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October 27, 2008

Local Flack Has an Idea for New Host of MTP

As any good flack in Washington knows, NBC has promised to announce a new host of Meet the Press between Election Day and early December. One DC flack, Margot Friedman of Dupont Circle PR, has started her own campaign to encourage NBC to hire a woman or a person of color for the coveted host spot.

Margot writes on her Web site, DontLetNBCDisWomen.com, that NBC/MSNBC was criticized during the 2008 election for sexism in its coverage. Picking a qualified woman and/or person of color to host "Meet the Press" would help repair some of the damage to the network's brand. There is no shortage of talented women and/or people of color who could do the job, including CNN’s Campbell Brown, PBS’ Gwen Ifill or NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. (PF Tipster

October 15, 2008

JOB OF THE WEEK: Levick Strategic Communications

Levick Strategic Communications is currently seeking a Director for their Integrated Digital Media practice. Ideal candidates will have at least seven years professional experience and vast knowledge of digital campaigns, online reputation management, blogosphere monitoring and outreach, social media content marketing and social network engagement.

Successful applicants should have exceptional writing skills, and will be actively involved in creating, leading and optimizing digital campaigns for the countries, companies, brands and individuals for clients. The ideal candidate should be a solid writer who can effectively manage staff and budgets.

Extremely competitive salary, bonus incentives and benefits package are available.

For a more detailed job description, please click here.

Interested candidates should send resume and cover letter to [email protected] (PF Tipster)

October 14, 2008

Flack Profile: Duncan Burns


Duncan Burns is the head of the technology department at Hill & Knowlton. He manages a team of seven and works on a range of clients including Qualcomm and eBay.

Name and job title: Duncan Burns, Senior Vice President and Head of Hill & Knowlton's DC Technology Practice

Hometown: London, United Kingdom

How long have you been in your current position? 8 yrs with H&K, 2 yrs in DC and 6 weeks as Head of Tech

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up? A diplomat like my father or a rugby player for Scotland. Ideally both.

What college did you go to and what was your major? I went to the University of Essex in the UK for a degree in American Studies, including a fascinating year abroad at UC Berkeley. I also have a Masters in American Politics from the University of Essex.

What was your very first job? An enthusiastic but erratic summer caddy on a small golf course in New Hampshire, but I did earn enough to buy a set of starter clubs. Now I'm an enthusiastic and erratic golfer! My first proper job was for the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong - an amazing city to work in. I went back in July for the first time in 8 years and was astounded at the changes but also at how vibrant and innovative a city it still is.

Where do you get your news from? Washington Post, Financial Times, NY Times, Wall Street Journal and the BBC website. I've then got RSS feeds for about 40 different tech, business, energy and sport sites. Two technology sites I've been reading a lot are the Wall Street Journal's Business Technology blog and our own Washington Post's tech blogs. Two non-tech I'd definitely recommend - Chris Cooley's blog and the Freakonomics blog at the Times.

IPhone or Blackberry? Blackberry for the moment, but there's so much cool stuff coming in wireless that it may be different in 6 months.

October 13, 2008

SEC Hires PR Help

SecSEC Chairman Christopher S. Cox has brought in Andrew Weinstein, a former spokesman for the Dulles, Virginia-based AOL unit of Time Warner Inc., and Erik Hotmire, a former spokesman for Republican U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, to help respond to the press scrutiny which has been elevated in recent days. Weinstein has more than 20 years of experience in "media relations, crisis communications and public-policy strategy,'' according to a biography on the Web site of Widmeyer Communications. Widmeyer, which employed Weinstein, described him as AOL's "top media strategist.'' He worked on former Senator Bob Dole's unsuccessful 1996 Republican presidential campaign and in the office of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The SEC hired Weinstein as a paid consultant and Hotmire will be a full-time employee. (Bloomberg News)

