Public Relations for Tribal Governments
Our work in tribal affairs over the past 25-plus years has put HMA Public Relations at the forefront of some of Arizona’s and the Southwest’s highest profile issues. It has been – and continues to be — meaningful work with tremendous significance to the tribes we have represented.
It has provided us with the opportunity to speak before such organizations as the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, the National Indian Gaming Association and play integral roles in the establishment of both the Arizona and New Mexico Indian gaming associations.
HMA’s work has touched on such things as education, gaming, housing, natural resources, economic development, public safety and a host of other initiatives of critical importance to the various tribes and their elected tribal councils.
Our resume includes work for virtually every tribe in Arizona and many in New Mexico. Our assignments have taken our team members to places in Arizona like Sells, Why, Maricopa, Sacaton, White River, Kykotsmovi, Second Mesa, Window Rock, Parker, Yuma and Supai. We’ve also been called to do work in New Mexico in Cibola, Bernalillo, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe, to name a few.
Of all those places, Supai is the trickiest to get to. It requires either a 10-mile hike or a helicopter ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It’s just a small obstacle in being able to meet with a client face-to-face. We were there recently for a tribal council meeting.
What does it take to work with tribal governments?
In order to have decades-long relationships with tribal governments and their enterprises, you must:
- Be recognized as trusted advisors to tribal leadership.
- Demonstrate loyalty and communications expertise.
- Establish transparency with elected tribal officials and their teams.
- Understand there are cultural nuances that must be recognized – and even celebrated.
- Know the significance of the work you are doing.
- Realize internal tribal politics cannot be ignored.
- Do award-winning work on the tribes’ behalf.
And most importantly – have a passion for the people and the work you are doing.