January 16, 2011

Former Hard Copy Anchor Nolan Leaves Capitol Hill for Boston

Barry Nolan You may not have known it, but former Hard Copy host Barry Nolan has been the Communications Director for the Democratic staff of the Joint Economic Committee in Congress since 2008.

The Boston Globe recently reported that Nolan is returning to Boston to serve as Communications Director for Treasurer-elect Steve Grossman (D-MA).  Nolan formerly worked as a television host on Comcast’s CN8, WBZ-TV Boston and for Extra!.  Nolan is a native of Alexandria, VA.  (PF tipster)

November 08, 2007

Hacks vs. Flacks

I just came across the Hacks vs. Flacks article that was published in the New York Times on Monday. According to the article, Chris Anderson, the executive editor of Wired was fed up with "lazy flacks," and permanently blocked 329 unsolicited e-mail senders. According to the story, the list includes people from leading PR firms like Edelman, 5W Public Relations, Felishman, Ogilvy, etc.

As PR professionals, there have been times where we have all been a little lazy and rely on e-mail, instead of calling, we did not do enough research to realize that our favorite beat reporter just changed beats and yes, we probably do deluge reporters way too often. But, reporters need to realize that without people like us - their jobs would be a lot harder - they wouldn't get exclusives, they would have to do a lot of research on their own and they would have to track down executives and elected officials for interviews without staff begging and pleading their principal to speak with a reporter that wrote a bad story about their organization last time.

Journalists need to realize that PR pros are necessary for them to do their job. And, not all of us are great and sometimes we make mistakes - but, hey so do journalists.

March 26, 2007

Hispanic Groups Break #1 Rule of Press

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Latino Coalition, which is headed by Hector Barreto, former SBA Administrator in the Bush Administration's first term, issued a joint press release supporting embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales last week.

However, according to Patricia Guadalupe, a contributor to the Washington Hispanic Newspaper, the coalition groups misspelled the Attorney General's name.  Guadalupe was interviewed this morning on WTOP News about the late and marginal support Hispanic groups have offered Gonzales in the U.S. Attorney firing scandal.

Neither group has the press release (original or corrected) on their website - so if you have it, please email it to me ([email protected]).

A cursory check on google for Alberto Gonzales (correct spelling) showed 2.9 million hits.  The most common way to misspell his name is "Gonzalez" and a google search came up with 883,000 hits.

RULE # 1 in Press - Always double-check for errors, especially important ones such as the correct spelling of a person's name that is central to a press release.

CORRECTION: This posting erroneously reported that the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce sent out the mistaken release, when it was in fact the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a separate entity.  We regret the error.

UPDATE: The Latino Coalition says they never made such an error.

December 05, 2006

Ex-Reid Speechwriter Moonlights as Roots-Rock Crooner

Charleswalston_1 Speechwriters are used to working in the shadows and writing behind the scenes. One local speechwriter gets a chance to step into the spotlight when he performs with his band, the Bourbon Dynasty.

Charles Walston (right) -- a former journalist who has written for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, flacked for Sen. Frank Lautenberg, and now pens speeches at the National Education Association -- is the frontman for the DC-based roots-rock combo. City Paper calls the standout track on their new CD "Girl in the Checkout Line, an uptempo lament of a supermarket shopper who 'ain’t got the nerve to ask' another customer for her phone number" (sample lyric: "She’s puttin’ the ‘wiggle’ in the Piggly Wiggly"). Catch 'em live at IOTA on December 12.

November 27, 2006

Top Five PR Books

Propaganda_2Michael Kempner, CEO of MWW Group public relations, hit the weekend WSJ with his top five books on PR:

1. "Propaganda" by Edward Bernays: By the "father of PR" and the brains behind "bacon and eggs."
2. "American Hero" by Larry Beinhart: Inspired the movie "Wag the Dog"
3. "The Eloquent President" by Ronald C. White Jr.: All about Abe Lincoln's comm skills
4. "Thank You for Smoking" by Christopher Buckley: Our personal favorite.  The movie was good, but the book was better.
5. "All's Fair" by Mary Matalin and James Carville: Their tale of the 1992 campaign and their own behind-the-scenes romance.

November 16, 2006

Separated at Birth: Metro Spokesgal and Harry Potter?

Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein, or a certain notorious junior wizard?  The Rock Creek Rambler asks, you decide:

Lisafarbstein Harrypotter

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.
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