It’s more than an interesting word. And it’s more than the independent public relations and strategic communications practice I started after many years at General Motors. It is a concept – and process -- I use to describe the act of leading through advocacy.

During my PR life, I’ve learned that most difficult situations involving outside detractors are best solved by being transparent and trying to understand your critic’s point of view. By finding common ground with your detractors, even the most determined ones, you can actually turn them into your partners and, eventually, your most vocal advocates. That’s what Advotocracy is all about.


Dave Barthmuss is an engaging leader, compelling storyteller, and team builder with expertise in corporate and agency environments. He was Group Manager of Communications for General Motors until early 2016, and now serves as an independent consultant and senior counsel for clients and agencies. He’s known for designing strategic communications programs that improves image and reputation, builds brands, engages influential stakeholders, and delivers a company’s or organization’s messages in a variety of settings. Dave possesses a keen ability to build the kinds of engaging bridges that have turned the most determined of detractors into proactive third-party advocates –- a subtle art he calls “Advotocracy,” the act of leading through advocacy.