About Keyframe

Keyframe Policy Consulting specializes in identifying and tracking emerging issues that can alter the boundaries — legal, political, and social — within which corporations operate. Keyframe’s principals have been producing forward-looking analyses of issues such as human rights, climate change, and corporate social responsibility for more than two decades, and Keyframe offers practical insights into the goals, strategies, and tactics of issue drivers and influencers.

Keyframe’s unique methodology allows it to recognize issues in their early stages of development, before they gain wider recognition and begin to shift public policy and corporate behavior. Keyframe helps clients identify and understand the events, individuals, and organizations that can propel issues from the fringe to the mainstream. As issues gain prominence in the public sphere, Keyframe produces real-time analysis of unfolding events. Bringing to bear its methodology, institutional knowledge, and experience, Keyframe provides unique insight into the ways that various players attempt to shape corporate behavior through law, regulation, and other means.

Keyframe offers clients customized strategic monitoring and analysis of emerging issues and evolving public policies, enabling corporations to protect their business, develop strategies for growth, ensure corporate responsibility and accountability, and enhance and protect their brands. Keyframe’s clients include top Fortune 500 companies and associations that represent a wide range of sectors.

Keyframe’s goal is to provide its clients with clarity, perspective, and awareness.

  • Keyframe provides clarity.  A typical client is a large corporation that has a strategic business interest in the long-term policies surrounding a specific issue or set of issues.
    Climate change is a typical example of the type of issue our clients care about. Every company has a distinct and different ideal outcome for the climate debate. Keyframe does not take a position on the proper approach to greenhouse gas emissions reductions or where that policy should be made; rather, it helps clients understand where the forces are aligning on the debate. In 2005, for instance, Keyframe’s principals told their clients that while climate change was a big issue in Washington, it did not have the level of grassroots support that major policies typically need in to advance politically.

    While this analysis bore out in 2010, we did not focus on our forecast, we kept our clients informed of whether grassroots support for a national climate policy was developing, and described for them how it was developing and the types of goals it was coalescing around. In this, we assess the social conditions in which issue leaders and advocates are promoting action on climate change. We assess the messages to determine whether they are likely to be effective. We examine the resources the advocates have – can they do the job? We also assess the messengers and ask whether the messages are being communicated by the most credible people to the most important target audiences.

    These points of evaluation inform our forecast and our ongoing assessment of the issue.

  • Keyframe provides perspective. Many major corporations in the past decade have faced pressure from activists to change their business practices, their sourcing, or their products.  Most corporations targeted in this way feel unfairly singled out. Sometimes, these same companies determine years later that an activist campaign in the marketplace was a hidden gift, one that allowed them to see the emerging roles and responsibilities of corporations differently and to take a leadership position in their industry. Keyframe provides its clients with perspective on why they are a target, what is at issue in the campaign, what a basic solution looks like, and where opportunities lie.
    For some customers, the proper response to a marketplace campaign is to come to an agreement as quickly as possible. This requires understanding the activists making the appeal and their ultimate goals. In other campaigns, companies are best served by not moving too quickly without a full assessment of the long-term implications of what a resolution would require.
  • Keyframe provides awareness.  Keyframe continually assesses the political and social environment in which its clients operate and alerts its clients to important developments and their implications. Its analysts maintain a clear understanding of the current policy milieu and seek out anomalies – indications that the current environment is changing. Sometimes, an anomaly is obvious, such as thousands of people “occupying” city parks to protest the current political and economic system. Other anomalies are subtle, such as a little-noticed endorsement of a piece of legislation by an unexpected individual or organization.
    When Keyframe recognizes an anomaly, it provides its client with analysis of the event’s importance to the larger set of issues the company cares about. All of Keyframe’s services and products are tailored to the unique needs and interests of each client.