Public Affairs & Government Relations
Your Roadmap to Success Begins Here


Public Affairs & Government Relations
Navigating the Complex Terrain of Public Opinion

Reach Out

Public Affairs & Government Relations
Creating Win-Win Outcomes for Our Clients and Communities

Reach Out

About Us Boutique. Professional. Accountable.

With the understanding that the wise use of our public and private resources are often compromised when the pressures of political expediency trump the public’s long-term interests, Terrain combines its expertise in public affairs and government relations with its in-depth knowledge of public policy to assist clients in creating strategies for garnering support for and approvals of projects, policies, and political campaigns.
Jim Youngson Terrain Consulting Public Relations Santa Barbara CA

Jim Youngson


Since 1988, Jim Youngson has been involved with some of the most important political, land use and environmental issues facing California and the Central Coast. His varied track record includes working with politicians and government agencies, the business sector and non-profit organizations on a myriad of issues of public concern. His expertise is in crafting innovative public affairs strategies that help clients navigate sensitive and controversial issues that pertain to civic health, communities development and the environment.

Read more
Prior to forming Terrain, Jim served in all levels of government, for both elected officials (CA Rep. Robert J. Lagomarsino, Governor Pete Wilson, State Senator Newton Russell and Santa Barbara County Supervisor Willy Chamberlin) and agencies (the US Forest Service, the CA Natural Resources Agency).

Along with his wife and son, Jim resides in Santa Barbara, and is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara. He currently serves on the board of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, and chairs the government relations committee of the Santa Barbara Chamber. He contributes his spare time as a board member at Santa Barbara Middle School.

A resident of Santa Barbara, Mr. Youngson and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is a current board member for the Coastal Housing Coalition, Old Spanish Days Fiesta and Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity, and past member of the Vista del Monte retirement residence and Los Padres Forest Association.

Brian Robinson Terrain Consulting Public Relations Santa Barbara CA

Brian Robinson


Since the 1994 Brian Robinson has been responsible for creating winning strategies for those in the public, private, and non-profits sectors who seek to further their goals and objectives through productive public dialogues. Over this time he has been helping clients navigate the complex maze that is public opinion. Mr. Robinson has been directly responsible for overseeing a diverse group of clients’ public affairs and government relations efforts that build support and gain approval projects and programs.

Read more
Prior to forming Terrain, Brian Robinson gained his public affairs expertise through working as a political consultant for local, state and federal political campaigns as well as private sector public relations and marketing projects.

Mr. Robinson studied Urban Geography and Geology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has lived in Santa Barbara County for over 25 years and currently resides with his wife and two young daughters in Santa Ynez. Brian has lent his expertise and insight serving as a member of many community organizations such as the Santa Barbara Education Foundation, Harding School Foundation, Santa Barbara Police Department’s Citizens Advisory Committee, and Old Spanish Days Fiesta. He is a former School Board Member for the College School District and currently sits on the board of Partners in Education.

Ken Springer Terrain Consulting Public Relations Santa Barbara CA

Ken Springer

Senior Executive

Ken Springer joins Terrain Consulting as one of the most experienced and successful Project Managers in his field. Ken is a Senior Executive with over 25 years of demonstrated success in organizing, leading and managing team efforts to achieve complex, interdependent, and multi-million dollar project goals. His diverse hands-on project management experience in every type and phase of hotel and resort developments in urban, mountain and beach front environments is unsurpassed. Ken uses his strong analytical and communication skills to create alignment, balance needs, and leverage decisions among large teams of business professionals.

Read more
Ken brings a diverse portfolio of clients and projects, including: Auberge Resorts Collection, Belmond, Fairmont, Raffles, Kimpton, Starwood, Four Seasons, Montage, and other independent owners & operators.

Ken holds a B.A. in Business Communications from the University of Illinois, a M.B.A. from Pepperdine University, and is a LEED Certified Professional. He resides in Santa Barbara with his two daughters.

Audra Johnson Terrain Consulting Public Relations Santa Barbara CA

Audra Johnson

Senior Associate

Audra Johnson graduated in 1995 from the renowned marketing program at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. After graduating with honors, she worked at the National Crime Prevention Coalition in Washington D.C., where she serviced the McGruff the Crime Dog campaign among others. After being recruited by the elite firm of Powell Tate, she coordinated events for a variety of high profile clients including launching the first U.S.S. Seawolf submarine and documenting the O.J. Simpson trial.

Read more
After her work with Powell Tate, Audra transitioned into health care and became an account executive at Aetna Healthcare, managing national clients including Coca Cola and Ringling Brothers. Returning to her marketing roots in 2006, Audra moved to Los Angeles and joined Baker, Winoker and Ryder where she worked with clients such as James Woods, Jason Alexander, The Groundlings, Netflix and more.

Since relocating to Santa Barbara with her husband and three children, Audra joins Terrain Consulting as in integral part of our team.

Services Strategy. Tactics. Solutions.

