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May 26, 2009

The PR Holy Grail

Oprah This Thursday, CNBC will be airing a special entitled "The Oprah Effect." The show, hosted by Carl Quintanilla will devote an entire hour to the influence Oprah Winfrey has on viewers and how she encourages them to buy new products, read a book or try something new. 

I'm sure many of you can agree that getting someone on Oprah is not easy - this show will also examine how to get on Oprah. (PR Newser)

Looking for a PR Job in D.C.?

I know there are a lot of public affairs-type-of-people in Washington looking for jobs and I wanted to bring a great blog to your attention. It's the DC Public Affairs & Communications Jobs blog

The man behind the blog, Gordon Barnes, writes about all types of public affairs jobs - from non-profits to associations and corporations to political committees. Happy job hunting. (PF Tipster)

May 25, 2009

Experienced Comms Veteran Nelligan Moves to Johns Hopkins

Jeff neligan Jeff Nelligan recently began as the new Senior Director for Strategic Communications at Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM).  JHM includes the physicians and scientists of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, with the health professionals and facilities that make up the broad Johns Hopkins Health System and Hopkins’ healthcare international facilities.  Neligan is in charge of the institution’s overall communication strategy and positioning.  Before joining JHM, Nelligan was the spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) in the Bush administration.  Previously, Nelligan was Managing Director of Public Affairs at the Government Accountability Office, and worked on Capitol Hill as Press Secretary for U.S. Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA) and Director of Communications for the House Transportation Committee under Chairman Bud Shuster (R-PA).   Earlier in his career, Nelligan was Speechwriter at U.S. Agency for International Development during the Bush 41 administration.  (PF tipster)

May 22, 2009

DNC's Regional Press Team

Roll Call's Shop Talk is reporting that the DNC has hired their regional press team. 

Caroline Ciccone will be the director of regional press at the DNC, where she has worked since 2007. Ciccone previously served in various roles in Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-Calif.) office.

Joanne Peters is returning to the committee as the Southern regional press secretary, following a stint in Rep. Bob Etheridge’s (D-N.C.) office and her work as deputy director of radio booking at the DNC in the 2008 cycle.

Alec Gerlach will handle press in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Michigan ties run deep for the Wolverine State native, who worked for Reps. Dale Kildee (D) and John Dingell (D) on Capitol Hill for four years and for President Barack Obama’s campaign in the state.

Mike Czin will be the DNC press contact for the Northeastern region of the country. The flak from New Jersey has been promoted at the DNC, where he worked as the assistant press secretary until recently.

Derrick Plummer is the new Midwest regional press secretary. A former communications director for Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Plummer also worked for 2004 Democratic presidential ticket in Iowa.

Frank Benenati will be the regional press secretary for the Northwest. Benenati was the communications director for the  coordinated campaign in Minnesota in the previous cycle, and he also worked for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) on Capitol Hill.

Ricardo Ramirez will be the Spanish-language spokesman for the DNC, as well as serve the press in the Southwest region. Ram*rez comes from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) office, where he worked on Hispanic media.

Megan Jacobs will be the new assistant press secretary in the communications shop. Jacobs started her career as an organizer on Sen. Jon Tester’s (D-Mont.) 2006 Senate race and also aided the Obama campaign’s media and polling team in Chicago.

Joanna Rosholm has also accepted a gig as an assistant press secretary for the DNC. Rosholm was a DNC communications intern in the 2008 cycle but most recently worked at Ogilvy Government Relations.

