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Amidst Hyperactive News Cycle, White House Focuses on Long Term

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Despite the fact that White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton have been active on Twitter as of late, the Obama administration is trying its best to not let the ever increasing speed of the news cycle affect its communications strategy.

Tracy Sefl, a Democratic media strategist and senior vice president of Navigators Global, a Washington communications consultancy, told media reporter Jeff Bercovici:

“If Obama didn’t believe the news cycle was important, he wouldn’t have such a robust communications apparatus,” says Ms. Sefl. But no president, no matter how obsessed with managing the media, could possibly afford to engage with it on the hyper-granular level it now operates on. “If the White House did the same dance that the press does on the minute-by-minute news cycle basis, I can’t imagine anyone there would have the stamina to get up every day to do their jobs,” she says.

However, if Obama and his senior advisers are focused on long term messaging, that doesn’t mean Gibbs and his team aren’t focused on the daily grind.

Gibbs said recently, “the news cycle starts at 5:00 a.m. in the morning. It lasts probably until 10:00 or 11:00 at night. It sleeps only a little bit before it all starts again. And on occasion we want to get ahead of what the news is going to be that day by letting folks know.”

In this case he was describing authorized leaks, but the statement shows how the administration is focusing both on the “long” and “short” news cycles.

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