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May 31, 2011

Campaigns, Advocacy Organizations Hiring Digital Directors

In the new world of political campaigns, the position of Digital Director is every bit as important as Press Secretary.

Zac Moffatt The Mitt Romney Exploratory Committee, which will become a full blown presidential campaign on Thursday after he announces in New Hampshire, has hired Zac Moffat (pictured at right) to run the in-house digital efforts, according to a report on Clickz.com.

Moffatt's mission is to “take all the activities that occur offline and make sure they have an online platform for people to engage with,” he said.

Moffat was previously a partner at Republican digital agency Targeted Victory, where he helped run digital campaigns for candidates, including U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).

In 2008, Moffat ran the political education training at the Republican National Committee.

In Romney’s 2008 campaign, his E-Strategy Director was Mindy Finn, whose firm, Engage, is now working for presidential candidate and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN).

Teddy Goff The 2012 reelection campaign of President Barack Obama, based in Chicago, recently named Teddy Goff (pictured at left) as Digital Director.  Goff was previously Associate Vice President for Strategy at Blue State Digital.  Here's a 2009 Q&A with Goff.

Professional digital staff are not just required by national campaigns, they are required by national advocacy groups.

According to Clickz.com, advocacy organization No Labels, which aims to solve major problems plaguing the country through bipartisan means, has hired a Director of Digital Communications.

Joe Mansour Joe Mansour (pictured at bottom right), who has worked as an Account Director with digital agency David All Group, said he will start this week with No Labels. He plans to "build up an online army over the next year," according to an email sent to ClickZ.  (Clickz.com)

JOB OF THE WEEK: Scott Circle Communications

When I'm not blogging for Potomac Flacks, I have my own PR firm, Scott Circle Communications. And, we're hiring! We need an account executive with 1-3 years of experience. A partial job description is below and a full description can be found here

Ideal candidate will be highly professional, diligent and responsible with a combination of common sense, flexibility and a great sense of humor. She/He will be able to juggle multiple tasks at once, working independently and collaboratively to meet expectations and deadlines. Strong organizational skills are a must, as is an ability to get the job done. In addition, ideal candidate will be able to recognize emerging, unexpected needs quickly and to address them appropriately, either independently or with colleagues.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Daily interaction with media outlets to discuss upcoming story ideas
  • Daily account management activity such as agendas, activity reports, media monitoring, etc.
  • Assist with event planning activities including staffing events, working with caterers, printers and other vendors
  • Attend and facilitate media interviews
  • Manage all aspects of events, including conferences, speaker management and various logistics
  • Assist in the researching, writing and development of new business proposals and presentations
  • Create targeted media lists for broadcast, radio, print and online outlets
  • Proactively pitch media outlets, including broadcast, print, radio and online media
  • Write and edit media materials such as media alerts, fact sheets, bios and case studies
  • Responsible for online communications for clients, including advising and implementing Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms
  • Assist with writing proposals
  • Responsible for all public relations activities and marketing of Scott Circle Communications.
  • Miscellaneous research and projects, as assigned
  • Various administrative duties.

How to Apply:

Please send resume and introductory e-mail to [email protected]. Please write "Account Executive" in the subject line. No phone calls please.


May 24, 2011

Top Florida GOP Communicator Campbell Moving to DC to Lead Communications for the ACU

ACU logo Kristy Campbell, recognized as a “highly effective and extremely smart” communicator according to an exclusive report in Politico’s “Morning Score,” has signed on as the new Communications Director for the American Conservative Union (ACU).  The new job will bring her to Washington, D.C. from her native Florida.

Campbell is the latest in “a series of big hires for ACU under the leadership of Al Cardenas, the former Florida GOP chairman who took over the organization this year.”

ACU is one of the nation’s largest and most influential conservative organizations, and, among other things, organizes the huge Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) each year.

Campbell is a former Press Secretary for former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) and was Florida communications chief for former Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R-MA) 2008 presidential campaign.  Last cycle she was Communications Director for Bill McCollum’s (R-FL) 2010 gubernatorial campaign.  Before working directly for Gov. Bush, she was Communications Director for the Florida Department of Community Affairs. 