Also, Natalie Wyeth will be leaving her job as spokesperson for Organizing for America to join the Treasury Department as the spokesperson for international affairs. She will be working with her old boss from the Democratic Convention, Jenni Engebretson. (Roll Call's Shop Talk and PF Tipster)

May 19, 2009

Campaign & Elections Rising Stars 2009

Star Campaign & Elections’ Politics magazine today announced the 2009 Rising Stars. One of the most prestigious honors in politics, the award goes to people 35 or under who have already made a significant mark in political consulting or advocacy. The magazine chose 10 Democrats, 10 Republicans and seven nonpartisan leaders this year out of a pool of several hundred nominees.
“Capping off an historic election year, we received a record number of nominations for this year’s Rising Stars,” said James Klatell, managing editor of Politics. “With so many exceptional young people working in politics today, this was an exceedingly difficult process.”
The Rising Stars will be honored on June 12 during our 26th annual training seminar, The Art of Political Campaigning. Past Rising Stars have included David Axelrod, Paul Begala, Donna Brazile, James Carville, Alex Castellanos, Rahm Emanuel, Ed Gillespie, Alexis Herman, Karen Hughes, Laura Ingraham, Celinda Lake, Jim Pinkerton, Ralph Reed and George Stephanopoulos.

This year's winners:
Brent Blackaby, 34, is a co-founder of Blackrock Associates, an online marketing, fundraising, and strategic consulting firm in California. His clients include Sens. Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, and Chuck Schumer, and Gen. Wesley Clark.
John Del Cecato, 34, is a partner at AKPD in New York City. He wrote, directed and produced many of the television ads for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
Daniel Gotoff, 34, is the director of Lake Research Partner's New York City office. Since joining LRP in 1996, he has worked for candidates at all levels of the electoral process.
Julie Greene, 29, is the head of the AFL-CIO’s member communications program. She is a veteran of the direct mail firm MSHC Partners.
Jessica Grounds, 28, is a vice president at Stones’ Phones, the president of Women Under Forty Political Action Committee (WUFPAC) and the associate director of Running Start, a non-profit that educates young women about serving in political office.
Nicole Harburger, 33, is a vice president at GMMB in Washington. She has been a press secretary on Capitol Hill and the communication director for the Democratic Governor’s Association.
Robert E. Jones, 32, is the political director of Annie’s List in Texas. He has helped nine Democratic women win seats in the Texas legislature.
Amy Leveton, 33, is senior vice president and managing director of Penn Schoen & Berland Associates in Washington. She led research for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Todd Rogers, 31, is the founding executive director of the Analyst Institute, which uses the tools of behavioral science to help progressive groups increase the impact of their voter contact.
Tanya Tarr, 29, is a political research analyst at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. She has worked for Al Gore’s presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the AFL-CIO.
Tucker Bounds, 30, is partner at Quinn Thomas Public Affairs in Oregon. He was the deputy communications director for John McCain’s presidential campaign.
Shannon Burns, 33, is the CEO of Victory Solutions, which provides unique VOIP phone banking technology to Republican campaigns.
Jessica B. Colón, 34, is the founder of Colón & Company, a consulting firm in Houston. She serves as the chair of the Young Republican National Federation and appears frequently on Fox News.
Danny Diaz, 33, launched his own consulting firm, Diaz Communications LLC, this year. A senior member of John McCain's 2008 campaign, he was previously the communications director at the Republican National Committee.
Josh Ginsberg, 26, is a vice president at Mercury Public Affairs in California. He is a veteran of George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign and Mitt Romney’s 2008 campaign.
Katie Harbath, 28, is the director of DCI Digital for the DCI Group. She has worked on Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 campaign and for the Republican National Committee.
Alex Lundry, 31, is vice president and director of research at Target Point Consulting in Virginia. He helped pioneer new micro-targeting techniques for Mitt Romney’s 2008 campaign.
Christopher N. Malagisi, 28, is the founder of the Young Conservatives Coalition. He has worked in young adult voter outreach for the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush, Fred Thompson and John McCain. He is also director of political training at the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Va.
Brian Nick, 33, is the director of strategic development and communications for Strategic Perception in Washington. He is a veteran of former Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s office and campaign.
Ryan Waite, 31, is the president of NextDoor Politics and executive vice president of Connell Donatelli, an online advertising and marketing firm in Virginia. He handled the online advertising for John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Adam Conner, 24, opened Facebook's Washington D.C. office, where he oversees the company's political and governmental outreach and directed the company’s 2008 election efforts including voter registration and get out the vote tools.
Rob Engstrom, 34, is a vice president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, responsible for the group’s day-to-day political and grassroots operations.
Steve Grove, 31, is the head of News and Politics at YouTube. A former journalist, he partnered with CNN to develop the CNN/YouTube debates during the 2008 Election.
Irina Pruidze, 32, is the deputy international secretary of the New Rights Party, which advocates for limited government and free enterprise for Georgia in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.
Jordi Segarra, 30, is a board director of the European Association of Political Consultants and multiple-time Pollie winner. He has consulted for parties and leaders throughout Europe and Latin America.
Tom Serres, 27, is the entrepreneur behind Piryx, a social commerce platform aimed at empowering the little guys of the political world with online tools.
Brian Williams, 28, is vice president in charge of product strategy and design at Aristotle, the political technology firm in Washington. He has worked on Capitol Hill and on races across the country.

