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January 30, 2011

Lieberman Flack Masonhall for NBC News in New York

Erika Masonhall Per Politico's "Playbook" column, Erika Masonhall, Press Secretary for Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), is leaving the Senate after four years to join the NBC News team at 30 Rock, where she’ll be Director, News Communications, overseeing press and publicity for “Meet the Press with David Gregory” and the “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.” (Politico’s “Playbook”)

JOB OF THE WEEK: Washington Capitals, Manager, Media Relations

Washington Capitals The Washington Capitals have an immediate vacancy for their Manager, Media Relations.

Serve as the primary writer and editor for the Media Relations Office and oversee editorial for various projects and publications (printed and online) disseminated by the Communications Department. Assist in day-to-day media relations efforts and assure effective communications that leads to an increased public awareness of the Washington Capitals and its players. Work with traditional and non-traditional media, both locally and nationally. Assume a role in the department’s’ social media efforts.

• Serve as the primary writer of game notes and oversee the editorial and editing of various team publications, including draft guide, training camp guide, media guide, game program, yearbook and playoff guide.
• Assist director in managing day-to-day media interaction with players and coaches at team practices, games and events.
• Maintain excellent relationships with the traditional and nontraditional media while developing and suggesting storylines to increase the awareness of the organization and its players, coaches, community-related projects and business initiatives.
• Coordinate, evaluate and respond to media requests for information or interviews.
• Coordinate the writing, editing and distribution of all team news, such as news releases, media advisories and various media and fan correspondences.
• Play an active role in executing and expanding the organization’s social media efforts.
• Assist in developing and executing content ideas for WashingtonCaps.com.
• Able to travel as needed and attend practices, morning skates and all home games.
• Assist in coordination of player and team awards, milestones and ceremonies.
• Serve as the team’s liaison with the off-ice officiating crew.
• Serve as liaison with the team’s photographer.
• Related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

• Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, journalism or related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
• Three years of media relations, public relations or related experience, preferably with a sports/entertainment organization.
• Excellent writing, editing, communication and interpersonal skills.
• Ability to work on deadline, manage multiple tasks and work independently or as part of a team.
• Self-starter with decision-making abilities.  (PF tipster)

Apply for this position

January 28, 2011

RNC Flack Wright Reunited with Allen

Katie Wright Per Roll Call’s “Shop Talk” column, Katie Wright, who most recently served as Deputy Communications Director at the Republican National Committee, is now in place as Communications Director for the U.S. Senate campaign of former Sen. George Allen (R-VA).  Wright worked at the RNC for the past two cycles, and she previously worked for Allen at the end of his unsuccessful 2006 campaign and at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2004, when Allen served as Chairman.  (Roll Call)

Biden Comms Director, Former Time DC Bureau Chief Carney Named New White House Press Secretary

Press Briefing Room Jay Carney, the Communications Director for Vice President Joe Biden, has been named the new White House Press Secretary, replacing Robert Gibbs.  Carney is expected to begin briefing duties in mid-February when Gibbs exits.

Carney was a journalist at Time magazine for 20 years, rising to the position of Washington Bureau Chief, before heading to the White House to work for then Vice President-elect Biden in 2008.

Carney is married to ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman and they have two children.

Jay Carney Most reporting describes the choice of Carney as an outsider (in that he was never part of the Obama inner circle) but also someone who has worked in the West Wing for the Vice President for two years.  Carney is known to have strong relationships with the Washington press corps, of which he was recently a member, and he is described as less confrontational than Gibbs.

Carney was selected over other candidates, including internal White House candidates Bill Burton, Jen Psaki and Josh Earnest, and external candidates former DNC Communications Director Karen Finney, current DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell and Treasury Counselor Jake Siewert.

Jay Carney and Claire Shipman Carney will not receive the title of Counselor to the President, as Gibbs did, and will report to White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer.

Here’s how the major news organizations led their stories about Carney’s hiring:

NEW YORK TIMES: Jay Carney, the spokesman for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and a former Washington bureau chief for Time magazine, will become White House press secretary as part of a final flurry of personnel changes in a months-long makeover of the West Wing.

WASHINGTON POST: President Obama named ex-journalist Jay Carney as the next White House press secretary on Thursday, rounding out a broad personnel restructuring within the West Wing after the midterm elections.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: President Barack Obama named Jay Carney to be White House press secretary Thursday, elevating a former journalist to be a prominent public face of the administration.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Jay Carney, the spokesman for Vice President Joe Biden, will replace Robert Gibbs as President Obama's press secretary, the White House announced Thursday.