  • Public Affairs

    • Strategic communications
    • Grassroots Outreach and Advocacy
    • Community Outreach and Education
    • Supporter Mobilization and Advocacy
  • Government Relations

    • Public Policy Analysis & Initiatives
    • Elected Official & Decision Maker Programs
    • Advocacy Group & “Lobbying” Strategies
  • Media Management
    & Creative Design

    • Television, Radio & Print Advertising
    • Earned Media Programs
    • Marketing & Publicity
    • Speaker & Media Training
    • Crisis Management & Communications
    • Collateral Material Design
    • Websites & Social Media
  • Project Specific Research
    & Development

    • Community Audits
    • Public Opinion Polling
    • Focus Groups
    • Process Driven Project Analysis
  • Politics

    • Feasibility Studies
    • Revenue Measure Research
    • Electoral Analysis
    • Candidate, Initiative, and Revenue Measure Campaigns
  • Real Estate Management Services

    • Entitlements
    • Design
    • Construction
    • Procurement

Focus Areas Substantial. Satisfied. Significant.

  • Public Sector

    • Government Agencies
    • Non-Profits & NGO’s
    • Transportation Programs & Infrastructure
    • Natural Resource Protection & Enhancement
    • Education
  • Private Sector

    • Hospitality & Real Estate Development
    • Oil, Natural Gas & Energy
    • Telecommunications
    • Solid Waste
    • Agriculture
  • Political

    • Candidate Campaigns
    • Issue Initiatives
    • Revenue Measures
    • Pre-Electoral Activities
    • Fundraising & Campaign Finance


  • January 2016 – Jim Youngson Receives Esteemed “Chairman’s Award” from the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce

    Goleta Valley Chamber Rings in New Year With Annual Meeting

    Organization boasts of its growing membership and welcomes Impulse president Dave Clark as new board chairman

    The Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce doubled its funding and visitor services last year, and its members are hoping to do much of the same in 2016.

    More than 100 chamber members gathered Wednesday night for the business advocate organization’s annual general meeting at FLIR Systems Inc. in Goleta, checking out the newly minted headquarters of the thermal imaging device company inside the Cabrillo Business Park on Hollister Avenue.

    Read more

  • December 2015 – Brian Robinson Sworn in as Newest College School District Boardmember

    Brian Robinson was sworn in as the newest board of trustees to the College School District in Santa Ynez, California. Mr. Robinsonjoins the board for a four year term. He and his wife’s two children attend Santa Ynez Elementary. He additionally serves as the Secretary of the PTA and sits on the board of the Santa Barbara County Education Office’s Partner’s in Education non-profit.

    Brian brings a wealth of experience with him as a the past president of the Harding University Partnership School Foundation, a past boardmember of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation, and a member of the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s Parent Advisory Committee.

    Read more

  • June 2014 – Another Victory for Common Sense and Terrain Consulting

    Voters say ‘No’ to Measure M
    June 03, 2014 11:27 pm
    Erin Lennon

    After months of debate, Santa Barbara County voters went to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether or not to make Measure M law.

    With all precincts reporting Tuesday night, 51.29 percent of voters said no to Measure M, according to unofficial returns that included vote-by-mail ballots.

    Approximately 48.71 percent of voters voted for the measure.

    Read more

  • November 2013 – Terrain Secures Third Term for Gregg Hart

    2013 City Council Election Results
    Hart Wins; Schneider Smacks Scoles; and Most Things Remain the Same
    Santa Barbara Independent – November 6, 2013
    By Nick Welsh

    Three incumbents and one semi-incumbent handily won reelection Tuesday night in a race marked by notably low voter turnout. Before the election, Democrats controlled a four-seat majority on the nominally nonpartisan city council. With the election, that number stays the same.

    Read more

  • November 2011 – Another Win for Terrain and Santa Barbara Students

    Both of the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s parcel-tax measures passed with room to spare Tuesday night, bringing great relief to education leaders after a heartbreaking loss at the polls in June.

    Measure A, which will benefit the secondary school district, got 68.6 percent approval and Measure B, for the elementary schools, won 69.6 percent of the vote, according to the Santa Barbara County Elections Office.

    Read more

  • January 2011 – Youngson Elected Boardmember Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce

    The Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce held its annual membership meeting at UCSB’s Mosher Alumni House on Tuesday night, bidding outgoing board chairman Steve Greig farewell and welcoming incoming chairman Steve Fedde.

    Fedde, vice president of Sares-Regis Group, the developer of Cabrillo Business Park, said his main priority will be to nurture a sustainable environment that allows startup companies to thrive in Goleta and surrounding communities.

    Read more

  • October 2010 – SBEF Boardmember

    Brian Robinson, co-founder and principal of Terrain Consulting Inc., has been elected as a board member of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation. Terrain Consulting is a land use and natural resources public relations firm in Santa Barbara founded by Robinson and Jim Youngson in 2003.

    Robinson is president of the Harding School Foundation, a member of the Oversight Committee for the elementary school parcel tax Measure I, former chairman of the Santa Barbara Police Department’s Citizens Advisory Committee, and a former associate member of the Old Spanish Days board of directors.