David All Group Names Managing Director

Perrin Chris Perrin, former chief operating officer at public affairs firm Adfero Group, joins David All Group (DAG) as managing director, DAG President David All announced today.

“The addition of Chris to our team shows our continued growth as a leader in the emerging Web 2.0 market,” said All. “Chris is a battle-tested executive who is ready to take on any challenge in our fast-paced, expanding operation, and the team is excited to have him on board.”

Perrin strengthens the firm’s growing list of talented online political operatives and communicators and continues to build on the leadership position DAG has established in the conservative modern media field. He will ensure the smooth execution of all internal company operations of the company and the successful implementation of high-quality products and services produced by DAG’s team of account managers and executives. Perrin will provide senior leadership to the DAG team and oversee the completion of client initiatives.

“Chris brings to the table a strong sense of direction,” said All. “He knows how a company should function in order to maximize productivity, and as the company grows, he will ensure the proper execution of top-rate service that DAG prides itself on providing.”

Perrin previously ran day-to-day operations at Adfero Group. He was also a special assistant at the U.S. Small Business Administration; served former Congressman J.C. Watts, Jr. (R-OK) as a vice president at the J.C. Watts Companies; and was the director of operations for the House Republican Conference.

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with David and the rest of the DAG team to help build a strong and growing company that plays an important role in shaping conservative online politics and modern media strategies,” said Perrin.

Energy Vets Launch Capital Communications Group

CCG Healy E. Baumgardner, a former White House Press Official, Energy Department Press Secretary, and Deputy Communications Director for Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Presidential campaign, and Suzette Raines, a leading energy and media strategist who has worked with Fortune 500 companies and public officials, launched Capital Communications Group (CCG) – an issue and expert-based public relations and government affairs firm - with locations in Washington, DC and Charleston, WV.

CCG’s expert public relations and government affairs practice groups include Litigation Communications, Issue Advocacy and Public Affairs, Crisis Communications and Energy and Environment Communications, among others. 

In addition to Raines who serves as President of Public Affairs for CCG, other senior team members include Senior Strategy Advisor Robert “Booter” Ryan, Esq., a top litigator and defense attorney on the national scale; Alyson Austin, a former Senior Bush Administration Energy Official and National Association Executive as Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives; and, Eric Ochmanek, a former Bush Administration Press Representative as Managing Director for Digital and E-Media.  (PF tipster)

Experienced Communications Veteran Kreisher Named Top Flack for Rep. Glenn Thompson

Tina Kreisher has joined the staff of U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), as Communications Director. Kreisher was Director of Communications for the Interior Department.  She previously held the same position for the EPA and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  (CQ’s “People on the Move” column)

Former Wyden Aide Fazzini Named Press Secretary for Sen. Ben Nelson

Tom Fazzini has been hired as Press Secretary for U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE).  Fazzini was Deputy Communications Director for Indiana for the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. He was previously the Deputy Press Secretary for Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).  (CQ’s “People on the Move” column)

Kildee Hires former Sutton Aide as Press Secretary

Erin Donar has been hired as Press Secretary for U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI). Donar was Communications Director to Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH). Before that, she was Deputy Press Secretary for the House Small Business Committee.  (CQ’s “People on the Move” column)

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

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