Policy Impact Communications, Inc. was founded in 1997 by Haley Barbour and Ed Gillespie to provide clients with services and resources focusing on the nexus between government affairs and public relations. Barbour, who chaired the Republican National Committee and currently serves as Governor of Mississippi, envisioned a company that efficiently provides turnkey solutions to mobilize public opinion in an effort to move public policy. Gillespie, who is also a former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, was the firm's first President. The Board of Directors included Lanny Griffith and Ed Rogers, two of Washington, DC's most powerful lobbyists and partners in the firm Barbour, Griffith & Rogers.
In 2002, William Nixon joined Policy Impact as a partner with Barbour, Griffith, and Rogers, and the firm entered a period of intense growth. Upon Barbour's election to the Mississippi governorship, Nixon acquired Policy Impact with J. Drew Hiatt, who had joined the firm in 2003. Today Policy Impact continues to build upon the foundation set by Barbour, providing the highest level of client service and continuing the original mission of specializing in moving public policy by moving public opinion. Today, Policy Impact’s powerful team includes former U.S. Congressman Matthew J. Salmon and John Haddow, among other key professionals.