Said Chairman Cardenas, about Campbell, “Kristy is an experienced, respected conservative communicator...There has never been a more critical time to unite conservatives behind our common goals.”

Campbell is a diehard Florida State fan and an alumna, class of 2004.  She is a native of Melbourne, FL.  (Politico’s “Morning Score”)

Clyburn Aide Greco Named Communications Director for 2012 DNC Convention in Charlotte

DNC Charlotte Roll Call’s “Shop Talk” column reports that Kristie Greco, a longtime communications aide to House Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-SC), has been named Communications Director for the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.

Kristie Greco Greco previously served as Press Secretary for Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Legislative Correspondent for Rep. Tim Holden (D-PA) and at Goodyear Government Relations.

Greco was born in Voorhees, NJ but was raised Springfield, VA.  She is a 1997 graduate of Villanova University. (Roll Call’s “Shop Talk”)

JOB OF THE WEEK: House Ways and Means Committee, Deputy Press Secretary (Democratic staff)

House Ways and Means seal The Ways and Means Committee’s minority staff seeks a Deputy Press Secretary with excellent writing skills, strong new media experience and an ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment under deadline pressure.

Responsibilities include writing press releases and statements, responding to press inquiries, managing new media and preparing talking points. This is not an entry-level position.

TO APPLY: Please email resume and three writing samples to w&[email protected]. (PF tipster)

May 23, 2011

Bush 43 Spokesman Sherzer Departs for Dallas-Based BioTech Company; Ford Takes over Duties

David Sherzer David Sherzer, the Communications Director and Personal Aide to former President George W. Bush, has announced he is departing the office to work for Reata Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company based in the Dallas area.  Sherzer has worked for President Bush for the last nine years.

Sherzer says “it’s definitely tough to leave President Bush,” but that he is “looking forward to working for a great company that has the potential to save and improve a lot of lives.”

Sherzer is a native of Bethesda, MD and a graduate of Dartmouth University.

The office of the former President announced that Freddy Ford will replace Sherzer as spokesman.  (PF tipster)

Biden Press Secretary Alexander Departs to Practice Law; Barkoff to Succeed

OVP seal Vice President Joe Biden announced today that his longtime aide and Press Secretary Elizabeth Alexander (pictured below, at left) will be leaving at the end of May to practice law.  She will be succeeded by Kendra Barkoff (pictured below, at right), who most recently served as Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s Deputy Communications Director and Press Secretary.

Elizabeth Alexander (2) Vice President Biden said:  “From the Senate to the White House, for the last five years, Elizabeth has been by my side as a trusted advisor. Together, we’ve logged a lot of miles, and through it all she’s been tough, determined and loyal. Her energy, intellect, and professionalism will be missed enormously, even as I’m excited for her to start the next chapter of her career.”

Kendra Barkoff (2) “We’re looking forward to Kendra joining the team,” added Vice President Biden.  “She has extensive communications and press experience and will be a tremendous asset to our office and the entire White House.” 

Kendra Barkoff comes to the White House from the U.S. Department of the Interior, where she served as the Deputy Communications Director and Press Secretary.  Prior to her tenure at Interior, she worked as U.S. Senator Bob Casey’s (D-PA) Press Secretary on Capitol Hill.  She has also worked for Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) as the Democratic Media Coordinator and Press Assistant, as well as for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) as a communications aide.  A native of Northern California, Barkoff graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.  

Kendra Barkoff joins the Vice President’s communications office, which is led by Communications Director Shailagh Murray, Deputy Press Secretary Amy Dudley and Assistant Press Secretary Liz Allen.  Barkoff will begin working in the Vice President’s office in June.  (PF tipster)

House Judiciary Committee’s McGinn Named Director of Public Affairs at ARTBA

ARTBA logo First reported in Politico’s “Influence”, which is published each afternoon by Chris Frates, Beth McGinn has been named Director of Public Affairs at the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) from the House Judiciary Committee where she was Communications Director for Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX).

She replaces Jeff Solsby who left ARTBA to join the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee.  (Politico’s “Influence”)

May 19, 2011

Democratic Consultants form Nationwide Progressive Consulting Firm, Democracy Partners

Democracy Partners Today a group of many of the country’s most prominent and effective Democratic and progressive issue consultants announced the creation of a major new political consulting firm. 

