CapitolThe foundation for any successful outreach and/or awareness campaign is a well-thought out strategy that is based on thorough research, an understanding of your audience and communication tools, and a clear set of goals. The Gillen Group specializes in a variety of transportation safety issues, which allows us to efficiently provide our clients with insight into upcoming developments and help them capitalize on future opportunities. With an experienced team of consultants, we have our finger on the pulse of the industry, and are always up to date on what is currently happening in the field. Our team offers several services that can help your organization best strategize. They include but are not limited to Research, Communications Audits, and Strategic Communications Plans.


Research is a critical tool for identifying, understanding, and effectively reaching an audience. From research design, to topic and question development, to processing and using results, quantitative and qualitative research techniques help organizations think through what they’re trying to achieve, bring objectives and needs into better focus, and develop effective plans of action. Thorough research supports the development and testing of concepts, enables a more targeted use of limited resources, and aids benchmarking and performance evaluation.

To achieve this level of expertise, The Gillen Group has partnered with DHM Research, a national leader in opinion research serving public, private, and non-profit clients. DHM Research focuses on the important public policy issues of our day, with transportation and safety an area of particular expertise. Drawing upon telephone and online surveys, focus groups, large group studies, one-on-one interviews, public outreach, and online panels, the firm provides research-based reports and consultation services that assist clients with planning, decision-making, and communications.

DHM Research offers:

  • Over 30 years of experience designing and conducting focus groups and surveys throughout the United States.
  • The capacity to add value to strategic recommendations by drawing on our work assessing attitudes on a variety of policy issues.
  • Experience assisting public, private, and non-profit clients with long-range planning and policy-making, including visioning, community planning, program evaluation, budgeting, and communications.
  • Communicating and presenting findings to diverse audiences, including elected officials, community leaders, and boards of directors, through informative presentations.

For additional information, please visit and feel free to reach out to Cathy Hickey Gillen at (443) 463-4449 to set up a referral call.

Communications Audits

The Gillen Group team has extensive experience conducting Communications Audits, which assess your past and current programs to analyze their effectiveness and help shape your future direction. At your request, we will conduct a Communications Audit, and use the results of this audit to create a detailed, Strategic Communications Plan for your organization, company or issue.

Strategic Communications Plans

The best campaigns are born from great plans. Our team will work with you to analyze your needs and best focus on your specific target audiences and goals, before undertaking any major outreach effort. We will help you answer such questions as:

  • What are my goals for this campaign?
  • What do I want to achieve from this campaign?
  • What does a successful campaign look like to me?

Once these questions are answered, we will use your responses to craft a Strategic Communications Plan for moving forward and achieving your goals.

With a foundation in research, an understanding of your communication tools, and an organized set of objectives, you will be able to maximize your organization’s communication potential. Employing these strategic tactics will not only allow your organization to better reach your target audience, but will also enhance your message’s clarity and efficacy.