Marianne Bichsel - Bichsel Public AffairsWhen you retain Bichsel Public Affairs, you get a team led by Marianne Bichsel. Marianne has a track record of taking complex issues, breaking them down and rooting out the essential messages that will make them compelling.

Marianne has a record of fostering change and making a difference in how organizations communicate. She is skilled at building and using strategies that increase influence and message effectiveness. Her expertise is helping organizations align messaging, government affairs and community engagement strategies with their mission and values.Her expertise was acknowledged in 2010 when Marianne was chosen to be a guest lecturer at Harvard University's Institute of Politics to speak on how political leaders can organize people around key objectives, as well as the broader role of communications in local politics.

Starting when Marianne was student body president at the University of Washington and continuing to this day, she has spent most of the past 30 years here in Seattle building professional relationships with leaders across diverse communities. She is an alumna of Leadership Tomorrow.

Marianne's experience spans both the private and public sectors. She was a senior staffer for a member of Congress, a lobbyist in Olympia, and a communications official at a state agency. More recently, Marianne served six years as a senior advisor and communications director to Greg Nickels, Seattle's former mayor. Before joining Mayor Nickels, Marianne worked eight years as co-owner and CEO of a successful public affairs firm, The Wiley Brooks Company, an issues management company specializing in crisis communications and advocacy. Previously, she was a communications strategist for Group Health Cooperative, the state's largest HMO.

Most recently, she served four years as managing director of communications for Casey Family Programs, a large national foundation headquartered in Seattle.

Career Highlights

Co-led a team that positioned former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels’ environmental agenda nationally. The result was more than 1,000 U.S. mayors signing an agreement created by Nickels to significantly reduce city carbon emissions by 2012.

Managed The Wiley Brooks Company, a public affairs/public relations firm. Under Marianne’s leadership, the agency successfully realigned its brand and doubled its profits over two years.

Helped Position Group Health Cooperative as a national model of excellence in managed health care.

Featured as a 2010 guest lecturer at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics on leadership on how to organize people around key objectives and the role of communications in politics.

Managed a successful brand re-design process and brought greater focus to the Casey Family Programs’ vision of cutting in half the number of children in foster care in America by 2020. 

Oversaw Casey’s first-ever national paid advertising, community engagement and social media campaign to build awareness and public support for investing in America’s children.

Clients usually first come to us with a specific need. It might be as straight-forward as promoting a big new contract or as broad as wanting to figure out how to make their communications more effective. At Bichsel Public Affairs, we use a variety of tools to meet our clients' needs. Our tool chest has three compartments. Please click on each for descriptions of the services we provide.