The Demise of Bud Light

E2: The Demise of Bud Light


  • Crisis Communications
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Reputation Management

How can a single can of beer gifted to a social influencer cost a powerhouse brand almost half a billion dollars?  However you feel about Bud Light as a product, its recent downfall has been a painful lesson in brand mismanagement.

Unlike most controversies that tend to fizzle out against the endless churn of the 24-hour news cycle, the Goliath brand has struggled to regain composure following a series of botched apologies and marketing pivots.

(Photo by Brian Yurasits)

Introducing the WMG Podcast

E1: Southwest Airlines Holiday Meltdown


  • Crisis Communications
  • Customer Retention
  • Reputation Management

At the end of 2022, Southwest Airlines endured a weather-related shutdown exacerbated by pandemic conditions.  The result was thousands of flight cancellations over multiple days to the tune of a loss of over $800M in revenue.

Customers were rightly upset, as they were forced to cancel or alter their holiday travel plans.  The airline has tried to set things right with customers, but not before regulatory bodies began investigating the causes of this crisis.

Will customers come back to Southwest?  Have they earned enough goodwill from a decades long effort to be the top affordable choice for air travel in the US?  The WMG investigates the crisis, the company response, and what it will take for Southwest Airline customers to consider it their top choice for travel once again.


WMG Expands to 4 Offices with Greg Lockhart to Lead in Oklahoma

The Washington Media Group Broadens National Footprint to 4 Offices with Greg Lockhart to Lead WMG in Oklahoma

June 15, 2023; Washington, DC/Oklahoma City, OK: The Washington Media Group, a nationwide public affairs firm, is continuing its growth across the country with a new state office in Oklahoma City. A trusted national brand for crisis communications, reputation management, public affairs, media relations, and corporate social responsibility since its founding in 2005. WMG has engaged successfully and discretely in communications needs of almost every type and magnitude on four continents for Fortune 100 firms, nation states, C-Suite executives, Silicon Valley start-ups, and non-profit organizations.

Leading the Oklahoma City office is Greg Lockhart, a highly accomplished strategic communications leader with a diverse background in policy, politics, and public affairs with every type of client from international biotech companies to local Chambers of Commerce. Lockhart has been the director of communications for multiple US Senate campaigns and the state communications director for a Presidential campaign. Additionally, Lockhart was on the staff of the Oklahoma State Senate where he was instrumental in the implementation of both the communications strategy and author of several groundbreaking pieces of legislation including the reform of Oklahoma’s public employee pension system.

“We are excited to add Oklahoma City to the roster of offices for the Washington Media Group and even more excited about bringing on board someone in Greg Lockhart whose background in strategic communications and issue management means an even deeper bench of expertise for our clients in handling their policy, reputation, and communications needs,” said WMG President, Crystal Patterson.

With this announcement, the Washington Media Group are now located in Washington, DC, Sacramento, CA, St. Louis, MO, and Oklahoma City. With more than 20 years of success, Lockhart joins a team that includes a Peabody Award winning journalist, a seasoned tech executive, nationally recognized political consultants, a publisher of four books and award-winning writer. The Washington Media Group stands ready to build PR narratives that solve high profile crises, protect and repair corporate and executive reputations, improve brand value and growth, and safely enhance public recognition in the US and abroad.


More information about the Washington Media Group is available at

You can reach Greg Lockhart at:

Pledging Global Climate Action at COP15

Client: 30x30 Ocean Alliance

Services Rendered

  • Video Production
  • Social Media Advertising
  • Media Relations

At the end of 2022, WMG crafted a media campaign on behalf of 30×30 Ocean Alliance to encourage world leaders to pledge climate action at the U.N.’s COP15 Biodiversity Conference in Montreal.  Currently, the security of Earth’s food supply is at risk with one million species at risk of extinction by 2050.  By pledging to protect 30% of land and oceans by 2030, we can help reduce the risk of future food insecurity.

Utilizing a targeted social media and op-ed placements from biodiversity experts, the campaign pressured world leaders to take the 30×30 pledge.  In less than two weeks the ads generated over 1.7M impressions, as a landmark conservancy agreement was reached at the COP15 conference.

$35B was pledged globally in the agreement to preserve biodiversity.  Despite this astronomical figure, studies indicate that this effort presents a 5:1 cost benefit for the future of the global economy.


  • 30% Conservancy Agreement Reached
  • 1.7 Million+ Impressions Generated
  • Pledge to Secure Earth's Food Supply 

Crystal Patterson joins Donie O'Sullivan on CNN Business to Discuss Trump's Facebook Ban

WMG President Crystal Patterson joined CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan and Katie Harbath on CNN Business to discuss Facebook’s upcoming decision to possibly reinstate former President Trump’s access to the platform.

Watch the clip here:

Bill Romanelli joins Washington Media Group

Bill Romanelli

Senior Vice President and Managing Director

Bill Romanelli joins WMG as Senior Vice President and Managing Director in Sacramento, CA.  His background includes more than 30 years’ experience in public affairs consulting.  Bill develops, implements and manages complex political, regulatory and public opinion campaigns. At WMG, Bill provides expertise in strategy and ally development, grassroots outreach, crisis communications, public participation, litigation support, opinion research, digital communications, and media relations—where he trains executives on how to work with the press and serves as an on-the record media spokesperson. An award-winning writer, Bill works with clients to identify and refine the strongest messages with respect to each client’s key stakeholders.

Driving Election Results with Social Media Video

Client: Shea Homes

Services Rendered

  • Video Production
  • Direct Mail
  • Coalition Building

In 2019, WMG was tasked with convincing homeowners in a 55+ retirement community in Arizona to vote for annexation into an established nearby city.  If no action was taken, the community would be enveloped by a newly incorporated city with little to no infrastructure.  Raising property taxes to pay for long term infrastructure projects and schools was not in the best interest of the community.  The community was simply being targeted by developers to quickly increase the tax base and fund the construction of a new city.

We interviewed concerned residents and helped document their concerns with being incorporated into a new city.  There were serious questions about safety as there was a clear contrast in the quality of emergency services between a long established city and the surrounding unincorporated land.  The residents were more than willing to pay their fair share of property taxes to enjoy the existing amenities nearby.  It made little sense to be on the hook for longterm construction projects that they likely would never see to completion.

The interviews were compiled into a video campaign that made the case for annexation over incorporation.  As a result of the campaign, enough holdout residents were swayed away from unfounded promises of increased property values from a city commissioner who essentially viewed the retirement community as an ATM machine.  The retirement community successfully petitioned its annexation into the established city nearby to the benefit of residents as well as the developers.


  • Successful Annexation into Queen Creek
  • Decreased Tax Burden for Retirees
  • Superior Access to Emergency Services