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Stephen Hartgen & Associates

Stephen Hartgen, Ph.D., the principal consultant, is one of Idaho's best known media leaders, having served as Regional Publisher for Lee Enterprises of Idaho, publishing The Twin Falls Times-News and other Lee publications. He retired in 2005 after 23 years as managing editor and then publisher of The Times-News. Hartgen has wide media, political and business contacts in the state and region. He is a former vice-chairman of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, a founding executive board member of the Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization, and is active in the Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.

Stephen at the City of Rocks
I am a longtime resident of Southern Idaho, with an
appreciation of the outdoors and the natural beauty of
our region. I love the high desert country of our area with its pale colors and sparse vegetation, pretty much unchanged from when our first settlers came here a century or more ago.

He is a graduate of Amherst College (BA), Brandeis University (MA) and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Hartgen is a former college professor at the University of Minnesota and Ohio State University, and is the co-author of a leading college textbook for journalists, New Strategies for Public Affairs Reporting (Prentice Hall). He is also the former president of Idaho Allied Dailies, the state's newspaper association. The leader of The Times-News editorial board for many years, Hartgen has been frequently named to Idaho's of "100 Most Influential" public policy leaders. He has wide experience on Idaho issues and politics, including higher education, government, energy, health care, water, agriculture, transportation, media and various local and statewide issues and policies. He is also a three-term member of the Idaho Capitol Commission, which is working on restoring Idaho's premier public building.

From September, 2006 to December, 2008, Stephen Hartgen & Associates maintained a contract to perform fundraising and executive director duties for Business Plus, a private sector consortium of some 75 Magic Valley area businesses to promote economic development in Southern Idaho. From June, 2007 to December, 2008, Hartgen held an ongoing contract for media and community relations with RES-Americas, Inc., which is developing a major alternative energy wind farm project in Southern Idaho. Since founding his firm in 2005, Hartgen has represented nearly 20 clients, including several successful political campaigns, and a variety of coalitions and business interest groups.


Stephen Hartgen & Associates provides professional, knowledgeable help in the fast-changing world of issues definition, media relations and public policies development. There are few media relations firms in this part of the West, and fewer still with our range of skills. We focus on how your issues and perspectives can best be presented to constituent groups, interested parties and the general public. We know Idaho, the West, the issues and the media. We help craft your messages for maximum impact and develop your strategies for issue management and public policy campaigns. We have the experience to give you exceptional "eyes and ears" on a wide range of public policy issues and how they play out to the media and various constituent groups. We help you be proactive, not just reactive, in issues management and media relations.

Stephen Hartgen & Associates works throughout Idaho and the Western States. We focus on issues affecting the Intermountain region, including those involving land use, agriculture, energy, health care, transportation, economic and business development.

Stephen Hartgen & Associates takes new clients on an ongoing basis. We'll work to your deadlines, at an hourly rate, on retainer or by the project. Coming from the daily media business, we're used to dealing with deadlines. We give you what you need, when you need it.

The West has many industries, businesses, candidates and perspectives. These groups often have well-reasoned, practical and common-sense points of view, but their positions are frequently distorted in the day-to-day news. We're pleased to provide clients with the media relations help they need to be heard and understood.

Stephen Hartgen & Associates tailors our work to your specific needs. We'll start with a meeting or two -- at no charge -- to explore your issues, your perspectives, your timelines, and your budget constraints.
Then, we'll give you a clear, written proposed "Letter of Engagement." We'll spell out what we'll do, how much it will cost, the specific deliverables we'll provide, and the timeline in which you can expect them. We'll quote you a proposed rate, either hourly, on retainer, or by the completed project.
We'll work for you and with you. We'll refine the draft "Letter of Engagement" until you're comfortable with it in every way. We'll then work with your internal staff, your existing media and policy experts and your support groups to further develop your messages and issues positioning. We're team players for your existing resources.

We're here to help. Let us give your media relations planning the direction and focus it needs to meet your objectives.

Contact us at Stephen_Hartgen@hotmail.com or at 208-420-6761. Or send us a letter to 1681 Wildflower Lane, Twin Falls, Idaho 83301.