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October 27, 2010

GQ's Robert Draper on White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs

Robert-gibbs_300x430 In this months GQ ... You think your job sucks? Trade with Robert Gibbs. His boss is "methodical." His workplace is hostile. His job is Sisyphean. And, everyone is blaming him for a communication problem that may hand Washington to the opposition. Inside the woeful world of the White House press secretary here.

JOB(S) OF THE WEEK: American Chemistry Council Hiring Four in Communications Department

American_Chemistry_Council_Logo The American Chemistry Council (ACC), a national trade association representing the world’s leading chemical and plastics manufacturers, currently has four openings in its Communications Department:


Senior Director, Advocacy Communications – The principal job responsibilities include key internal stakeholders (e.g., political mobilization, federal and state affairs) in the development and execution of advocacy campaigns.   The Senior Director will provide expertise to ensure communications programs are coordinated and consistent throughout various distribution points and audiences and geographies, and that strategic direction is met.  The position will also provide strategic and tactical input and support the Vice President Communications in providing leadership to the staff, external groups and other stakeholders for purposes of implementing the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) communications strategy. The position works closely with the Senior Director, Member Communications and Marketing and reports directly to the Vice President, Communications.  The position will also have responsibility for directing the development and deployment of strategic advocacy communications campaigns in consultation with key stakeholders; working with Vice President Communications to develop and manage ACC’s press and media operations strategy; serving as a senior “on-record” representative for advocacy campaigns, including representing the ACC in public speaking engagements; managing the overall work activities of employees within the Advocacy Communications work unit, including establishing performance objectives, conducting performance reviews, and facilitating employee development; developing and maintaining strong working relationships with ACC staff, and member company representatives; assisting in speech writing, as needed; developing project budgets and managing expenditures within budget, as well as reviewing all contracts against budget and strategic objectives; assisting in the development of the annual Communications strategic business plan; and performing other related duties as assigned.  Required qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in communications or business-related field and at least 10 years communications or relevant experience; political or multi-state/district issues campaign experience; strong written and oral communications skills, as well as the ability to give internal and public presentations; ability to process technical and abstract verbal and written information for purposes of establishing a beneficial messaging framework, strategy, direction and action plans; and expertise as a senior-level leader with demonstrated skills in leading, coaching and mentoring staff.


Director, Online Advocacy Communications – The principal job responsibilities include providing online and social media strategic communications planning, support and services to enhance American Chemistry Council (ACC) advocacy campaigns and objectives, including writing online advocacy content for ACC’s public website as well as third party websites.  The position should be able to conduct an aggressive and contemporary digital and online initiative, incorporating web and social media activities. The position serves as both a strategic advisor and an online communicator supporting all of ACC’s advocacy campaigns and priorities.  The position works closely with campaign teams, advocacy communications team, Director of Member Communications, the political mobilization department, and reports directly to the Senior Director, Advocacy Communications.  The position will also have responsibility for strategizing, developing, implementing and managing online and social media campaigns to support ACC's advocacy priorities and advises campaign teams relative to online advocacy communications strategies; managing ACC social networks including the ACC blog and overseeing ACC's social media presence, expanding the ACC community’s reach in the blogosphere and online media; developing and maintaining relationships with bloggers relevant to ACC advocacy priorities; developing and organizing online content for targeted advocacy campaigns and audiences in collaboration with key stakeholders; ensuring ACC offline efforts are integrated with all online properties and networks; identifying and implementing best practices for online content delivery and updating and working with Web team to ensure that content remains dynamic and fresh; assisting with website content creation, development and implementation, including providing on-going status of projects and content schedule, as needed; evaluating existing online strategies and providing suggestions/improvements as needed; monitoring developments in social media applications and technologies; managing the development of third-party advocacy websites; guiding ACC spokespeople on digital and social media activities; performing other related duties as assigned.  Required qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism or related field and at least seven years of relevant professional experience with two years’ experience in political or policy advocacy organization is preferred; knowledge of digital/online media tools and resources; strong written and oral communications skills, as well as the ability to blog; ability to process technical and abstract verbal and written information to establish beneficial online messaging framework and action plans; ability to work independently on a variety of projects with competing tasks/priorities; and knowledge of Microsoft Office tools and internet research skills.