The firm, known as Democracy Partners, has offices in eight cities including Washington, D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, San Diego, and Portland, Maine.

Democracy Partners will focus much of its energy on progressive issue campaigns, civic engagement programs, and campaigns to elect Democrats to public office. 

The new firm includes experts in political messaging, campaign planning and management, high-intensity field programs, television and radio advertising, earned media, direct mail, website development, new media, research, non-profit organizations, philanthropies, issue campaigns, voter registration drives, labor union campaigns, fundraising, grass-tops advocacy, staff recruitment and development, organizer training, phone operations, community organizing and voter contact programs. 

The new firm’s partners include:

  • Heather Booth – One of the country’s leading progressive issue campaign strategists. Booth recently directed Americans for Financial Reform, which spearheaded passage of Wall Street Reform. She is a former Training Director of the Democratic National Committee, Director of the NAACP Voter Fund, and founder of the Midwest Academy, which trains progressive organizers. She was the lead consultant for the Campaign on Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  Booth specialized in directing Coordinated Campaign GOTV and played a major role in the election of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-IL). She is co-author of the book Citizen Action and the New American Populism. 
  • Marc Cerabona – Leading expert in website development and data management in the political, corporate and non-profit arenas. Marc led the development of one of the earliest online field and fundraising databases, built one of the first Palm-Pilot-based field tools and has managed data for many elected officials, political campaigns, and organizations such as America Coming Together, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and EMILY’s List.
  • Robert Creamer – Political organizer and strategist for more than four decades. He has worked on some of the country’s most significant issue campaigns, from health care to the budget to immigration reform. Creamer was one of the major architects of the successful 2005 campaign to defeat the Bush plan to privatize of Social Security. He also has worked in hundreds of local, state and federal electoral campaigns. Creamer’s recent book is titled: Listen to Your Mother, Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win.
  • Brett C. Di Resta – For 20 years, he has provided winning research and strategic advice to Democratic House and Senate races. His list of victories includes Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) defeat of Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-NY) in 1998, Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) in 2002 and 2006, and Congressman John Carney (D-DE) in 2010.  Di Resta is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University where he lectures on opposition research. 
  • Carla (Ohringer) Engle – An expert in strategic political planning for non-profits, labor unions, PACs and progressive donors. Engle has spent nearly 20 years in the political world, splitting her time between the campaign trail and D.C., and electing leaders like Debbie Stabenow and Fritz Hollings to Congress. In 2000, Engle directed the first federal money program at the DNC and helped found the DNC’s Gay & Lesbian Leadership Council. Following the 2000 election, she joined the Renaissance Weekend team. Since 2008, she has served as President of Progressive Strategies.  
  • Jeffrey Garcia – A seasoned campaign manager, consultant and ad maker with more than 16 years of experience. Garcia has worked on campaigns in six states at all levels of government, including campaigns for members of Congress, mayors, state representatives, judges and attorneys general. He also has special expertise in the politics of Florida and the Latino and Cuban American communities. 
  • Ken Grossinger – For 20 years worked in the labor movement as a leading strategist with the Service Employees International Union and then as Director of Legislative Field Operations for the AFL-CIO. He also has extensive experience working with non-profit, philanthropic and university based organizations.
  • John Hennelly – Served for four years as the National Field Director for Politics for the Service Employee International Union (SEIU). In 2006 he helped SEIU become the largest PAC in America and win a No. 1 ranking in political effectiveness by National Journal. He has more than two decades experience in politics and specializes in high-intensity field programs.  Hennelly is a former Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. 
  • Jackie Kendall – Served for almost 30 years as the Director of the Midwest Academy, a national training center, where she provided organizing training and strategic issue campaign consultation to non-profit organizations and unions, and trained thousands of progressive organizers throughout America.  She is co-author of the book, Organizing for Social Change.
  • Mike Lux – Worked as a senior staffer on five different presidential campaigns, on the Clinton and Obama transition teams, and as a Special Assistant to President Clinton. For the last two decades, he has been nationally recognized as an influential leader in progressive politics as a consultant, organizational founder and leader, blogger, and author. Lux played a role in the formation of the Center for American Progress, Air America, MoveOn.org, and several other influential national organizations. His recent book is The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be.