USA TODAY: Jay Carney, the communications director for Vice President Biden, will be the new White House press secretary, chief of staff William Daley announced Thursday. Carney, 45, a former reporter for Time magazine, will replace spokesman Robert Gibbs when he leaves in mid-February.

POLITICO: President Barack Obama on Thursday named Jay Carney, communications director for Vice President Joe Biden and former Washington bureau chief for TIME magazine, to replace Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary.

January 27, 2011

Kukowski Reunited with Priebus in Return to RNC

RNC logo According to Roll Call’s “Shop Talk” column, Kirsten Kukowski has returned to the Republican National Committee’s press shop.  Kukowski started as a regional press secretary at the RNC in the summer of 2009, but she left to work on the campaign of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).  Before coming to the RNC, Kukowski worked for former Rep. Mark Green (R-WI) and the Republican Party of Wisconsin, where she worked for now-RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.  (Roll Call’s “Shop Talk”)

K-global Marks First Anniversary

Kglobal-logo K-global, a business consultancy specializing in public affairs and strategic communications, Wednesday marked its first anniversary with a reception at its new headquarters in downtown’s K Street corridor where the company introduced clients and colleagues to two new senior staff members and unveiled a new multi-media website.

“This has been a remarkably fast, excitingly successful opening year for k-global,” said Paul Johnson, CEO.  “In less than 12 months, the company has grown exponentially in size and service offerings; but most importantly, we have achieved great success on behalf of our high caliber clients and had a lot of fun along the way.”

Since its establishment in January 2010, k-global has formed a business advisory board comprised of leading executives, added senior staff to its grassroots and consulting groups in all of its regional offices and created a new digital media division, k-global edge.  Clients represent a range of industries that have tapped k-global’s acumen to identify growth opportunities and execute business strategies. 

K-global’s growing client base includes AARP, the American High Speed Rail Alliance, HK Anderson, Gifts In Kind International, Novartis, Washington Adventist Hospital, Webster College, and more recently, Gardein, Novartis, Select Comfort and Traditional Medicinals.

Based on its current pipeline of client work, k-global projects an additional doubling in staff for all offices within the next six months.  To foster this growth and to facilitate more immediate staff and client interactions, the company has streamlined its web presence to include personalized pages for senior staff and clients.

“Our clients deserve and demand our utmost attention and immediate contact,” said Johnson.  “The refreshed web capabilities will foster that connection and provide platforms for better interaction and idea sharing.”  (PF tipster)

GUEST COLUMN: How to Land a PR Agency Job (By Ron Culp, Ketchum Midwest)

PR logo PLEASE NOTE: This article was originally published by the Public Relations Student Society of America -- link.

Agency recruiting tables were mobbed at the recent PRSSA National Conference Career Exhibition in Washington, D.C. I jumped in to help Ketchum human resources colleague Melinda Adams as she answered a host of questions and collected résumés from soon-to-graduate seniors.

After talking with a couple dozen job seekers, I reviewed the deep stack of résumés we received and was impressed with the quality of the future public relations agency job pool. However, getting from a résumé in-hand to an actual job can be a daunting challenge.

 When to begin? As eager as you might be to sew up a job, do not start your search too early. No agency is hiring today for jobs that may or may not exist next June. If you are graduating in December, start your search now. If you graduate in May, begin your search in late March. Positions are being filled as billable client work comes into the agency, not in anticipation of possible client assignments.

 Where will I likely start? Most graduates should expect to enter agencies via internships, not full-time positions. Most internships last from three to six months after which a full-time position is offered or you must move on. Federal laws prohibit agencies from extending internships beyond six months.

 Paid vs. Unpaid? Most reputable agencies pay interns, normally around $15 an hour. If you work on billable client assignments, you should be paid. If an agency is doing you a favor to help dress up your resume, then a short-term unpaid internship often occurs. Unpaid internships also are more common with non-profit organizations.

 Who do you know? Yes, the adage is true — “It’s who you know.” So, network, network, network. Matt Shaw, senior vice president of the Council of PR Firms (www.prfirms.org) and an occasional contributor to my blog (www.culpwrit.com), offers three suggestions that will be helpful in landing an agency job:

  1. (Relevant) Internships. In such a competitive marketplace, this is pretty much the cost of entry; so unless your parents play tennis with the firm’s CFO and his wife, you should have some work experiences on your resume that show people you know something about the public relations agency culture (in  general), would be a good fit and will be ready to go on day one.

  2. Be Politely Aggressive. It is okay to remind the HR/recruiter about your resume and/or your candidacy/existence. Just don’t push too hard. It’s a relatively tight-knit community, so the ones who leave favorable impressions during the process will enjoy good word of mouth. Those who make a bad impression do not have their resumes forwarded very often.

