Katie Harbath was a fixture in technology policy circles here and abroad for the past decade while she worked at Facebook’s DC office (albeit while spending much of the year on the road). But following the 2020 cycle, she wanted to try something new.
Earlier this month she launched Anchor Change, which is offering clients what she calls “civic tech strategies.”
“What I’m trying to do is find my own unique niche, being a practitioner, being on the corporate side and now being on the consulting side, and trying to bring those experiences together. It is a new muscle to build up, being on the consulting side, as opposed to someone who is usually hiring the consultants,” she told C&E. “Right now, it’s a one-woman operation.”
Harbath’s experience leading a 30-person team managing elections globally at Facebook has given her a unique perspective on the situation that political marketers now find themselves in vis-a-vis the platform companies.
“The environment is just so volatile right now and, in all honesty, I would like to see practitioners and campaigns maybe come together a bit more and be more vocal about how these proposed changes will really affect them,” she said. “If they’re not getting their voices out there, then the companies are only hearing from members of Congress. [Consultants’] voices matter as to what should be the right solution.”
Harbath said that a “practitioners association” could be useful in channeling the collective voice of the campaign industry — particularly when offering solutions to problems the platform companies face.
“I think that that is very much needed,” she said. “I’m worried that many of these tech companies may decide that none of this is worth it because of the pressure they get on the Hill, in the states, in the media — and that’s not good for anybody.”