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January 31, 2012

PBS News Hour’s Bowman Headed to San Francisco

Quinn BowmanQuinn Bowman announced this morning that he is departing PBS News Hour, where he’s worked since August 2007, first as an Assistant Editor / Desk Assistant and then as a reporter / producer for politics to move to San Francisco where he will cover Silicon Valley for Feature Story News from their Mountain View headquarters.

Bowman said, “I will be shooting video, editing, appearing on camera a bit and doing radio. I am going to miss a lot of great people in DC, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity.”

Bowman is a native of Columbus, OH and a graduate of Ohio University.  (PF tipster)

January 27, 2012

BREAKING: @ChamberFlack Fielder Moving to Switzerland

J.P. FielderFirst reported in National Journal’s “Influence Alley”, J.P. Fielder (@ChamberFlack) is trading digs across from the White House for a spot across the street from Lake Geneva as one of the Chamber of Commerce's best known spinmeisters is leaving Big Business for Big Tobacco. The Chamber's senior director of communications is heading to Lausanne, Switzerland to work on global regulatory communications for Philip Morris International (PMI).

Fielder joined the Chamber in March 2008, and since that time he ran the media team, the international portfolio, president Tom Donohue's press and helped former SVP Bill Miller run its $50 million political program. At PMI, Fielder will be doing regulatory communication campaigns in every time zone.

"This is a chance to look beyond the Beltway and turn the telescope around and look out at the entire globe in the way I do communications," said Fielder. 

After four years at the Chamber, Fielder will say goodbye Feb. 16. Prior to joining the business lobby, he worked at the National Association of Manufacturers, PR Newswire and (little known fact) as an actual journalist with Tribune Broadcasting.

The coolest part about the move for him and fiancé Kelly DiNardo? 

"Being able to take Kelly to Paris in three hours on a train or being able to head out 40 minutes and be skiing in the French Alps," he said, noting that they were both just fitted for new skis. 

Not that he's rubbing it in. (National Journal’s “Influence Alley”)

January 26, 2012

Former Kyl Flack Wilder Named Communications Director for Flake Senate Bid

Andrew WilderFirst reported in Roll Call’s “Shop Talk” column, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) named Andrew Wilder as Communications Director for his Senate campaign. 

Wilder, a third-generation Arizonan, served in the same position for retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), whose seat Flake is running for.  Wilder handled media for Kyl for nearly 13 years in both his Capitol Hill and Phoenix offices. He left that job last week.

"He is well-known as a skilled communicator who brings a wealth of experience with media in Arizona and on Capitol Hill that will be helpful to this campaign," Flake said in a statement.

Before serving Sen. Kyl, Wilder worked for the House Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Natural Resources and Regulatory Affairs as a Professional Staff member / Clerk, as a Media Research Analyst at the Republican National Committee, as a producer at KTAR News/Talk Radio, as an Arizona-based aide for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and at KFYI News/Talk Radio.

Wilder is a native of Phoenix and a graduate of the University of Arizona.  (Roll Call’s “Shop Talk” / PF reporting)

Paul Morrell Named Deputy Communications Director for 2012 RNC Convention in Tampa

Paul MorrellFirst reported in this morning’s PoliticoPlaybook”, the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa has hired Paul Morrell to serve as Deputy Director of Communications.

RNC Convention Communications Director James Davis says, “Since coming on-board as Communications Director in October 2011, I’ve made building the strongest communications team in convention history a top priority. We will work aggressively together to continue building out this team as we prepare to nominate and elect the next President of the United States.”

RNC Tampa 2012 logoPaul has spent more than 20 years on Capitol Hill, where he worked for a number of members including House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX).  Following Rep. Armey’s retirement from Congress, Morrell worked as Deputy Chief of Staff for Secretary of Energy Spence Abraham and Director of Communications Planning at the National Security Council.  He spent the last four years of the Bush administration as Chief of Staff at NASA.

After departing the Bush administration, Morrell worked for S4 Inc., a strategic communications firm located in Crystal City, and as a consultant to BP during the Gulf oil spill response and recovery.

Morrell is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park.  (Politico’s “Playbook” / PF tipster)

JOB OF THE WEEK: American Association of Publishers, Director of Communications

AAP logoThe Association of American Publishers (AAP), the leading trade association for the US book publishing industry, is seeking a Director of Communications for a newly created position, to support and enhance the advocacy, representation and image of the industry.

