January 23, 2012

Ortman to Creative America

First reported Friday in Politico’s Morning Tech Report, U.S. Department of Homeland Security deputy press secretary Chris Ortman has left to become communications director for Creative America, a grassroots organization uniting the entertainment community and others against content theft.

Prior to joining DHS, Ortman has held communications positions at the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee in Denver and the Change to Win labor coalition.

Ortman is a native of Omaha, Nebraska, and a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. (PF Tipster/Politico)


September 08, 2008

The Matt Burns' Surge - GOP Convention Goes Crazy

0904_kc_large_2Thanks to our friends at Politico.com - dubbed the Matt BURNS’ surge – The Republican National Convention booked 948 regional interviews in three days, compared with 855 over four days in 2004; 400 network and cable hits; and 1,263 radio hits. www.GOPConvention2008.com drew 1 million unique visitors and 7 million unique views of recorded videos. (Politico's Playbook)

July 28, 2008

Speaking of In-Demand -- Tucker Bounds, McCain's Spokesman

YoutubeA wall-sized Tucker Bounds makes the McCain Campaign's "YouTube of the Day."  Check it out here. Tucker brings a certain class to YouTube ... don't ya think?  (PF Tipster)

July 17, 2008

When Reporters Can Be Jerks!

Flack A half-way amusing clip surfaced yesterday on YouTube that captured the back-and-forth of McCain press aides Nicolle Wallace and Brook Buchanan dealing with a couple a**-hole reporters bitching about a staffer wanting to look at a camera shot before an interview.  Granted, 99% of the time, reporters and their crews are going to make a camera shot look as good as possible, but you can never be too sure.  Any flack worth their salt should ALWAYS look at the shot before they send their boss on-air.  Just make sure you do it in a nice, unobtrusive way.  After all, most flacks don't moonlight as professional cameramen. (PF Tipster)

July 14, 2008

Obama's Communications Team

A lot of staffing news coming out of Obama HQ today. Here is a list of the communications staff as reported by Hotline's On Call Blog:

Robert Gibbs -- senior strategist for communications and message taking on a broader strategic portfolio for the Fall campaign while continuing to serve as senior communications aide travelling with Sen. Obama

Anita Dunn -- senior advisor overseeing the campaign’s communications, research and policy departments

Dan Pfeiffer -- communications director

Linda Douglass -- travelling spokesperson for the campaign

Bill Burton (former DCCC communications director) -- national spokesperson out of the Chicago headquarters

Josh Earnest (former DNC'er and was Vilsack's communications director during his short lived campaign) -- deputy communications director

Christina Reynolds (fmr res. dir. for John Edwards in 2004 and 2008) -- director of rapid response

Wendy Morigi -- national security spokesperson

Dag Vega (former DNCer) -- director of surrogate communications

Joelle Terry -- deputy director of surrogate press, chief booker for interviews for the senator

Tommy Vietor and Hari Sevugan -- rapid response

Moira Mack and Nick Shapiro -- deputy national press secretaries working for Burton

The following individuals will serve as regional communications directors:

Gannett Tseggai – Northeast

Amy Brundage – Midwest

Shannon Gilson – Southwest

Dan Leistikow – Industrial Midwest

Melanie Roussell – South

Nayyera Haq – West

(Hotline's On Call blog)

Obama's New Communications Director in Michigan

Brent Colburn will be Obama's new communications director in Michigan. According to Marc Ambinder's blog, Obama's Michigan staff will be twice as big as Kerry's was in 2004. Brent has Michigan connections since he used to work for Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). Brent was also director of research for Howard Dean's 2004 campaign and spent time at the DNC too. (The Atlantic)

June 30, 2008

Simmons to Assist DNC

SimmonsFirst reported on "The Fix", Jamal Simmons will go on contract with the Democratic National Committee this week as an outside consultant. According to Cillizza, Simmons will continue will frequent TV appearances as an Obama surrogate. Karen Finney will remain as DNC communications director. (Washington Post's "The Fix")

McCain Adds Economic Message Guru to Comms Team

TaylorTaylor Griffin, a veteran of Bush-Cheney ’04, the Treasury Department and the White House, is joining the McCain campaign as a senior adviser specializing in communications and focusing primarily on the economy. According to The Playbook, it’s one of several moves that McCain will make in coming days to try to reassure the beltway clackers that things are stepping up.

Taylor has resigned his post (he is not taking leave, as The Politico reported) as a senior vice president for public affairs at the Financial Services Forum, a non-partisan economic policy association, to focus on what Tom Friedman of the New York Times says "the next election has to be about and is going to be about."  (Politico)

June 25, 2008

Mask Heads to the Republican Convention

Lindsey Mask, the Communications Director for Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) and an aide for the Republican staff of the House Education and Labor Committee, leaves Monday to join the communications shop at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN. Mask previously was Press Secretary for Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ). (PF tipster)

June 20, 2008

Woodhouse to DNC

Chris Cillizza is reporting that Brad Woodhouse is headed to the DNC Communications Department. He will share duties with current communications director Karen Finney. According to Cillizza, "those familiar with the setup say that Finney will remain a spokesperson for the DNC while Woodhouse will run the day to day operations of the organization. All of the current DNC press staff will remain in place."

Neither Woodhouse nor the DNC would comment on the pending move.

Cillizza continues: For Woodhouse, who has been running the issue-oriented progressive group Americans United for the last several years, his new post is a return home. He has a number of long-standing relationships with senior level staffers at the Obama campaign. Woodhouse did a stint in the consulting firm of Tewes and Steve Hildebrand, one of the lead strategists for the Illinois Senator, and has a relationship with Obama press operative Robert Gibbs that dates back to the late 1990s when the duo worked together in Rep. Bobby Etheridge's (D-N.C.) office. Woodhouse is taking leave from his current post at the head of Americans United but will return to the job once the election ends.

Woodhouse's hiring is the latest sign that Obama's campaign is working to install operatives of their own choosing in key roles across the party to ensure that the brand the Illinois Senator has built during the primary season is preserved in the general election. (The Washington Post's The Fix).

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    Matt Mackowiak is a Washington, D.C. and Austin,TX-based Republican strategist and communications consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC. In his career he has managed a winning Congressional campaign and worked in the U.S. Senate, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, at a leading international PR firm, on a presidential campaign in Iowa and in White House presidential advance. Follow him on Twitter - @MattMackowiak

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