September 18, 2008

Kennedy to Lead Energy Practice at Dittus Communications

Dittus_2 Brian Kennedy, the former flack for then Majority Leader John Boehner and the House Resources Committee, has accepted  a new position leading the energy practice at FD Dittus Communications.  He will continue to serve as the spokesman for the Institute for Energy Research in his new capacitity.  Congrats on the promotion! (PF Tipster)

May 12, 2008

DHS Press Aide Heads to Dittus


Robert Jameson, a press aide at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is moving over to Dittus Communications as a Senior Account Executive. (PF tipster)

December 18, 2007

Blunt Flack Amos Snead to go Back to Dittus

Dittus Amos Snead, Press Secretary for House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO), is returning to FD Dittus Communications in January. The Alabama native left the public affairs firm in 2002, his first job in Washington, to head to Capitol Hill. Snead started his Hill stint at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and later worked for Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). For Blunt he's served as a spokesman, worked with national bookers for TV and radio and reached out to conservative bloggers. At Dittus, he'll be an assistant vice president on the food, health and nutrition team.  (Congress Daily AM's People Column)

July 10, 2007

Jeri Thompson's New Staffer

Images_2Beth Frigola, formerly the Communications Director of the minority staff at the House Judiciary Committee left to go work for Jeri Thompson, the wife of former Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN). She is being replaced by Kim Smith, a Public Affairs Specialist at the Dept. of Justice. (PF tipster)

November 01, 2006

Jump in the Blog Pool, The Water's Fine...

Bloggingfordummiescover No self-respecting Washington PR person would ever say they "didn't need" to develop a broadcast communications strategy, or a minority media strategy, or a trade media strategy.  Then why are so many of my fellow DC flacks so dismissive of the blogosphere and the need to communicate with it?  Isn't it your job as PR pro to look for new communications channels, rather than closing off options?  I know old habits die hard, but PR people also owe it our clients and bosses to adopt creative new strategies rather than cling to outdated methods.

As the leader of my firm's work to help our clients understand the blogosphere, I just wrote a short piece for our quarterly newsletter about how groups around town -- associations, coalitions, and companies -- really can't afford to ignore this new medium.  Now, off the soapbox...

October 30, 2006

Lobbyist Welcomes Facebook, MySpace into Policy Campaigns

Dutko Worldwide Vice Chairman for Public Policy Gary J. Andres writes in this morning's Wash Times that "new media technologies, which started with political applications, are now quickly migrating to the lobbying world." (DC PR firms like mine are already helping companies navigate this world.) More Andres:

Expanding these tools [like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook] into lobbying and advocacy is already happening too, but a lot more is on the way...In the public-policy world, as with electoral politics, whoever figures out the best way to use new media and the Internet will possess a major advocacy advantage. Applying new media techniques more broadly to lobbying offers huge potential and is already well underway.

[A] post last week on the Personal Democracy Forum Web site underscored this point. It highlighted a campaign by a group called Campus Progress, which is advocating more funding for college financial aid. Advertisements in the campaign urge students to help "make college affordable now" by text messaging the word "Debt" to a code that sends an automated response asking for their e-mail address and ZIP code. A subsequent e-mail tells them how to get in touch with their representatives (based on ZIP code).

October 27, 2006

WP's Pearlstein Falls for PR Firm

My competitive streak prevents me from excerpting WP's Steven Pearlstein's love letter to Qorvis Communications today, but I'll at least give it a link.  I have several friends over at Qorvis, and I'm sure they are dancing for joy at this column. 

I'm biased of course, but many of the things that Pearlstein cites as positives about Qorvis I also consider true of my firm, Dittus.  We've got a great boutique culture that allows us to focus on results instead of how many hours we bill.  We believe in smart and strategic media strategies, not peppering reporters with mindless and endless cold calls by twentysomethings.  And because our team has deep experience on the Hill and government, we specialize in helping clients get things done in this town.  I consider those to be advantages that Dittus has over larger firms.

This ain't a Dittus propaganda blog, so I'll step off my soapbox now.  But Steve, any time you wanna come over and check us out, gimme a buzz...

September 20, 2006

DC Campaigns Getting Message Out Through Top Blogs

Washington Examiner's Dee Ann Divis files another column this week on the use of blogs in lobbying campaigns (I blogged about last week's column here), this one focusing on the imporantance of getting your message out through other, better-trafficked blogs.  There's a mention of the blog outreach that my Dittus colleague John Pappas has been doing on behalf of the Poker Players Alliance.

Finding the right partner requires “aggressive listening,” said Michael Krempasky, who founded the conservative blog and now works for Edelman public relations. You want to determine “who's talking about what and who moves an issue.”

When the Poker Players Alliance wanted to dissuade Congress from banning Internet poker, for example, its PR firm Dittus Communications contacted avid players to see what blogs they read and then asked those bloggers to read their material, comment and link to their site.


Pat Cleary, Senior VP for Comms and lead blogger at the National Association of Manufacturers, is also quoted in the piece about building his audience by cross-posting at RedState.  I've heard lots of people around town describe NAM's blog,, as one of the best association/policy blogs in town.

David Johnson from Strategic Vision has also been using YouTube for clients:

“People will start hitting it up” and may send the link to others and mention it on their blogs. Even the White House has downloaded anti-drug videos onto the YouTube site in hopes of reaching its young audience.

September 13, 2006

Using Blogs in DC Lobbying Campaigns

My Dittus colleague John Pappas and myself were referenced in Dee Ann Divis' Washington Examiner piece today about how blogs are being used in lobbying campaigns.  John specifically talked about his work on behalf of the Poker Players Alliance:

Lobbyists, who lagged while politicians and advertisers tapped the power of the  blogosphere, are now actively incorporating blogs into their strategies and are  using smaller state campaigns to test which blogs and techniques work best on  lawmakers....

...Another  blog-focused campaign, this one on the national issue of online gambling and  Internet poker, triggered 8,000 letters to Capitol Hill in a single day,  reported John Pappas and

Adam  Kovacevich

, assistant vice presidents with Washington-based  Dittus Communications
We said a lot more to Dee Ann, but the other guy, from Strategic Vision stole our thunder.  Take my word for it - we said some smart things about the power of blogging in public affairs campaigns.

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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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