Director, Regional Communications – The principal job responsibilities include serving as the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) direct link – both proactively and reactively – to media outlets in targeted regions of the country for purposes of impacting advocacy in key states.    The position is responsible for developing and producing integrated, strategic messages for specific targets, including cultivating and maintaining relationships with regional and local media as well as teaming with internal and external resources to develop media strategies, pitch compelling story ideas, and generate coverage of key issues.  The position serves in an “on-the-record” capacity, as needed, and reports directly to the Senior Director, Advocacy Communications.  The position will also have responsibility for coordinating closely with state and federal government affairs teams to plan and execute communications activities that support advocacy goals; developing, fostering and maintaining key media relationships in assigned target regions, including positioning ACC as a “go-to” source for comments and background; responding to media inquiries, requests for information, as well as facilitating media interviews and story placement in assigned target regions; implementing ACC’s articulated press and media strategy using a variety of media tools in order to increase the visibility of ACC’s advocacy priorities in an assigned target region; ensuring that all messages to the media are factually correct, compelling, delivered in a timely manner, and focus on ACC’s strategic objectives; assisting in monitoring media developments on related issues for purposes of informing clients/colleagues of recommended strategies and coordinating rapid response to inaccurate information as well as proactive media outreach; editing and managing content to support ACC advocacy strategies including op-eds, issue papers, press releases, newsletters, backgrounders, fact sheets, speeches, and other outreach materials; assisting with related policy event planning, as needed; staffing all interviews in assigned region and crafting messages in advance for input; serving as the direct link between ACC corporate headquarters and outside communications resources located in target states or regions; and performing other related duties as assigned.  Required qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism or related field and at least seven years’ experience with two years’ experience in political or policy advocacy organization is preferred; strong written and oral communications skills, as well as the ability to give internal and public presentations; ability to process technical and abstract verbal and written information to establish beneficial online messaging framework and action plans; ability to work independently on a variety of matters simultaneously; and knowledge of press/media/newswire services and Microsoft Office tools and internet research skills.


Manager, Issues Communication– The position is responsible for providing high-level writing, research and media relations assistance to the Region/Issues Communications Directors in support of the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) overall advocacy efforts.  The position serves as support for overall ACC campaign effort and reports directly to the Senior Director for Advocacy Communications.  The principal job responsibilities include creating, editing and managing content in support of ACC advocacy initiatives, including issue papers, press releases, newsletters, backgrounders, fact sheets and other relevant public policy related outreach materials including website copy; supporting ACC’s media outreach program through writing/placing articles and securing interviews, as needed; measuring ongoing media coverage on key ACC advocacy issues for purposes of providing fact-based assessments of the external environment for ACC advocacy; conducting prospect research, including pursuing discrete research assignments and developing material from acquired information; developing and maintaining an accessible library of current external statements, talking points and positions; assisting in the development of written content for ACC web sites and the internet communications program; participating in advocacy communications strategic planning; and performing other related duties as assigned.  Required qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism or related field and at least 5 years’ experience in public policy, issue advocacy, media relations or relevant field; strong written and oral communications skills, including the ability to write creatively and communicate technical information and demonstrated editing skills; ability to process technical and abstract verbal and written information to implement action plans; ability to work independently on a variety of projects with competing tasks/priorities; and knowledge of Microsoft Office tools and internet research skills.


To apply for these positions, please forward your resume and cover letter, including salary requirements, to: [email protected] or fax to (202) 330-5563.  You may also mail to: American Chemistry Council, Attn – HR, 700 Second Street NE, Washington, DC 20002.  (PF tipster)

October 26, 2010

JOB OF THE WEEK: Widmeyer Communications, Healthcare Public Affairs Professional

Widmeyer Communications Widmeyer Communications seeks a senior-level professional with significant healthcare public affairs experience for its Washington, D.C. office.   Ideal candidates will have substantive experience in health care public policy and communications.  In addition, the successful candidate will have extensive experience as part of a healthcare or public affairs team at a communications firm, in a trade association or corporation, on Capitol Hill, or in government.

Successful candidates must also have at least 10 years of relevant experience with national public affairs campaigns, media relations, and/or federal or state legislative work.  Candidates should be both collegial and collaborative, and able to work well independently or as part of a team.

Prerequisites for the position include experience communicating about complex public policy issues, absolute attention to detail and team management focus, ability to multitask and juggle competing demands for time and attention, demonstrated media relations/placement success, and experience with stakeholder relations and exemplary writing skills. 

Responsibilities include project management, client account management and senior-level client service assignments including crisis communications. Candidate will be responsible for new business development and expected to contribute to efforts to enhance the reputation and growth of the firm.

