Taft co-founders reflect on 40 years in business

Taft co-founders reflect on 40 years in business

When people ask us how we built Taft Communications over these 40 years, we often cite an informal founding principle: “Have fun, make money — and do good.” Our feeling was if you’re not doing all three, there’s something wrong.

We were never naive to the notion that in the end, business is about making money (the IRS reminds us of that!) But notice what comes first: Fun.

We always reasoned that if you’re not bringing joy through the door, if you’re not feeling positive and optimistic, then what’s the point? Without a smile, or a laugh, a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day, then what good will any monetary success bring?

Year in and year out, events like holiday parties and Taft Fun Days take us to scavenger hunts, wineries, steam train rides, art classes, even Broadway shows — all in the spirit of creating a culture of caring. This paid off for everyone.

We, and current leadership, always believe in keeping our people front and center. They are our soul. Without them, we would be a noisy gong. And that we have never been.

Doing good at Taft has also been a high priority. Lucky for us, we’ve always had enough big corporate and foundation communications work to enable Taft to help dozens small, local, non-profits in 40 years. We are so proud. That was the equation that worked, and it still does.

Our formula is pretty simple: Find people who love what they do — and are great at it. When talented people are doing well and doing good, a miracle happens. They feel appreciated, they’re having fun — and they’re making a difference in the world. That’s when you have a winning team.

“Realize the Power of Your Purpose®,” Taft’s current theme line, has the same root values that Taft has always been about.

It’s not just about the purpose of our clients, it’s about the purpose of our employees, too. It’s about what drives them, what keeps them inspired, and how they feel at the end of the day. What they bring home with them. And what they mirror back to help clients feel the same.

We love the spirit and verve of the new Trenton office, with its “Purpose Wall” where our folks bring words, images, and mementos that have meaning to them.

And we love that 40 years after our founding, clients old and new continue to recognize that when you’re with Taft, you’re getting more than experienced, professional competence: You’re getting people doing work that has meaning to them — work that brings them joy and purpose.

What’s more, they’re people helping you, the client, find purpose — in the work you do.

The power of your purpose is an awesome thing to realize.

Jim Grote, founder of the Donato’s Pizza chain, was once asked how he solved business problems. “You gotta love your way through them,” he said.

We love you all. Thank you to the thousands of clients, colleagues, staffers, and leaders who powered us through our first 40 years — and have brought us to an exciting new future in Trenton. Thank you for this new opportunity. We’re both excited and humbled.

And while the two of us aren’t there day to day, know that we’re there in spirit — in fun, purpose, joy, and love.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.

—Mara Connolly and Pete Taft

Our Work

Finding the right voice and telling the right story is a powerful combination. See how we've helped businesses and nonprofits reach their goals.