John MacDonald

Senior Counsel

John MacDonald is a communications professional who specializes in helping clients understand the importance of prevention and preparation in communications and government affairs strategies. MacDonald helps clients throughout the Northwest lead complex strategic communications initiatives and navigate the state legislative process, with a focus on understanding and avoiding the pitfalls.

MacDonald is a 16-year veteran of The Associated Press, where he was a newsman, correspondent and regional news editor. MacDonald was part of an AP team called on to cover crises and emergencies across the country. Today he calls on that experience to counsel clients on crisis preparation, management and response as an integral part of their strategic communications planning.

MacDonald is a graduate of the University of Montana School of Journalism. He lives in Helena, MT., where he is a longtime mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program, and is a founding member of “The PIGS,” a group of novice chefs who use their culinary skills to raise money for local nonprofit groups.


  • Crisis Communication
  • Research
  • Stakeholder Outreach
  • Government Relations


  • Associated Press reporter, correspondent, news editor
  • Gallatin principal 2006-2012
  • Lobbyist for clients including the City of Missoula, Montana Newspaper Association, Lifeflight Network
  • Lecturer at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy

“I’ve always believed that being prepared for the worst ensures that even the worst day is bearable and recoverable. As a journalist, I often witnessed people and organizations experiencing their worst moments, and learned those who embraced their crisis and had a plan to communicate through it were typically the ones who recovered.”