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March 29, 2012

National Retail Federation Names Wilson Vice President of Communications; Davis Moves to NRF Foundation

NRF logoThe National Retail Federation recently announced that Katie Wilson has been named Vice President of Communications. In this role, Wilson will be responsible for overseeing NRF’s industry efforts, a multitude of communication vehicles, and advancing NRF advocacy priorities on issues important to the retail community. She will begin at NRF on April 9 and will assume many of the responsibilities of Ellen Davis, who was recently named NRF Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the NRF Foundation.

Wilson joins NRF from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where she serves as Senior Director of Communications and Strategy. While at the Chamber, she has played a key role in developing strategic communications campaigns to advance the Chamber’s jobs agenda including the development and launch of the Campaign for Free Enterprise and the Project for Regulatory Reform. Before joining the Communications Division, Wilson managed all communications activities for the U.S. Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center.

Prior to the Chamber, Wilson was an associate at Gallatin Public Affairs in Portland, Oregon, a Northwest boutique public affairs firm. Previously Wilson served in the Office of the Vice President for the George W. Bush administration.

A native of Idaho, Wilson graduated from Whitman College, with a bachelor of arts in politics and a minor in Spanish.  (PF tipster)

March 28, 2012

The Herald Group Expands; Opens Austin Office

Final_r1_c1The Herald Group, LLC, a national bipartisan public affairs and issues management firm, has opened an office in Austin, TX, and named longtime policy and communication strategist Cary Roberts as the managing director. Roberts, who brings more than two decades of government and public relations experience to the Washington, D.C.-based firm, will provide corporations, associations and coalitions with innovative communication, legislative and regulatory strategies in southeastern states.

“As The Herald Group increasingly works with clients on multistate campaigns, especially in the southeast, expanding in Austin is a natural choice for us,” said Matt Well, a founding partner of The Herald Group. “We’ve worked with Cary for many years, and his experience in high stakes corporate and public affairs campaigns, coupled with his creativity, will be a distinct benefit to our clients as well as to the future growth of the firm.”  

The Herald Group develops and executes integrated communication strategies to successfully navigate public and private sector clients through complex business, public policy and regulatory challenges at the local, state, national and international levels. Senior-level practitioners implement the firm’s digital-age, campaign-style strategies to achieve meaningful results.



Howard Consulting Group Hires Walton and Gianino

Howard-Consulting-GroupHoward Consulting Group (HCG), a Washington, D.C. based public affairs firm, has announced the hiring of Brian Walton and Derek Gianino.  Walton, a veteran political communicator, returns to DC after leaving to teach Spanish at a private boarding school in California, and comes to HCG as a Director in their Communications and Media Division.  This will be Walton’s sixth stint working with HCG Vice President Dan Ronayne.  Gianino comes from DDC Advocacy, where he was a Deputy Field Manager.  Gianino will be working as an Account Executive in HCG’s Public Affairs Division.

March 27, 2012

JOB OF THE WEEK: Brown University, Communications Director (Providence, RI)

Brown University logoBrown University in Providence, RI seeks to hire a Communications Director

The Communications Director is a senior communications professional who oversees the strategy and execution of the external communications for the Watson Institute for International Studies.

This position is responsible for creating public outreach strategy in consultation with the Manager for Outreach and Development, advises faculty and administration, represents the Institute to key audiences, supports fundraising, and manages projects and staff to expand and enhance the Institute's reputation and impact as a leader in research and teaching on contemporary global issues.

Given Watson's growing emphasis on the use of new media as strategic tools for networking, increasing impact, and differentiating the Institute among its peers, the portfolio and audiences addressed by the Communications Director are continually expanding. The portfolio includes a growing number of websites, social networking outlets, video productions, and other digital channels in addition to the more traditional print publications and outreach techniques. Audiences include media, grantmakers/donors, board, alumni, students, Brown University administration and faculty, academic peers and collaborators, international organizations, and international and domestic policymakers.

