We serve a broad array of clients in the public and private sectors, both business-to-consumer and business-to-business.

We have two specialties:

  • Trade, business and professional associations
  • Economic, community and real estate development

The common denominator for such clients is that they often are operating in a consensus-driven environment.  What do we mean by that?

Think for a minute about a small business – a jewelry store, a printer, a bank.  They can all choose to specialize; in fact, to exclude part of their prospective client base.  The jewelry store may choose only to sell precious gems, the printer print only in color, the bank only offer home loans.

Consensus-driven organizations are governed by a board of directors or an elected council or commission.  They may be a city, governmental agency, trade or professional association, chamber of commerce, membership organization or community group. They typically have a large and varied constituency, and they must serve everyone.

This creates many communications challenges.  Subgroups have conflicting needs, requiring compromise.  Education and technology-adeptness levels vary.  Leaders may not fully understand the extent of a problem or opportunity.  Messages have to be delivered and repeated at many levels. Financial resources often are limited just by the very nature of the organization.

The Douglas Communications Group’s experience and skill meeting the needs of such organizations comes from the background of its president, Sharlan Douglas.  As founding executive director of the Eight Mile Boulevard Association, she forged an alliance between the public and private sectors to revitalize and promote a thoroughfare that had been the physical and spiritual dividing line between Detroit and its suburbs for a generation.  As a chamber of commerce executive, she created a 21st-century array of communications products that re-engaged members while increasing the organization’s revenue.

While our specialty is complex, layered organizations, we also provide services to individual businesses, scaling our perspective and resources to their specific needs.


sharlan douglas


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