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May 26, 2010

Lunch Bunch

Earlier this year group of DC-area communications professionals started getting together for an informal book group to discuss books relevant to our work.  The group started in February with a conversation about Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations.  Participants discussed how they use new media, how it is changing the communications field and how new media can increase effectiveness in sharing messages with a variety of audiences. 


The group is made up of about 20 mid- to senior-level professionals including those working in public relations, new media, multimedia presentations, writing and other specialties as both consultants and in-house communicators.  A small group of the members (4 to 7) meet monthly downtown at lunchtime (some participants bring their lunches), generally in the offices of a new media company on 15th and L.  Meetings are free.


The next meeting, scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on June 17, will be to discuss Robert Schlesinger's White House Ghosts: Presidents and Their Speechwriters.  According to reviews, the book not only details the history of how messages have been developed, but “emphasizes how changes in the media (radio, television and the Internet) altered the settings and presentation of presidents’ words.”  One reviewer says “Schlesinger's coverage is wide, his research comprehensive, his pace fast, his prose light.”


For more information, or to join the group, please email the group’s organizer, Korey Hartwich at [email protected]. (PF Tipster)

May 25, 2010

The Hill Hires Tricia Barba to Help Generate Buzz

TheHill Betsy Rothstein at Fishbowl DC writes that The Hill's Editor Hugo Gurdon has hired Tricia Barba as a publicist who will work full-time to promote the paper's stories to TV, radio and the blogosphere. The publication has gone without a publicist for more than a year and has had two publicists in the past.

"I'm really pleased to be able to tell you that we've hired an in-house publicist; Tricia is currently a producer and booker at CSPAN, and before that worked in the communications shop of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, from whom she comes highly recommended."

May 20, 2010

Laura Burton Capps Joins Blue Engine Media

Logo Laura Burton Capps, a veteran of the Clinton White House, Kerry presidential, Senator Edward M. Kennedy's staff and advocate for the oceans and climate, is joining Blue Engine Message & Media, a strategic communications firm led by Erik Smith and Kathy Roeder. Since 2006, Blue Engine Media & Message has specialized in providing strategic communications services to corporate and non-profit clients engaged in public affairs campaigns. Earlier this week, Blue Engine said goodbye to staff member Miti Sathe, who is joining the White House in the Office of Public Engagement. (Politico Playbook)

May 19, 2010

Christy Setzer Launches New Heights Communications

CJS headshot
Strategic communications and campaign veteran Christy Setzer has launched a new communications firm,
New Heights Communications

Christy brings more than a decade of experience providing communications strategies for elected officials, political candidates from the presidential to local level and progressive organizations– from 527 groups to major national unions. She also served three tours of duty as a presidential campaign flack, including as Iowa press secretary for Vice President Al Gore, spokeswoman for former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, and national press secretary for Senator Christopher J. Dodd.

As a direct mail and general consultant with the Strategy Group, Christy provided the roadmap to win several open seats in targeted state legislative races in Colorado and Wisconsin. Most recently, she oversaw national media for the Service Employees International Union. (PF Tipster)

About the Authors

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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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