David J. Bayless – Principal
As principal for Bayless Communications LLC, David Bayless provides public affairs, media relations, crisis/issues management and editorial services to clients across a broad range of industries.
David is a seasoned, battle-tested media relations, public affairs and crisis communications manager who brings depth, experience, credibility and a strategic approach to his clients' communications challenges.
Over a 20-year career in both the public and private sector, David has helped clients respond forthrightly and assertively in the face of governmental, regulatory, law enforcement, media or public scrutiny.
He's been on the scene of crime scenes and disasters managing the message for a major law enforcement organization. He has provided level-headed counsel to companies, units of government and organizations facing crises that threaten their reputation, their standing in the marketplace or their ability to deliver on their mission.
He has skillfully guided organizations through such defining events as plant and store closings; labor disputes; civil and criminal litigation; and discrete, delicate employee and human resources issues while also helping them keep their reputations intact.
And, David has been effective working in the background -- partnering with attorneys whose clients need a smart communications plan and a strong message to complement a legal strategy.
He is currently representing a municipality that is balancing its public safety needs in a challenged budgetary climate. He guided another suburban municipality through a media strategy when one of its employees was indicted by the Cook County State's Attorney. And, he is providing crisis communications counsel to an intergovernmental agency comprised of nearly two-dozen municipalities.
He has helped clients build public support for major road projects, access federal funding for mass transit initiatives and gain municipal approvals for real estate developments. With nearly 20 years of writing experience, David helps clients distill complex information down to simple, clear messages on issues involving complicated legislation or intricate legal matters.
Before establishing Bayless Communications LLC, David was a vice president at Res Publica Group, one of Chicago's top public affairs firms. While there, David developed and implemented communications, public affairs and crisis management strategies for clients in health care, transportation, retail, advertising, real estate, sports and entertainment and professional services firms.
From 2000 through 2005 David was in charge of media relations for the Chicago Police Department, the nation's second largest municipal law enforcement agency. During his tenure there, David garnered an unprecedented amount of positive news coverage in local, national and international media by highlighting Chicago's historic drops in violent crime, its technological advances and its community policing and crime-fighting strategies.
Often on the front lines of a crisis or major crime scene, David skillfully managed the Department's message during major, high profile criminal investigations, disasters and large-scale public demonstrations. Additionally, he oversaw the police department's public response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
David teamed up with Mayor Richard M. Daley's press office as well as local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to develop communications strategies that built external support to help the police department forward its legislative goals, public policy initiatives and community outreach efforts. He also wrote major policy speeches for two police superintendents, Terry G. Hillard and Philip J. Cline.
Before entering the public sector in 1999, David was a senior account executive at Jasculca/Terman and Associates, a Chicago public affairs firm. There he helped shape and implement grassroots outreach and media campaigns for government, higher education, transportation and non-profit clients. Additionally, David organized events and outreach efforts for several local, state and federal elected officials.
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