In this role, the Director will join a recently-launched Communications department for the industry’s leading national trade association and have primary responsibility for developing and executing a 360° range of communications strategies on behalf of one or more AAP divisions including educational publishing.  Additionally, s/he will work with the Vice President on a number of internal and external communications for broader industry issues and initiatives.  The Director’s scope of responsibilities includes messaging, media relations, campaigns and the development of multimedia collateral materials.

The ideal candidate will have strong proactive strategic communications skills; a passion for publishing and education; nimble, compelling writing abilities; a track record of achieving high-impact results; and the desire to play a key role in growing a new communications operation.

Main duties:

- Initiate and produce integrated communications strategies to support regional/national advocacy efforts and to raise awareness of the value of educational and other publishing.

- Develop key positioning/messaging; produce a high volume of complementary written materials for diverse content platforms including white papers, brochures, one-sheets, member communications, web content and releases.  Work closely with other AAP staff on creating integrated multimedia materials related to policy and initiatives.

- Manage responsive and proactive media relations activities across print, broadcast, digital and social channels.  Responsible for achieving defined, measurable goals through conceiving, driving and securing targeted outreach; effectively managing incoming inquiries; and enterprising innovative opportunities.  Expand AAP’s reach into all appropriate social media channels.

- Produce, manage and expand content for assigned areas on the AAP public and member websites; serve as a core member of the AAP steering committee leading the expansion of the sites.

- Collaborate with AAP member companies to identify communications needs, generate deliverables to serve their interests and engage them in broader communications strategies and tactics.

- Provide advance and on-site PR support for various AAP industry events.

- Represent AAP senior leadership in meetings, conferences and other external settings. 

Required/Desired experience:

Required:  Minimum five years’ experience in communications full-time staff positions with progressively higher authority and growing scope of responsibility.

-Must be able to demonstrate history of leadership or primary involvement in corporate communications, reputation management, internal communications and/or public affairs.

-Must have significant, wide-reaching media relations experience as the lead media liaison for issues/projects at one or more organizations.  Portfolio must include placements that demonstrate:

1)     Track record of securing and managing coverage that provided fair exposure and voice to your organization’s position on issue(s), preferably around high-profile, sensitive and/or complex policy subjects

2)     Proactively generated feature and/or profile placements, ideally on topics/angles not commonly covered

3)     Results-based relationships with journalists in print, broadcast and digital media

4)     Experience as spokesperson

5)     Strategic use of social media to advance positions 

Trade association or advocacy organization and/or Capitol Hill experience all strongly preferred.

College degree required.

Key attributes/skills:

- Communications professional with proven experience in delivering high-impact results.  Ability to shape, sell through and execute longterm communications strategies that achieve goals across a breadth of disparate internal and external stakeholders requiring multiple tactics, elements and deadlines.  Able to see around corners.

- A powerful, competent and confident writer:  Must be able to synthesize complex information and then frame, write and edit compelling multiplatform materials on a variety of topics, in a variety of formats and a variety of “voices” on a rapid, first-take basis.  Previous experience as a beat journalist helpful.

- Strong self-starter with proactive, entrepreneurial approach to owning and growing a scope of responsibilities.  Able to identify communications opportunities within rapidly-moving broader AAP organization and effectively secure buy-in from staff and members.

- A confident problem solver who brings creative, viable solutions to complex situations.  Obsessive about detail, accuracy and follow-up.  Comfortable working under pressure, on deadline and in a SWAT capacity with breaking issues and crises.

- Brings a curiosity about best practices and new concepts in communications, displays a demonstrable learning curve about such opportunities and translates this knowledge into strategic action in the workplace.

- Must bring strong interest in publishing and, specifically, content being produced for the K-12 and higher education settings.

- Ability to appreciate and work through the unique nature of membership organizations.  The ideal person will effectively demonstrate the credibility, knowledge, skills-based self-assurance and delivered accomplishments to win the trust, endorsement and cooperation of staff, external contacts and AAP members.

- Ability to work with and help drive culture change.

- Willing to work occasional late hours and weekends.  Occasional out of town travel.

- This position is based at AAP headquarters in Washington, DC with a Monday-Friday workweek.  Telework is not possible with this opening. 

About AAP:

AAP is centrally located in a modern office facility in the Mount Vernon Square/Chinatown area, convenient to Metro and bus lines.  The building has an on-site gym (free to employees) and on-site garage (fee required).

AAP offers competitive salary commensurate with experience and skills and a full benefits package.  No relocation available.