  • Dan Manatt – As writer, producer, director and editor of TV and Internet ads and videos, Dan Manatt has helped pioneer the new era of media consulting.  In 2003, he formed the first ever Web Video consulting firm, winning the first "Pollie" awards for the new medium.  MSNBC hailed his 2010 TV ads opposing John Boehner as "the best of the campaign".  Manatt offers clients more than technical and creative skills, drawing on a 20 year career in politics that began with the 1992 Clinton campaign, and 10 years as an elections lawyer.  Dan is the son of Charles Manatt, a former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
  • Donald McFarland – Has nearly three decades of experience in all levels of politics and is an expert at grasstops and grassroots advocacy. His work has combined communications, electoral and advocacy experience. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul and has a particularly deep familiarity with the politics of the upper Midwest. 
  • Josie Mooney – Has a 30-year career as a labor leader and activist for social change across the United States and around the world. Josie was the first woman president of the San Francisco Labor Council, which she led for a decade. Recently she served as Special Assistant to the President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union.  She specializes in strategic, political, and communications consulting for union organizing and contract campaigns, non-profits, public service and initiative campaigns, progressive candidates and socially conscious businesses.
  • Braidy O’Neal – Has managed more than 60 national, statewide and congressional political campaigns and programs and brings his clients a combination of strategic vision and relentless tactical execution. 
  • Andres Ramirez – Has 15 years of experience working with local state and national campaigns. He served on the staff of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and is the former Senior Vice-President of the political and advocacy think tank, NDN. Ramirez is Vice Chair of the DNC’s Hispanic Caucus.
  • Linda E. Saucedo – Has a decade of experience as a political consultant for electoral and issue campaigns. She is an expert in telephone operations of all sorts and has run phone programs that have delivered millions of calls to Members of Congress in support of critical progressive issue campaigns.   Saucedo also specializes in direct mail, organizer recruitment and training programs.
  • Renee Schaeffer – Over the last decade she has become known as an accomplished fundraiser for candidates, PACs, political organizations, trade associations and non-profit organizations.  She formerly served as Director of Candidate Services for the DCCC.
  • Joel Silberman – Comes to political communications from a disciplined theatrical and musical career and is now a widely respected media strategist and trainer for progressive organizations, online activists and Democratic candidates. Silberman specializes in training leaders and candidates for appearances on television and radio.  He is also an accomplished producer of special events such as the People for American Way Foundation’s Spirit of Liberty Awards and Leonard Bernstein’s A Classic Evening for AIDS Research.  Silberman is also a frequent guest lecturer at the Juilliard School in New York.
  • Cheri Whiteman – For the last two decades she has worked as a political organizer in dozens of electoral and issue campaigns in 12 states. She served as a longtime Canvass Director for Clean Water Action and is an expert in organizer recruitment. She also specializes in field operations, direct mail, and TV and radio production. Formerly, Whiteman was a reporter/producer for Florida Public Television. 

Democracy Partners’ General Counsel is Joe Sandler who served from 1993 to 1998 as in-house general counsel of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and general counsel to the DNC through his law firm until 2008. Sandler specializes in non-profit and political law and was co-chair of the Election Law Committee of the American Bar Association’s Administrative Law Section.  (PF tipster)

May 17, 2011

Former SEIU, Kaine Aide Tran Leaves OFA for NHTSA

Lynda Tran Lynda Tran is leaving her job as National Press Secretary at Organizing for America, where she has served since January 2010, to be the new Communications Director at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Tran told Roll Call that she starts on June 6 and will be overseeing a shop of about 40 people.

About her job at OFA, where she worked out of the Democratic National Committee, Tran said, "It’s a pretty amazing rush to speak on behalf of the president.”

Before OFA, Tran served as Communications Director for Gov. Tim kaine (D-VA) from 2009-2010 and Assistant Director of Communications at the SEIU from 2001-2009.

Tran is a native of Houston, TX and Baltimore, MD.  She is a 2000 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and received her Master's from Georgetown University in 2004. (Roll Call's "Shop Talk")

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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.
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