Archive for the 'Press Secretary' Category


The White House Communication Policy: Social Media (Thankfully) Enhances Press Conferences

We found out this week that the White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, is out to allow for some fresh air in the press room. I read a lot of comments online about his skills, or his lack there of, with the press. Regardless of your personal preferences for Gibbs, as a PR professional I know he had an intense job. However, C.J. Cregg, he was not.

With the departure of Gibbs, I started wondering about the White House Communications in general. Barack Obama, as a presidential candidate, was a highly active participant in social media (or he hired really great people who were highly active users). Two years ago, Obama for President was a great story about how online marketing and social media can effectively raise money and gain exposure. His communications programs were exceptionally well executed, innovative, highly targeted and easily accessible to mass audiences. It was one seriously good way to help win a presidential campaign. And the story continues…

President Obama did not leave his social media savvy behind when he moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I was a bit surprised to find the White House is all over social media. There has been a lot of criticism of President Obama about whether or not his promises for transparency were real. One thing you can’t criticize is the appearance of accessibility. Twitter feeds, Facebook and MySpace channels, Flicker and Vimeo feeds and a LinkedIn group. There is even a White House blog. I had no idea. If you want information that deals with the White House, you can find it with little effort.

I especially like the White House YouTube Channel. The West Wing Week series is a nice recap of the presidential happenings. And the weekly mailbag is interesting. Some questions have answers that are more entertaining and better delivered than others than others, but hey, a question or two gets answered weekly by someone who knows something. Honestly though, I can’t bring myself to watch eight hours of forum presentations. Honestly, I can’t even bring myself to watch eight minutes of it.

Kudos to the White House Communications team for their focus on social media. Keep it up.

Do you think the White House Communications team is doing enough or not enough to keep the country informed? Tell us what you think about their efforts here or on our Facebook site and keep up with all of our blog postings on Twitter.


New White House Press Secretary

We inaugurate a new president today, and with him comes a whole new administration. As an American, I’m anxious to see what changes this administration brings our country and how these changes will affect me. But as a PR practitioner, I’m paying close attention to President Barack Obama’s communications team, particularly White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Courtesy of Associated Press

Courtesy of Associated Press

As The New York Times states:

Gibbs, “has worked for [President Obama] since 2004 and played a central role in guiding him through his first two years in the Senate and his ascension to the national scene. He has advised [President] Obama on politics, strategy and messaging, and is often the last person to speak to him before he takes the stage. For the last four years, during [President] Obama’s time in the Senate and throughout his race for the presidency, no adviser has spent more time at [President] Obama’s side than Mr. Gibbs.”

As the face of the administration, the job of White House press secretary is HUGE. I’ve been awestruck by it for years and unfortunately not too impressed with some of the folks who have held this position in the past. Gibbs sounds like a bit of a fireball (remember the tong lashing he gave Sean Hannity after Hannity basically accused him of being an anti-Semite?), but he also seems extremely knowledgeable and a master of his craft. I’m sure the White House press corps won’t have to worry about him being dull.

As for the rest of President Obama’s communications team, there is:

•    Ellen Moran, 42, Communications Director
•    Daniel Pfeiffer, 33, Deputy Communications Director
•    Jon Favreau, 27, Speechwriting Director

Think I feel inadequate knowing that Jon Favreau is younger than me? Um. Yeah. Just a little!

I encourage you to check out The New York Times Magazine’s amazing photo gallery “Obama’s People”.

Happy inauguration day!

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