-Bachelor's degree and 5-7 years related experience, or the equivalent combination of education and experience required.
-Master's degree preferred.
-Supervisory experience required.
-Communications experience with highly specialized skills in communications strategy, writing/editing, outreach, and digital media required.
-Demonstrated judgment and creativity.
-Experience in an academic setting a plus.
-Experience in developing and maintaining major media contacts for an academic institution, non-profit organization or foundation, or transferable skills from another type of organization.
-Track record of successful implementation of institutional communications and outreach strategies.
-Background with print, TV, radio, and/or Internet media.
-Exceptional writing, editing, and research skills required
-Knowledge of desktop publishing, photo editing, video production and editing, database skills, web, social media and computer skills.
-Highly effective oral and written communications skills.
-Background and/or interest in international affairs highly desirable

TO APPLY: Please go to Brown University's career opportunities website at: http://careers.brown.edu and reference Job No. H00470.  Brown University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.  (Mediabistro)

March 21, 2012

JOB OF THE WEEK: Susan B. Anthony List, Online Communications Manager

SBA logoThe Susan B. Anthony List is seeking an Online Communications Manager for our rapidly growing pro-life political organization.  This position is responsible for managing the organization’s web presence, working as part of the communications team to best deliver organizational information and materials to members, and helping with broad technology issues.  Applicant must be tech-savvy and knowledgeable about cutting-edge online communication and social media.

This individual will manage and run the day-to-day operations of our website(s), implementing sites that are attractive, user-friendly, accessible, and searchable.  In addition, this individual is responsible for managing our grassroots email list. The individual will be responsible for working under the Communications Director to implement tactics and strategies to create and distribute content, build community, drive traffic, and increase interaction with our website.

Specific job responsibilities include:

  • Update website and blog on a daily basis
  • Managing current email list and managing email prospecting campaigns
  • Providing and analyzing weekly reports about web traffic and results from email blast
  • Drafting and sending mass email communications, coordinating email blast schedules between all departments: fundraising, legislative, and political
  • Working with vendors to create web graphics when needed, to problem-solve website technology issues, and to create new sites with quick turnaround for specialized web campaigns
  • Publishing shareable content for user-generated media services and new media products (RSS, blogs, video, audio podcasts, photos, online press rooms, etc.)
  • Maximizing the use of social networks and other new media outlets by updating and managing official accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media sites
  • Seeking online opportunities to place banner ads, social network advertising, engage in link sharing, cross platform promotion, upload articles, etc
  • Generating interest and driving traffic through search engine marketing efforts and participation in blogs, message boards, and forums
  • Creating and editing website content pages using back-end content management system (CMS) tools
  • Identifying emerging technologies, trends, and services to increase effectiveness of web strategy efforts
  • Coordinating efforts with the Communication Department.  Identifying and building strategic alliances to execute technology-based communications activities
  • Educating internal staff in the use and application of new media
  • Learning new technologies to effectively build the organization's web presence 

Required Skills:

  • Must be passionately pro-life with a clear ability to communicate the issue both written and verbally.
  • Must possess excellent writing skills.
  • Prior experience with managing a website and/or email blast list required. 

TO APPLY: Please send resume and cover letter to Emily Buchanan at [email protected].  Please include your position on Life in your cover letter. Cover letters that do not state applicant’s position on the Life issue will not be considered. Please no phone calls, you will be contacted to set up an interview.  (PF tipster)

NRCC Flack Burgos Tapped by NRCC to Direct Independent Expenditure

Joanna BurgosFirst reported by Roll Call, National Republican Congressional Committee Deputy Communications Director Joanna Burgos has been tapped to direct the committee’s independent expenditure (IE) arm for the 2012 cycle. 

Per Roll Call, “in addition to Burgos, the NRCC tapped Todd Johnson as its IE research director and Trent Wisecup to consult on California races.

“Under campaign finance laws, all of these hired hands are prohibited from coordinating with committee staff while they manage millions in spending for top races around the country.

“Burgos boasts a decade long career in communications, spending the past two cycles as a top aide in the NRCC’s press shop. A Miami native, Burgos served as lead strategist and national press secretary for the 2008 Republican National Convention.” (Roll Call)

March 20, 2012

Communications Strategists Harden and Hawn Launch Bipartisan Public Affairs Firm Granite Integrated Strategies, LLC

Political communications veterans Ali Harden and Kristen Hawn have launched Granite Integrated Strategies, LLC, a bipartisan public affairs and strategic communications firm.

