to learn more about language strategy at m+p.
We brought language strategy to Washington DC politics…today our clients run Fortune 100s and NGOs.
in the media
The most widespread and respected media outlets in the world have called on our expertise
insights at work
The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics
The Language of Trust:
Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics
The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics was published by Prentice Hall in May 2010. Written by our CEO Michael Maslansky, this book explores how to use language to undo the skepticism that a world of too much spin has created. Based on more than a decade’s worth of research into how consumers and the public respond emotionally to communication, Maslansky explores new words, new phrases, and new communication techniques to address situations where there appears to be a “failure to communicate.” Lessons include:
- What it means to communicate in a Post-Trust Era (pg. 16)
- Why you must assume everyone’s a skeptic (pg. 37)
- Four principles that make your message believable (pg. 53)
- How to say just enough but never too much (pg. 82)
- Three rules of engagement for overcoming difference (pg. 136)
- How social media is changing the language of trust (pg. 220)
- The 20 banned phrases to scrub from your vocabulary (pg. 231)
The book covers many topics including politics, financial services, healthcare, and philanthropy — with countless real-world examples where a change in language made a huge difference.
+ learn more