  3. Attitude. Have the right one. Have it throughout your internships, during the interview process and especially after you’ve landed your first job. Of all  the things you need to worry about, this is the easiest one to control; yet, it is the fatal flaw that I hear about most often. There’s nothing more frustrating  than watching promising young talent shrink when the going gets tough. Hours are long and unpredictable, and the work can range from the exhilarating to  the mundane — you should embrace all of it with equal passion. Be present. Be interested.

 Finally, Adams, my partner at the PRSSA networking table, noted that most of the questions she received were seeking suggestions on how to set resumes apart from the rest of the pack. Public relations experiences and volunteer activities are key ingredients of a successful resume, but she offers these additional suggestions:

 Become digitally savvy. In a world that is becoming more and more digital, you must educate yourself on different public relations programs such as Factiva, Cision, Profnet, etc. Developing a basic knowledge of these programs gives you an advantage over the competition.

 Your resume should scream public relations. We want you to live, sleep, eat this exciting career, therefore, intern, intern, intern. If you find you do not have experience with media pitching or creating media lists, go offer your services to a non-profit. Not only can you gain beneficial experience in this exciting career, but also feel good about helping others in the process.

 You are your own public relations rep. Therefore, be confident when presenting yourself in an interview. The best way to gain that confidence is in preparation for your meeting by doing research on the company. Impress the company by knowing their mission statement, values and recent acknowledgements. It shows you are passionate and excited about the company for which you want to work.

 Most job postings for internships and entry-level positions are posted online, but it doesn’t hurt to send your resumes directly to the human resource directors and office directors of public relations agencies. If you don’t have one, two or three solid internships, then focus on smaller-to-mid-size agencies and nonprofits to gain necessary experience that will be required by larger firms. Good luck. (PRSSA)

January 26, 2011

JOB OF THE WEEK: Teach for America, Director, Regional Communications

Teach for America Teach for America is searching for a Director, Regional Communications to lead our media strategy in eight to ten regions.  Our Communications team ensures Teach For America's external reputation accurately reflects its internal programmatic and organizational strength and quality, and strategically leads our media and public relations efforts.



  • Working closely with Teach For America's executive directors to develop and execute regional strategic plans that are aligned with organizational priorities
  • Working with executive directors to manage portfolios of critical regional relationships with print, broadcast, radio, and online journalists as well as district PR contacts
  • Developing and implementing response strategies for a variety of media requests, including crisis communications situations
  • Managing regional media events, such as press conferences, Teach For America Week, and regional alumni summits
  • Preparing Teach For America staff and corps members for media opportunities
  • Developing and implementing creative story ideas that support regional and national communications objectives
  • Working closely with the managing director, regional communications on the organization's broader regional media strategy and outreach

Candidate Profile and Experience Prerequisites

Education and skills

  • Bachelor's degree is required
  • Formal communications/public relations and/or journalism experience is preferred, but not required

Approach to Work

  • Ability to set vision & direction, and to motivate and inspire team members
  • Ability to work through others to meet aggressive goals
  • Must be an excellent strategic thinker with the ability to prioritize tasks and effectively work toward deadlines
  • Ability to simultaneously manage multiple projects while maintaining a firm grasp of individual project details
  • Ability to build and manage relationships with external parties and internal team leaders
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment with a sense of possibility, high expectations and an entrepreneurial spirit

Technical Skills

  • Must have exceptional written and oral communications skills
  • Advanced Excel skills

Benefits and Salary

Salary for this position is competitive and depends on prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included.

To Apply

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please submit your resume and one-page cover letter with your application.  You can apply at this LINK.

January 25, 2011

Former RNC Regional Press Secretary Braden Returns to Capitol Hill

Parish Braden Parish Braden, who had worked for former RNC Chairman Michael Steele at the RNC as a Regional Press Secretary and before that at GOPAC, has returned to Capitol Hill.  He is joining Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) as Communications Director.  Braden had previously worked as a Senior Legislative Assistant for Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) from 2005-2008.  He is a graduate of Virginia Tech.  (PF tipster)

January 24, 2011

Former Senate Flack Wuebker Heads to Ogilvy

Andrea Wuebker Andrea Wuebker has joined PR firm Ogilvy and Mather as an Account Director.  Wuebker previously served as Press Secretary for Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), as Press Secretary at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the George W. Bush administration and as Press Secretary for Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN).  Wuebker, an avid triathlete, is a native of Fulda, MN.  (PF tipster)

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.

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