Super Secret Job of the Week

Top Government Relations and Public Relations Firm Seeking New Media Specialist.  Candidate must have experience utilizing social media as an online PR and marketing tool and whose career goals include becoming a social media expert.  Must have ability to develop digital, visual and web-based texts, graphics, multi-media presentations, websites, video blogs and e-newsletters. Expertise in Photoshop, Illustrator, PowerPoint, Flash and Dreamweaver or Mac equivalent programs. Also capacity to program html and dynamic html.  Must also have a firm understanding of traditional and online marketing techniques, measuring and reporting tools, an understanding of web analytics, and the ability to clearly communicate with colleagues and clients. Good writing skills and graphic art creativity a plus. An equal opportunity employer. Reply to [email protected].

October 06, 2008

Educating the Educators

A new online community that will bring together marketing, PR, design, public affairs and general communications professionals who work in the education sector launched today. Educommunicators is for people who are part of a non-profit, trade association, government agency, corporation, PR agency and media outlets who specialize in education.

This is a way to share best practices, issues and ideas, news and developments and general thoughts on education and education reform.

Here is how you can find out more information:

Web site: Educommunicators
Blog: Educommunicators Blog
Facebook: Join the Educommunicators Group
LinkedIn: Join the Educommunicators Group
Listserv: E-mail [email protected]

(PF Tipster)

October 03, 2008

QGA Flak Bash - Nominate the Best Spokesperson

Qga_flakbash_mast20080929v1Quinn Gillespie & Associates has announced the return of the Flak Bash, an event that honors D.C.'s most intrepid, daring and verbally agile communicators.  From now until October 31st, they are accepting nominations for Best Spokesperson representing the following categories:  Political Campaign (Republican and Democrat); Capitol Hill Press Secretary (Republican and Democrat); and Industry (Corporate, Trade Association or Nonprofit). To submit a nomination, click on the below image or visit www.qga.com/flakbash.

The Flak Jacket award represents the best of the profession -- level-headed, quick on their feet, silver-tongued and tough as nails.  This year, we are pleased to have the involvement of an esteemed panel of journalists serving as judges, whom we thank very much. So please make your nominations, spread the word about the competition, and we look forward to announcing the winners!   Awards will be presented at the QGA Flak Bash on November 19, 2008.

October 02, 2008


Em As the one of the world's leading energy companies, ExxonMobil is looking for top-notch public affairs candidates, with exceptional education and skills in communications.  The Public Affairs Advisor supports the ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubes Marketing companies. The position serves as the liaison between the businesses and the corporation, with a primary role of protecting and enhancing corporate image/reputation. The Public Affairs Advisor provides guidance to the business on corporate public affairs guidelines and procedures, providing high value public affairs services in support of business objectives.  Qualifications: Master's degree in (MS, MA)Communications (journalism, advertising, public relations) from top rated school; One year+ experience in communications-related position-preferred; Top tier written and verbal skills; Must possess the ability to work independently, as well as in a team environment.  Contact: [email protected]

About the Authors

  • FOLLOW US: @potomacflacks
  • Matt Mackowiak - Site Manager
    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

    Laura Gross - Contributor
    Laura Gross is currently president of Scott Circle Communications. She has served as deputy director of communications at the DNC, was Gov. Howard Dean's Communications Director and she worked in the press office at USAID during the Clinton administration. Her experience also includes time in the PR department of National Public Radio and she was part of Vice President Gore's advance team when he was in The White House.
    Follow her on Twitter: @ScottCircle

    Blain K. Rethmeier - Contributor
    Blain K. Rethmeier is currently the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA). Rethmeier joined AIA from the White House where he served as Special Assistant to the President for Communications and directed communications for the National Economic Council and Homeland Security Council. Prior to joining the White House, Rethmeier served as Press Secretary for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    Follow him on Twitter: @BlainR

    This is a personal group blog whose contents in no way reflect the views of any author's employer.

    Got a tip? Email Matt, Blain or Laura (anonymity guaranteed)

    Potomac Flacks Founder and Author Emeritus: Adam Kovacevich
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