Competitive salary commensurate with experience, plus a full benefits package. Please forward resume, cover letter (with salary expectations) and writing samples to: Human Resources, Widmeyer Communications, Reference – HPA 2010 / [email protected]. (PF tipster)


BP Names Dempsey VP Government and Public Affairs

BP logo BP America Executive Vice President Federal and International Affairs of BP David Nagel announced that Ray Dempsey has been appointed Vice President Government and Public Affairs, BP America.  Dempsey will be based in Washington, D.C. and will work alongside David Nagel who manages BP’s DC office. Ray will serve as a liaison to critical stakeholders in Washington, D.C.  Dempsey is a 20-year veteran of BP.  Prior to this appointment, Dempsey was Vice President, Strategy and Portfolio for BP’s Fuels Value Chain Strategic Performance Unit.  During the summer of 2010, Dempsey led external affairs across Florida as a member of the Deepwater Horizon Response team.  He was based in the Florida Command Post in Miami throughout the response.  Since joining the company in 1990, Dempsey has held a variety of management and operational roles in engineering, environmental, strategy, and financial areas of BP’s operations in the US and abroad.  He was Vice President and Regional Director for BP’s Latin America and Caribbean Region from 2005 to 2008.  Dempsey holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Evanston, Illinois.  Dempsey and his wife Alysia have four daughters. (PF tipster)


October 25, 2010

WANTED -- Talented Flacks For Hire

Balloon With the election next week and offices on Capitol Hill preparing for major staff turnover (both R's & D's), your friends at Potomac Flacks are doing their civic duty and creating a resume bank for congressional offices to tap as transitions take place.   

So, if you are a volunteer on a campaign looking to come to D.C., an aspiring press secretary, a former reporter, someone who is working for a member that's getting a pink slip, or a seasoned professional looking for the next big thing -- we have you covered.  We have coordinated directly with leadership of both parties in both the House & the Senate and have set up email accounts for which you can send your resumes.  This will be done with 100% confidentiality and we promise to do a good job.

GOP Flacks -- email [email protected]

DEM Flacks -- email [email protected]

Also, if you are reading this and know of any good jobs out there, let us know so we can help out our brothers and sisters.  Thanks!


Blue Engine Continues to Expand -- Adds Witt

Blue engine Blue Engine Message & Media has added another top-shelf communicator to their team, Abby Witt.  She comes to Blue Engine with six years combined experience in the White House, the Obama presidential campaign, and the Washington-based Center for American Progress (CAP).

Most recently, Abby served as an Assistant Director for the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs (OPE). Known as the "front door of the White House," the department creates and maintains relationships with advocacy groups, individual constituents, and all non-federal elected officials. Most notable among her responsibilities, Abby served as the department’s outreach point person on the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative to end childhood obesity. Prior to working in the White House and on the Obama/Biden Presidential Transition Team, Abby spent nearly two years as a field organizer for the Obama for America. Originally from Evanston, Illinois, Abby holds a B.A. in Political Science and Public Administration from American University. Abby will specialize in organizing effective issue advocacy and outreach campaigns for the firm.  (PF Tipster)

October 13, 2010

International Franchise Association Adds Three to Comms Shop

Ifa The International Franchise Association has added three new staff members to its communication and marketing department.

Matthew Haller joins IFA today as Director of Communications.  He will oversee IFA publications and help with IFA strategic communications.  Haller most recently served as Director of Industry Relations and Development for the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.  Previously, he served as a manager of political affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and held positions with Levick Strategic Communications and United Parcel Service. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a BA in Political Science.

Kristin White assumes the position of Director of Marketing to promote IFA programs, services and manage the branding of all IFA materials.  White was most recently IFA Director of Graphic Design, and prior to joining IFA in June 2009, she held positions with Worldwide ERC, John Hancock Insurance & Financial Services and Morton Fraser International.  She holds a BA in Design from Trinity College. 

Courtney Moore joins IFA as Manager of Graphic Design and will help with the design and production of all IFA materials and publications, including online and digital communications.  Moore graduated in May from Syracuse University with a BA in Advertising Design and brings a broad range of print and online design skills to IFA’s marketing and communications efforts.

“These three employees bring a wealth of experience to IFA as we continue to enhance how we present IFA and franchise information to members, policy makers and the public,” said IFA Vice President of Marketing and Communications Alisa Harrison.  “We are pleased to welcome each of them to the team to enhance how we communicate, including increasing the use of digital innovations in IFA activities.

October 12, 2010

HPS Announces New Partners and HPS Insight Service

Dsp_head_bw Smc_head_bw Hamilton Place Strategies has annouced that Steve McMillin and Scott Parsons have joined the firm as partners in conjunction with the formal launch of a new business line: HPS Insight.  Together, with McMillin and Parsons, HPS Insight will further build HPS’ strengths in public policy research and analysis.

