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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Gibbs’

10 Lessons from White House Press Secs Fleischer and Gibbs: Witnesses to History, Human Piñatas

Washington DC White House PRN PostBeing White House press secretary is arguably one of the toughest jobs in Washington. While television cameras inside White House press briefings have offered the American public selected snapshots of the job, former press secretaries Robert Gibbs and Ari Fleischer (candidly!) filled in many other details at a recent 92Y event in New York.

Help Wanted Ad: Based on their comments and our takeaways, here’s a brief job description:

“Highly experienced communications exec to serve as spokesperson in political capacity. Able to quickly distill and convey complex material to intensely curious, skeptical audiences. Physically fit since it’s a grinding, grueling exercise. Involves sitting through many meetings, extensive note-taking and speaking from podium. Can withstand being woken up three times during the night. Shows fierce loyalty to boss, but is willing to break bad news. Thick skin so you don’t take it personally, extremely diplomatic, and keen sense of humor. Skilled at assigning press seating charts.”

Ten Lessons Learned, Often the Hard Way:
While Fleischer and Gibbs each met with their predecessors before starting, they still learned a lot on the job, especially from unscripted moments. Crises proved to be pivotal, including the anthrax attack (“We thought it was a wave 2 attack on the U.S.”, said Fleischer) and the Gulf Coast oil spill (“The hardest 3 months of my professional life”, said Gibbs.)

Below is a paraphrased list of ten things they learned, some of which may also apply to corporate spokesperson roles.

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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Roll Call: Obama Campaign, Horn Group, Edelman, and More

Former press secretary Robert Gibbs is once again working with President Obama, having just signed a contract to officially serve as a consultant on Obama’s reelection campaign. Gibbs has been working “unofficially” with the reelection effort for some time now. He will continue with public speaking engagements, TV appearances, and other work as well. [via Politico]

Horn Group‘s Ben Billingsley has been promoted to partner. Billingsley joined the firm as a VP in 2006, focused on digital. In his new position, he will lead and manage the firm’s New York office. He has worked with clients including Gannett, Adify, and NBC.

David Chamberlain is rejoining Edelman as EVP and GM of the firm’s Dallas office, effective February 13. He previously worked as GM of Edelman’s Shanghai office before leaving for MSLGroup in 2007. He opened that firm’s Dallas office and served as SVP and director  of the issues and crisis group for North America. At Edelman, he’ll report to Helen Vollmer, president of the Southwest region.

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Technology Companies Address Human Rights Issues

Last week, we attended the Council of PR Firms’ Critical Issues Forum where former press secretary Robert Gibbs delivered the keynote focused on social media and the communications industry. Along the same lines, current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (who we send our condolences to this morning as she mourns the loss of her mother) spoke last week on the West Coast at the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference. In the video above, she addresses the connection between technology and human rights.

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Top Five Robert Gibbs Soundbites from This Morning’s Council of PR Firms Keynote

This morning, former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs gave a master class in how to deliver a keynote address.

Speaking at the Council of PR Firms’ Critical Issues Forum — the theme was “Social Revolution: Are You Mobilizing Communities or Just a Voice in the Crowd?” – he discussed social media, communications, politics, business, and the day-to-day of being in the Obama White House in a seamless 30-minute speech that made it one of the better keynotes we’ve ever heard. After the jump, we have a few one liners from the speech (the #CIF2011 hashtag has been following the conference all day) and a look at why the speech was so successful.

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Weber Shandwick/CPRF Chair Polansky Talks Digital, Measurement, and Firm Business

Among the current top priorities at the Council for Public Relations Firms (CPRF) is helping firms make a way through the world digital and social media, says Andy Polansky, president of Weber Shandwick and chairman of the organization.

Calling social media “a real growth driver for agencies,” Polansky said, “The budgets associated with public relations programs are seemingly getting larger. If you think about marketing spend from a historical perspective, there was a lot of money flowing to advertising and the various other disciplines. I think now there’s more of a jump-ball mentality; whoever brings the best ideas is going to win the day.” An October 27 event with guests Robert Gibbs, former Obama press secretary, and Mashable founder Pete Cashmore, will dig into these social media topics even further.

We had the chance to sit down with Polansky recently to discuss the industry issues that the Council is tackling, and business at his own firm. The Council’s members include more than 100 PR firms of all shapes and sizes. Talent and diversity was another important issue on CPRF list.

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Facebook Likes Joe Lockhart

In plenty of time to enjoy the IPO, Facebook has hired former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart as VP of corporate communications.  The Dem heavyweight will relocate to California once he sorts his family details.  Lockhart became a household name after succeeding Mike McCurry during the Clinton impeachment trials in 1998.

He went on to open the very powerful Glover Park Group firm in 2001, and help John Kerry run for President in 2004.

Showing their need to navigate the choppy waters within the Beltway, Facebook also talked to former Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs about the position.

Former Press Sec Gibbs Not Going to Facebook?

A story in today’s Wall Street Journal says Robert Gibbs won’t be going to Facebook after all. Last month, there was speculation that the former press secretary would be heading to the social network as part of an effort to build up a comms team to handle all of the scrutiny the company’s getting from different angles.

Now The Journal says the deal is off, though there’s no comment from Facebook.

The article goes on to discuss the various issues Facebook faces, including the tightrope it’s walking as it tries to cut a path into China, privacy issues, and its relationship with Washington. It’s addressing that final issue with the live townhall meeting with President Barack Obama that has literally just started.

Gibbs Going to Facebook?

The NY Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin hears that Facebook is talking with former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about a comms position that he would take in preparation for the social network’s 2012 IPO. Compensation for the job could be in the millions of dollars and Gibbs would report to Elliot Schrage, VP for global comms, who went to Facebook from Google in 2008. But, the story says, “the discussions could collapse.”

Just over a week ago, it was announced that The OutCast Agency co-founder Caryn Marooney was heading to Facebook to serve in a new position, director of tech communications. Politico says former Bill Clinton press secretary and Glover Park Group founder Joe Lockhart is also in the running for the Facebook job.

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The Reviews Are In: Jay Carney Was Nervous

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

There was some paper shuffling, a little stiffness, signs of nerves, but Jay Carney made it through his first briefing without any huge mishaps.

We caught a chunk of the press briefing and there was a big difference between yesterday’s press conference and the ease of Robert Gibbs. But, there will be plenty of chances to settle in. According to Carney, things will “evolve” in terms of frequency of briefings and other rules.

“I don’t have a new plan to lay on the table. I want to see how it works,” he said. What did other press sec watchers think?

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Burton Steps Down From WH Deputy Press Sec Post

White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton is leaving along with WH political advisor Sean Sweeney to start their own political and strategic consulting firm.

Burton had been on the list of candidates to replace press secretary Robert Gibbs. The job eventually went to Jay Carney, who held his first press conference today. (More on that in a post to come.)

Sweeney was the chief of staff to former WH chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Both will leave the White House on Friday. Politico reports that both will play a role in the 2012 election cycle.

Burton’s departure e-mail after the jump.

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