"In a crisis, tell the truth, fix the problem, and promise not to do it again."
Jason Kauppi, a former spokesman for two Massachusetts governors and an award-winning political reporter, founded Kauppi Communications Inc. in 2001.
Jason’s career began as a newspaper editor and reporter. At the age of 18, while writing movie reviews in his college newspaper for extra money, he found himself unexpectedly covering a story about a flooded dorm. Standing in ankle-deep water, interviewing the fire chief — and characteristically refusing to leave until he got the story — Jason was hooked on reporting and within two years was editor in chief of the newspaper. Eventually, as the State House reporter for The Lowell Sun, he co-authored an acclaimed series on waste and patronage in county government. He later served as managing editor of Beacon Hill, a start-up weekly newspaper devoted to coverage of Massachusetts politics.
When Jason accepted a position as director of communications for the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office, he quickly went from asking the tough questions to answering them. In the process, he discovered that his journalism background gave him a unique and valuable perspective on public relations. His insight and reputation for professional, open communication has since earned the respect of even adversarial media.
In 1998 Jason joined the Massachusetts Governor’s Office as assistant press secretary, and was later promoted to deputy press secretary under Governor Paul Cellucci. His duties included coordinating all aspects of press conferences and serving as the traveling press secretary on official trips both in state and abroad to such locations as Australia, China and Japan.
Jason remained in the Governor’s office, serving as press secretary for Governor Jane Swift. As press secretary, he managed the development and execution of communications strategies for both the Governor’s Office and the various cabinet secretariats and agencies. He also supervised all crisis communications in the Executive Branch, and managed the inquiries of the state, national and international media. Most importantly, he acted as the top media advisor and highly visible spokesman for the first woman to serve as the governor of Massachusetts. Governor Swift, the first governor in history to give birth while in office, was ordered to bed rest during her pregnancy with twins. Jason quickly became the public face for the administration, a role he handled with his typical blend of candor and discretion. When asked about Governor Swift’s medical condition during a live TV press conference, Jason responded, "I’m not a doctor, and I’m not going to play one on TV."
In 2001, Jason found his true niche when he founded Kauppi Communications. As a reporter and press secretary, he often saw that people in the news weren’t telling their stories the way they should. They needed someone not only to represent them, but to teach them to tell their side of the story, in a way that would get it reported favorably in the news media. Over the last decade, with its unique formula of proactive PR strategy, crisis management and media training, Kauppi Communications has successfully fulfilled that need for several dozen high-profile clients across many sectors.
Jason has been a guest speaker on journalism and public relations to civic and professional organizations, as well as university graduate and undergraduate classes. He frequently appears as an analyst on Boston television news shows and in local and national print publications. A native of Massachusetts, he holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut.
Following in his parents’ footsteps, Jason is active in public service. He is the elected moderator in the Town of Groton, chairing the twice-annual Town Meetings. A Rotarian, he is also currently on the Board of Directors of the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce and serves as co-chairman of the chamber’s Government Affairs Committee. He formerly served on the board of the Florence Crittenton League Adoption Agency of Lowell.
Jason still makes his home in West Groton, where he grew up. On his rare days off, rain or shine, you can find him fly fishing in one of the area’s great trout streams, a hobby he learned to love from his father.