HPS Insight provides objective and actionable analysis of public policy issues that impact global business.  Government policy has never played a larger role in the global economy, so it has never been more critical for investors and firms to understand what governments are doing now, what they’re likely to do in the future, and the implications of those actions.  HPS Insight is a fully integrated feature of our strategic communications and crisis management services, providing monitoring, research, and analysis on critical economic and regulatory issues.  With deep knowledge of government and experience in the policy-making process, HPS develops strategies to anticipate and react to official policy actions. 

“I’m honored that Steve McMillin and Scott Parsons are joining our team,” said Tony Fratto, HPS Managing Partner.   “Both Steve and Scott have deep experience in the policymaking process at the highest levels of government, giving us the ability to offer our clients unmatched analysis and advice through HPS Insight and providing policy depth to strategic communications and crisis management engagements.“  

Steve McMillin brings two decades of Washington experience to his new role at HPS.  Recently, he has advised domestic and international clients on financial regulatory reform legislation and government fiscal policies and procedures as President of McMillin Consulting LLC.  Until January 2009, he served in the White House as Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, where he was responsible for leading the development and execution of the federal government budget, the regulatory review process, and the implementation of new policy and management initiatives.  He also served as a Deputy Assistant to the President in the Office of the White House Chief of Staff, where he was responsible for coordinating high-level development of economic, domestic, and security policies for the Administration.  Prior to his White House service, he held senior positions with the U.S. Senate Banking Committee and in the office of U.S. Senator Phil Gramm.

Scott Parsons has advised a diverse group of clients on business strategy and political and regulatory matters.  He is a seasoned business and government executive who previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Treasury, leading the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Compliance Policy. In his Treasury role, he worked to address a number of global risk issues including financial stability, cyber vulnerabilities and identity theft, and money laundering and terrorist financing.  His direct experience and knowledge relating to the Department of Treasury, federal regulation, the intelligence community, Congress and the White House enable Parsons to provide insight and context to help clients navigate the complex and dynamic U.S. political process.  

John Feehery Joins Quinn Gillespie & Associates

Art.john.feehery.courtesy Quinn Gillespie and Associates (QGA) has added John Feehery as a director at the firm and named him President of QGA Communications.  In this capacity he will provide government relations and strategic communications counsel to QGA’s roster of clients that range from Fortune 500s and savvy startups to foreign governments and advocacy coalitions. 

“John Feehery is a force in this town,” said QGA Chairman Jack Quinn. “He brings to us a potent combination of policy expertise and strategic communications experience.  He further strengthens our deep Republican bench that includes Marc Lampkin, former general counsel to Republican Leader John Boehner, David Lugar, a longtime Republican strategist and fundraiser, and Dave Hoppe, a 30-year Senate Republican leadership aide.”

Before founding The Feehery Group in early 2007, John Feehery held the position of Executive Vice President for Global Government Affairs at the Motion Picture Association of America.  Prior to that, Feehery held a variety of communications roles with House Leadership that include speechwriting for House Minority Leader Bob Michel, Communications Director for House Majority Whip Tom DeLay and top spokesman for Speaker J. Dennis Hastert.   He is a respected communications and advocacy strategist, and is frequently sought as a political commentator for a number of media outlets. 

John Feehery joins a team of nearly 30 professionals at QGA who provide government relations and strategic communications services to a wide range of clients.  He begins his new position on November 1st.  To learn more about Quinn Gillespie & Associates, visit www.qga.com or for more information on John Feehery, check out www.thefeeherytheory.com

October 11, 2010

Brian Wilson Hangs His Own Shingle

Headshot_wilson After 35 years in broadcast journalism -- 25 of them in Washington, DC -- Brian Wilson has departed Fox News to start Right Tone Communications. The company will primarily focus on media training and corporate and political message development, but will also provide video and audio production services.

"We live in a YouTube world where video clips go viral in a matter of minutes and information moves at lightning speed," Wilson writes on his company's website. "In such a challenging environment, reputations can be made -- or destroyed -- in a matter of hours. Will you know what to do when TV cameras arrive and a horde of reporters start asking difficult questions? Does your CEO know how to effectively deliver the right quote or that perfect 15 second TV sound bite? When the time comes, you’ll have only minutes to react." 

As a former correspondent and anchor for the nation’s number one cable news channel, Brian Wilson knows how to communicate effectively and is one of the best.  He has perfected how to teach clients the tricks of the TV trade and prepare them for anything.  (PF Tipser)


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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

    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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