Granite Logo 2Granite Integrated Strategies specializes in media, advocacy and coalition management. Harden and Hawn have decades of experience providing targeted, creative and effective solutions to communications and government affairs challenges both in and outside of the Beltway, and on key campaigns across the country.

Kristen HawnHawn served as the Communications Director for the influential Blue Dog Coalition, serving as senior advisor and spokesperson tasked with communicating the group’s priorities to local, national and international media. Prior to her work in Congress, Hawn worked for international corporate public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard. Hawn is a native of Austin and holds her Bachelor of Arts in Plan II Honors from the University of Texas at Austin.

Ali HardenHarden worked for the public affairs and grassroots advocacy firm DCI Group, LLC, as well as Public Strategies, Inc., where she worked on various corporate clients.  Harden started her career on the 2000 Bush Presidential Campaign in Austin.  Following that she worked for First Lady Laura Bush in the White House, and then on to Capitol Hill to serve as Communications Director for Indiana Congressman Chris Chocola (R-IN). In 2004, Harden joined the Bush-Cheney Re-Election Campaign as spokesperson for Laura Bush. Harden holds her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Public Relations from Purdue University.

To learn more, visit Granite Integrated Strategies at www.granite-is.com.  (PF tipster)

DCCC Expands Communications Operations for 2012 Cycle

DCCC logoReported by Roll Call’sShop Talk” column, The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) made three alterations to its communications staff for the 2012 cycle.

The committee now has five regional press secretaries to handle a playing field widened by redistricting on which the party is aiming to net 25 House seats.

Stephen Carter, Stephanie Formas and Sabrina Singh either just joined or hold new positions on the communications team, which is led by Deputy Executive Director Jennifer Crider and National Press Secretary Jesse Ferguson.

Carter, a former communications strategist at Blue Engine Message & Media and deputy press secretary at the DCCC in 2010, is handling communications on races in the Plains, Rocky Mountain West and Northwest. 

Formas, the new Southern regional press secretary, originally began at the DCCC last year as Southern regional researcher. Formas previously served in the office of former Rep. Chet Edwards (D-TX).

Singh was promoted to deputy press secretary. She joined the DCCC in early 2011 as a press assistant after working in the office of Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA).

The other regional press secretaries are Amber Moon (West), Josh Schwerin (Northeast) and Haley Morris (Midwest). Adam Hodge recently left the team to become a regional press secretary at the Democratic National Committee.  (Roll Call’s “Shop Talk” column)

Griffis departs Commerce for the Podesta Group

Kevin GriffisKevin Griffis recently departed the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he had served first as Director of Public Affairs and then as a Senior Adviser to the Chief of Staff to join the Podesta Group as a principal.

As Director of Public Affairs at Commerce, Griffis departed oversaw communications for 11 bureaus, including the International Trade Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

He had previously served as Communications Director for the Democratic Party of Virginia and the state’s Coordinated Campaign during Tim Kaine’s successful bid for Governor in 2005.  He then joined Obama for America as an early state communication director, serving in South Carolina.  After running communications in Virginia in the general election, he went on to serve as a spokesperson for President-elect Obama’s inaugural committee.

Earlier in his career, Griffis was a journalist in Maryland and Atlanta.

He is a graduate of Beloit College.  (PF tipster)

March 19, 2012

Former Huntsman Spokesman Miller Named Deputy Communications Director at the RNC

Tim MillerNational Journal’s Sean Sullivan first reported the hiring of Tim Miller at Deputy Communications Director at the Republican National Committee.

Miller most recently served as National Press Secretary and lead spokesman on the 2012 presidential campaign of former Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-UT).

Miller previously served on the McCain 2008 campaign as Iowa Communications Director, worked as a Director at the Glover Park Group, and was a communications adviser at Berman and Company.  He is an experienced Iowa campaign operative, having worked for Jeff Lamberti for Congress and Bill Dix for Congress.

He is a graduate of The George Washington University.  (National Journal / PF reporting)

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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

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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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