TO APPLY: Please send a cover letter explaining your qualifications for this position, your resume and at least three (3) distinct writing samples to asporkin(at)publishers(dot)org . Include “Director, Communications Opening” in the Subject line.  Resumes received without cover letters and/or writing samples will be deleted.  Please, no phone calls.  Only those applicants who meet the position’s qualifications will be contacted for follow-up.   Full listing: http://publishers.org/careers/ (PF tipster)

January 25, 2012

2012 Republican National Convention Taps Gonzmart to Serve as Press Assistant

Caroline GonzmartCaroline Gonzmart is now serving as the Press Assistant to the 2012 Republican National Convention Director of Communications James Davis. She brings local news experience to the convention team, having previously worked as a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor at the top-rated CBS affiliate, WCTV, in Tallahassee, FL.

Gonzmart received a B.S. in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Spanish from Florida State University. Her family is from Tampa.

The 2012 Republican National Convention will be held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum from August 27-30, 2012.  Nearly 50,000 visitors are expected to come to the Tampa Bay area for the event, including approximately 5,000 delegates and alternate delegates and 15,000 credentialed members of the media.  (PF tipster)

January 24, 2012

JOB OF THE WEEK: Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Press Secretary

Rep. Kevin Brady

The office of Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) is seeking a Press Secretary.  Responsibilities include drafting/distributing press releases; writing op-eds and/or letters to the editor; monthly e-newsletter; updating and improving the website; booking interviews and pitching stories; establishing and maintaining strong relations with national media; and preparation of talking points and speeches. Also, the candidate should be a strong writer and a team player and have knowledge of video, audio and photography and editing in those medium.

Preferred candidates should have knowledge of Congressional legislative process, proficiency with new media, and ability to identify press opportunities.

TO APPLY: Please send Resume, writing samples and references to [email protected]. No calls or walk-ins. (PF tipster)

January 23, 2012

Ortman to Creative America

First reported Friday in Politico’s Morning Tech Report, U.S. Department of Homeland Security deputy press secretary Chris Ortman has left to become communications director for Creative America, a grassroots organization uniting the entertainment community and others against content theft.

Prior to joining DHS, Ortman has held communications positions at the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee in Denver and the Change to Win labor coalition.

Ortman is a native of Omaha, Nebraska, and a graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. (PF Tipster/Politico)


Bedard Leaving U.S. News for the Washington Examiner

Paul BedardAttention Flacks – update your contacts! 

First reported at FishbowlDC, well-known and widely-read columnist Paul Bedard, the author of “Washington Whispers” at U.S. News & World Report, is leaving to become a columnist for the online and print editions of the Washington Examiner, effective January 30.  He has been at USN&WR for 14 years.

Before joining USN&WR, Bedard was White House correspondent for the Washington Times for ten years.  He had previously been co-editor of Defense Week, worked for States News Service in Washington.

Bedard is a 1980 graduate of The George Washington University, and, in a little-known fact, once served as a House Page for former Rep. James Symington of Missouri.  (PF tipster)

Top FEMA Flack Racusen Departs for SKDKnickerbocker

Rachel RacusenFEMA's Director of Public Affairs Rachel Racusen announced that she will be joining SKDKnickerbocker as a Vice President.

Rachel Racusen comes to the after serving nearly two years at FEMA, where she acted as the agency’s chief national spokesperson, developing and executing all external and internal communications for the agency while simultaneously running their national press office. Racusen directed crisis communications efforts for some of the worst weather disasters in recent history including Hurricane Irene and the deadly tornadoes that struck the southeast and Joplin last spring and helped coordinate rapid response efforts for high-profile incidents such as the Japan earthquake and the Gulfwater Horizon BP oil spill.

Prior to FEMA, Racusen was at the House Education and Labor Committee on Capitol Hill, where she served as the Communications Director for the democratic staff of the committee and its chairman, U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA). There she devised the media strategies for key legislative priorities of the Democratic Congress and the Obama administration.

Prior to her stint on Capitol Hill, Rachel worked for Dittus Communications, a bipartisan public affairs firm, where she helped develop strategies for clients with a number of different crisis communications needs on issues ranging from retirement security to law enforcement to internet gaming rights. She has also done press work on several campaigns, including the Obama presidential campaign, as well as Senate and House races.

She graduated from Union College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and is a native of Boston, Massachusetts. (PF tipster)

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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

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    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.
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    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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