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Posts Tagged ‘George W. Bush’

FishbowlDC Co-Editor Matt Dornic Joins Quinn Gillespie & Associates

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In some news that hits close to home — and by home, we mean the mediabistro.com family — FishbowlDC co-editor Matt Dornic has joined D.C.-based agency Quinn Gillespie & Associates as Director.

QGA will absorb Dornic’s company 3 Dog Agency. All employees will be making the move, along with 3 Dog clients that fit with QGA’s caliber of clients and billing structure.

Dornic told PRNewser today that agency namesake Jack Quinn is a personal friend and mentor and that he was ready “to not be the owner of an agency anymore.”

“I was sick of being bogged down with things like IT and HR, so this is perfect opportunity for me to grow what I loved about 3 Dog at Quinn Gillespie & Associates,” he said.

Quinn formerly served as White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton and Chief of Staff to Vice President Al Gore.

Agency namesake Ed Gillespie left in 2007 to serve as counselor to President George W. Bush. He had previously served as Chairman of the Republic National Committee.

After Gillespie’s departure, QGA became more government relations focused, and the deal with Dornic and 3 Dog Agency is part of a push to ramp up the agency’s strategic communications expertise.

Dornic will continue to co-edit FishbowlDC. Full release after the jump.

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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.”

BCS Hires Former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer

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There’s a war going on in college football: how should the top team be selected? As of now, it’s via the Bowl Championship Series, or BCS, which ranks teams based on the “USA Today Coaches Poll, Harris Interactive College Football Poll and an average of six computer rankings.” Fans of college football are getting more and more annoyed with this system, and are vying for a playoff system similar to NCAA basketball’s massively popular “March Madness” tournament.

The BCS has come under increased fire, last week in the form of Twitter backlash, as the @InsidetheBCS official Twitter feed was torn to shreds. As Advertising Age‘s Ken Wheaton noted, “If you know your product is universally loathed, Twitter is not the place for you.”

Now, the BCS has hired some high profile PR help to clean up the mess, in the form of Ari Fleischer Communications, “a sports public relations firm” headed by the former press secretary for President George W. Bush.

Meanwhile, a number of college football teams have also employed their own PR firms to ensure they are painted in the best light for the BCS. Is it just us, or should the college football championship be settled on the field, and not in the PR strategy room?

Honduran Govenment Hires D.C. Agency

The political situation right now in Honduras is sticky, to say the least. And the Honduran government has hired well connected D.C. agency Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates help out, via a four-month contract worth more than $290,000, reports The Hill. According to Justice Department documents, the agency will, “advance the level of communication, awareness and media/policy maker attention about the political situation in Honduras.”

Ousted President Manuel Zelaya has returned to Honduras recently, residing at the Brazilian embassy, after being removed from the country on June 28th, 2009. Yesterday, the Honduran government gave the Brazilians 10 days to decide what to do with Mr. Zelaya. Meanwhile, military has been surrounding the embassy since Zelaya’s return and a nationwide curfew is costing the country $50 million a day.

Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates executives handling the account include Mike Buttry, former chief of staff to former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), and Sharon Castillo, a spokeswoman for President George W. Bush‘s 2004 reelection campaign.

Additional Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates past and present clients include ABC Television, Hyundai, Pfizer and the governments of Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, and Peru, among others.

Barack Obama’s “Publish First, Filter Later” Presidency

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[Image of President Barack Obama and family leaving Ghana in July courtesy: The Official White House Photostream]

Is President Barack Obama in the media too much? It is a question being tossed around quite a lot as of late, and is the complete opposite of what many thought about President George W. Bush and his administration: they weren’t in the media enough.

This week’s New York magazine cover story by Jennifer Senior looks at the “publish first, filter later” Obama administration. However, one should not confuse a deluge of media appearances and constant use of social media with not controlling the message. Writes Senior:

Though the president may be liberal with his media appearances, his relationship with the traditional White House press corps is complicated. The Obama administration runs a very disciplined press operation. Its aides almost never leak, unless it’s deliberate. It’s highly selective about access (during the transition, The New York Times White House team didn’t get the usual sit-down interview).

Senior goes on to state that the President realizes, “in the same way a blog can’t survive on just one post a day, a presidency can no longer survive on one message per day or one press conference per year. Instead, you have to turn on a fire hose.” But will the American public sour of these tactics? As of now, it doesn’t seem to be the case. For the first half of the year, “Obama’s approval rating was above 50% in all but two states, Wyoming and Alaska,” according to Gallup, and despite a slight dip in recent weeks, it has rebounded back to almost 60%.

But the administration finds itself in a rare position on the issue of health-care reform: the defensive. The administration understands that it needs to counter attacks in recent weeks from conservative groups and media, including Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. “There’s a whole set of rumors that the old playbook would tell you not to do anything about because you draw attention…The lesson we’ve learned is you ignore these rumors at your peril, and the right answer is to take them head on in as big a way as possible,” White House deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer told The New York Times.

Robert Gibbs and Dana Perino Reflect on Grueling White House Schedule

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Think your agency job is stressful? It’s nothing compared to working at the White House. The Washington Post‘s Michael D. Shear digs into the intense demands of working at the highest level of government, including thoughts from Press Secretaries past and present.

From Dana Perino, President George W. Bush‘s last Press Secretary:

“There’s the pace. There’s the hours. There’s the intensity. There’s the anxiety. There’s the pressure for results…I used to get up at 4 a.m. every day. It was like being shot out of a cannon.”

From current White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:

“This is a place, because of the stress, the schedule and the sheer hours, that just chews people up and spits them out.”

“You go down to the mess [the White House cafeteria]. You have your coffee at five in the afternoon, and it just doesn’t do anything…Because you realize you’re so far behind [in sleep] that a jolt — you don’t even feel it.”

Read the full story here.

Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino Joins Burson-Marsteller

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Breaking: Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino has joined Burson-Marsteller as “Chief Issues Counselor” for the U.S. Perino held the post of White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush from 2007- 2009. She will report to B-M Global Executive Vice President Josh Gottheimer as part of the firm’s Issues and Crisis Group.

“Dana is the latest addition to an already deep bipartisan bench of former presidential advisers…She has performed one of the most demanding jobs in Washington. We know the skills and judgment she honed in her time at the White House will serve our clients well,” said B-M CEO Mark Penn in a statement.

It looks like Burson gave The Wall Street Journal the exclusive, and an interview with Penn. The story “Bush Aide Perino to Join Firm Led by Clinton Adviser” by John D. McKinnon appeared on WSJ.com about one hour before PRNewser received the official release from a B-M spokesperson.

McKinnon reports that Perino, “likely will focus on communications strategies for clients in the looming Washington policy debates over issues such as energy, climate change and health care. She may also develop business among newer defense and technology firms.”

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