    Read more

  • November 2010 – Another Revenue Measure Victory for Terrain

    The Santa Barbara School District’s two bond measures received voter approval in Tuesday’s election, giving its elementary and secondary schools $110 million in combined funding for infrastructure improvements.

    Measure Q, a $75 million general obligation bond for the secondary district, won handedly — 68.98 percent (33,401 votes) to 31.02 percent (15,023 votes). The elementary district’s Measure R, a $35 million bond, also secured a large lead, passing 70.85 percent (14,805 votes) to 29.15 percent (6,090 votes).

    Read more

  • June 2010 – Terrain Consulting Secures Victory for Joyce Dudley for Santa Barbara District Attorney

    After a long and heated campaign, the results are in: Joyce Dudley defeated rival Josh Lynn and won election Tuesday as Santa Barbara County’s next district attorney.

    She received 31,811 votes, or 54.11 percent, compared with Lynn’s 26,791 votes, or 45.57 percent.
    Dudley said her main goal upon taking over as district attorney will be to heal the scars left by what many considered to be a divisive contest.

    Read more

  • November 2009 – Terrain Qualifies Historic Land Use Initiative for Election

    Carpinteria residents will get the chance to vote on whether to approve Venoco Inc.‘s slant-drilling project next June after a late-night decision Tuesday by the Carpinteria City Council.

    The council voted unanimously to put the item on the June 8, 2010, primary election ballot, but the only other option the city had was to approve the project outright.

    More than 1,000 signatures were gathered earlier this year to place the slant-drilling operation, Project Paredon, on the ballot as a citizens initiative. The oil company argues that its proposed project would be a boon to city coffers and state revenues.

    Read more

  • Novemember 2009 – Common Sense Prevails with Terrain Victory

    Measure B, Santa Barbara’s controversial initiative to lower building heights, was rejected by voters Tuesday, losing by 1,666 votes after falling into a dead heat earlier in the evening.

    Bill Mahan, a proponent of Measure B and chairman of Save El Pueblo Viejo, said both sides of the debate should work together in the future.

    The initiative garnered 12,009 no votes to 10,343 yes votes.

    Read more

  • November 2008 – Terrain Secures Win for Measure A, Santa Barbara County Transportation Sales Tax

    Overwhelming approval of transportation tax Measure A by Santa Barbara County voters included unprecedented support in the North County, where similar measures had met with strong resistance in past elections.

    A breakdown of election returns shows that voter approval north of the Santa Ynez Mountains was about 75 percent, well above the two-thirds threshold required for Measure A’s passage.

    Read more

  • May 2005 – Terrain Consulting hired to facilitate the development of Santa Barbara County Association of Government’s transportation sales tax expenditure plan.

    At its March 17, 2005 meeting the SBCAG Board established the November 7, 2006 general election as the target date for placing a renewal of Measure D before Santa Barbara County voters. Renewal of the measure will require 66.7% voter support due to changes in State law since the measure originally passed in 1989 with 55% voter support. Measure D is set to expire in April 2010.

    Read more


  • “Expert at blending knowledge, viewpoint, scientific method, and learned intuition, Terrain Consulting brings tangible meaning and results to any public relations effort.

    Dedicated to their clients and the ultimate goals of their clients, Terrain’s experience, keen sense of “environment” and insightful understanding of human nature, adds tremendous value to any organizational effort.

    Brian and Jim’s ability to envision, structure, implement, and manage effective “message strategies” is invaluable. Their ability to deliver winning results while maintaining a certain point of view is worth its weight in gold.”

    Ken Springer, V.P. Design & Construction at Auberge Resorts Collection

  • “Brian Robinson is a very talented political consultant with a great deal of varied professional experience. Brian has had great success evaluating complex public policy issues, developing creative and successful strategies to achieve client’s objectives and skillfully executing cost effective winning solutions. As a local firm Terrain Consulting is committed to the community and has excellent contacts across parties and at every level of government. Brian Robinson and Terrain Consulting consistently provide top quality results for clients with complex political and government relations issues.”

    Gregg Hart, Santa Barbara City Councilmember and PIO Santa Barbara County Association of Governments

  • “The City of Goleta would like to thank both of you for your assistance with the public outreach and education portion of the City’s transient occupancy ballot measure. Your professionalism and ability to guide the process allowed us to feel comfortable with the direction and status of the project. Most of all, as you know by now, the measure passed by a large margin; a clear demonstration that the education materials you helped produce gave our residents the information they needed to make an informed decision.”

    Daniel Singer, City Manager, City of Goleta

  • “I admire Brian as a highly skilled and experienced expert in his field. He is creative in his approach to problems and very strategic in his thinking, He is client focused, results oriented, and very congenial to work with. I recommend him highly to anybody who needs the services of a first rate public affairs specialist.”

    Karl Hutterer, Emeritus Director at Santa Barbara Museum Of Natural History

Contact Terrain Consulting

Three West Carrillo Street
The Carrillo Building, Suite 211
Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Office: 805.560.7397
Fax: 805.560.7398

Jim Youngson:
Brian Robinson:

For general inquiries: