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March 31, 2009

Brian Jones to California Office of Mercury Public Affairs


Today, Mercury Public Affairs, announced that the former communications director for John McCain's 2008 campaign and the RNC, has joined the firm's California operation, after working of Mercury's Washington, DC office.

Jones will continue to work with existing clients and manage Mercury's expanding California business as managing director, and he will also work with Mercury's recently-formed ballot initiative and referendum business, LFM Campaigns. (PF Tipster)

Tracy Schmaler Heading to Dept. of Justice

Doj Legal eagle Tracy Schmaler, formerly the senior director, global public affairs at Yahoo! Inc, is joining the Justice Department's Office of Public Affairs as Deputy Director where she will work alongside Director Matt Miller.  Previous to working at Yahoo!, Schmaler ran the show at the Senate Judiciary Committee where she was communications director to the Committee for Senator Leahy.  During her time on the Committee, Schmaler made life difficult for the Bush Administration's Supreme Court nominations and her work is both feared and well-respected by both sides of the aisle.  At Yahoo!, Schmaler focused on international human rights issues around China and Microsoft's failed bid for the company.  Congrats Tracy on the new gig!  (PF Tipster)

March 30, 2009

JOB OF THE WEEK #2: Director of Communications, Villanova University (School of Business)

Villanova Villanova University is seeking a dedicated Director of Communications to be responsible for the strategic direction and overall management of the Villanova School of Business' marketing, publications, and media relations programs. While collaborating with all VSB departments to identify their marketing, publications, and media relations needs, you will create strategies to respond to these needs, serve as the primary liaison with the Office of University Communication to keep them apprised of VSB marketing, publications, and media relations initiatives, and provide VSB content for University publications. In addition, you will serve as the editor and lead creative and technical writer for the school and communicate regularly with all VSB faculty and staff to apprise the community of marketing, publications, and media relations efforts.

The qualified candidate must possess a Bachelor's Degree in business administration, marketing, or communications and have at least five years of experience in Marketing within a business, academic, or non-profit environment. Exceptional interpersonal, writing, organizational, leadership, team player, and management skills are essential. Higher Education experience and a Master's Degree in business administration, marketing, or communications is preferred.

Applicants are accepted through our online employment site. For more information and to apply online, go to http://jobs.villanova.edu and search our open positions.  (PF tipster)

JOB OF THE WEEK: Voices for America's Children

VMC Voices for America's Children, a leading national children's advocacy organization, seeks a Web-savvy professional to support internal and external communications efforts. 


Responsibilities include enhancing communications across a nationwide network; developing and implementing social media strategy; writing press releases, newsletters, reports and other materials; updating and enhancing Web site; developing media and marketing materials; pitching stories; and supervising interns. 


Bachelor's degree, at least two years experience, familiarity with issue or advocacy communications, outstanding written and verbal communications skills, and experience with new media communications required. Hill and/or campaign experience a plus. If you are interested, please e-mail a cover letter, your resume and writing sample to [email protected]. (PF Tipster)

March 29, 2009

Heritage's Blasko Heads to House Ed & Labor Committee

Andrew Blasko 2 Longtime Heritage Foundation writer Andrew Blasko has left the think tank for Capitol Hill.  After serving more than nine years at Heritage, Blasko left to become a Speechwriter and Communications advisor for the Republican staff of U.S. House Education and Labor Committee under Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA).  At Heritage, Blasko handled a variety of projects, including the think tank's award-winning annual report and photography.  (PF tipster)

Haq Named Press Secretary at USDA

USDA Nayyera Haq has been appointed Press Secretary for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  Haq was Western Communications Director for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.  Before that, she was Press Secretary for the Children’s Defense Fund.  Haq previously worked as Communications Director for U.S. Rep. John Salazar (D-CO), and as a Press Aide for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).  She also managed media outreach programs at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee.  (CQ’s “People on the Move” column)

March 27, 2009

Join the Democratic Communicators Network

Dcnetthreadname If you are a Democrat PR pro, you should join the Democratic Communicators Network (DCNet). DCNet offers a distinguished speakers series, training seminars, mentoring, roundtable discussions, job postings and networking opportunities to strengthen the Democratic message-making team. 

There are 400 members and a newly launched Web site. It's a great way to network and meet other fellow Democrats too.

Communicators who work for political organizations, PR firms or other groups that support Democratic causes can join DCNet as well -- you just need a personal reference from a current member. (PF Tipster)

March 25, 2009

Can't Miss Click

Potomac Flacks has been chosen by Washingtonian magazine as one of the top blogs in Washington - especially if you want to keep track of all the boldface names in the Washington PR industry. The article isn't online yet, but we are mentioned on page 48 - along with Fishbowl DC, Famous DC and some others. 

Teper Appointed Speechwriter for Vice President Biden

VPOTUS Matt Teper has been appointed Speechwriter for Vice President Joe Biden.  Teper most recently was the full-time speechwriter for Independent Sector, a leadership forum and advocacy group representing the interests of foundations and charities across the country. Matt has been writing in Washington since graduating from law school in 2002, including as a Writer/Editor at another advocacy group, focusing on federal judicial appointments and gun policy, and as a Senior Writer in the creative department of a public affairs firm.  Teper, 32, received his B.A. from the University of Texas and his law degree from the University of Wisconsin.  (PF tipster)

Rep. Camp Hires CQ's Phillips as Press Secretary

Lauren Phillips has been hired as Press Secretary to Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI).  Phillips previously worked at Congressional Quarterly, first as an Editorial Assistant, then as a Researcher.  (CQ’s “People on the Move” column)

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  • 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

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