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Posts Tagged ‘Don Goldberg’

Sometimes The Damage Can’t Be Controlled

Oftentimes when we hear about a PR disaster, we look immediately to the person, brand, or company to detect whether a crisis plan is in place to minimize the damage. No plan, you say? Well that was stupid.

But even if you have a plan and you execute it as best you can, there are other factors, like the facts, that can get in the way.

In today’s guest post, Don Goldberg, partner at comms firm Bluetext, analyzes the limits of damage control. Goldberg spent a decade on Capitol Hill, was a senior member of President Clinton’s comms staff, and has worked with companies including GM and Halliburton. So he’s been around some damage.

Click through to read on.

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The Many Layers of the B-M/Facebook Smear Story

The news that Burson-Marsteller/Facebook whisper campaign story unfolded before our eyes this week. And as it did, there were so many details that added so many layers that reaction, understandably, has been tremendous.

At this point, Facebook and Burson are no longer working together, The New York Times reports. And, The Daily Beast writes (h/t to PRWeek) that  the two Burson publicists that handled the campaign, former CNBC reporter Jim Goldman and former political writer John Mercurio, will receive another copy of the firm’s code of ethics (along with everyone at the firm) in order to get a refresher course on right and wrong. Interesting that two former reporters couldn’t clearly see the impropriety of this from the beginning, but we digress.

Reaction from the PR industry has been both critical and exasperated, with many on Twitter expressing a “you know better than that” tone with both the situation and Burson’s statement in response.

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Former Qorvis Execs Launch Bluetext

Four former Qorvis execs have launched a new full-service PR firm in Washington D.C., Bluetext. The four founding principals are Don Goldberg, Michael Quint, and Jason Siegal, all former Qorvis partners; and Rick Silipigni, Qorvis’ former head of business development.

The firm will offer services in PR, branding, interactive and digital media, video creation, and other areas. The name of the firm comes from the color of hyperlinked text, according to the press release announcement.

Qorvis recently announced a number of new hires, including Greg Lagana, a former SVP at DynCorp International and staffer for President George W. Bush’s administration.

Roll Call: Qorvis, Bolt, Hallmark, and More

Qorvis has added four new partners. Greg Lagana was previously SVP for comms and marketing at DynCorp International. He also worked for the George W. Bush administration as a staff member to the Coalition Information Center and director of the Office of Global Communications. John Reid is the former comms director for Sen. George Allen (R-VA). Sam Dealey was most recently the editor of The Washington Times. And Dr. Ron Faucheux is president of Clarus Research Group and a former Louisiana state legislator. The firm recently announced three departures: Don Goldberg, Michael Quint, and Jason Siegel.

Jo-Anne Chase has joined Bolt Public Relations as VP of the eastern region. The Orange County, CA-based firm has just opened a Raleigh, NC office. Chase was previously senior PR executive at French/West/Vaughan.

Sad news: Nancy Carr, senior VP of corporate communications at Hallmark Channels, died on Friday at the age of 50 following a long illness, The Hollywood Reporter reports. In her role, she was responsible for special events, government outreach, strategic development, and all other corp comms activities.

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Obama’s Oval Office Address: Did it Help?

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[Image: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

President Obama gave the first Oval Office address of his presidency last night, to speak about the Gulf Coast oil spill and the administration’s plan moving forward.

In the address, Obama said the government will fight the spill, “with everything we’ve got for as long it takes. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused. And we will do whatever’s necessary to help the Gulf Coast and its people recover from this tragedy.”

Last night and into this morning, observers from both the left and the right voiced opinions.

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Friday Afternoon Quarterbacking: Obama’s Messaging On Security

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A number of PR executives have asked PRNewser over the past week, how do you think President Obama has handled himself since the attempted Christmas day plane bombing?

For three days following the attempted attack while on vacation, Obama did not speak, and since then he has conducted three televised speeches, the latest of which came yesterday afternoon.

“When you know the first day this guy’s [Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab] father had turned him in, how can you not be out there demanding that heads roll?” asked Don Goldberg, partner at D.C.-based Qorvis Communications and former Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton. He said that the only conclusion one can come to is that the reaction was calculated. They tried to “hold off” and “see what public reaction” would be, he said.

Others weren’t as critical. “Whatever he does, it will be criticized,” Hill & Knowlton CEO Paul Taaffe told PRNewser earlier this week.

Either way, it seems the GOP has had their own messaging problems this week. Rudy Giuliani followed former George W. Bush secretary Dana Perino when he said on “Good Morning America” today “we had no domestic attacks under Bush.” Perino said on Fox News’ Hannity in November, “we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term.”

Why Did Anita Dunn Step Down As White House Communications Director?

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The role in the Obama administration with the highest level of turnover is that of Communications Director. As news broke today that interim Communications Director Anita Dunn would be stepping down, the question remains: why?

Several scenarios have been tossed around: Did she have to clear room for her husband to join the administration and remove any potential concerns about conflict of interest? Did her attacks on Fox News have an effect? Or, was the move simply what was expected, as Dunn was always “interim” Communications Director?

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White House Posting “Talking Points” on Blog Daily; What Are The Implications for PR?

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The White House is now posting the administration’s communications focus, along with talking points, daily on the Whitehouse.gov blog. In the first post today, White House Online Programs Director Jesse Lee wrote, “It’s no secret that institutions of all stripes focus their communications on certain messages day to day. We thought it would all be a little more open and transparent if we went ahead and published what our focus will be for the day, along with any related articles, reports or documents.”

Has this ever been done before, and what are the implications for PR?

“It makes a lot of sense and I’m not aware of it ever being done before,” said Don Goldberg, partner at D.C.-based Qorvis Communications and former Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton. “When I was in White House, we would have daily meetings on message and you would basically have conference calls…If the weekend was coming up and you had talk shows you were worried about, you would make sure all Democrats on the shows had the same points. The Obama administration is bypassing traditional media as much as it can anyway, so why not provide them with ‘message of the day’ type of details. Why not try to reach out to everybody?”

Stacie Paxton, former national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee and now a Vice President in Hill & Knowlton’s Washington, D.C. office, said that providing White House talking points online, “shows a level of transparency previously unseen by other Administrations – Republican or Democratic. It gives extremely valuable insight into thinking at the White House at a critical time. Anyone with a stake in the health care debate or any other pressing issue would be foolish not to read this blog daily.”