White House Press Secretaries Panel


The panelists, including a current White House Press Secretary and three former White House Press Secretaries discuss message development, learning to expect the unexpected and speaking truth to power. Moderator: Dan Schnur, Director of the Institute for Politics at USC Panelists (in order of introduction):

This panel was presented by PRSA LA and PRSA Western District.  The Platinum sponsor was Golin Harris, the Gold sponsor was BusinessWire and the Silver Sponsor was VMS.  Event sponsors were the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and MWW Group.  And special thanks went to Weber Shandwick and Korn/Ferry International. The panel was announced by PRSA LA Chapter president Eric Moses.  The event, which occurred at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on July 13, 2010, was produced by Denis Wolcott of The Wolcott Company. Technical Note: There is a low-level, audible hum in the background.  Despite our best efforts, we were unable to eliminate the buzz which was coming through the media bus while the panel was recorded. SHOW NOTES:   02:30 — Dan Schnur introduces the panelists, details their backgrounds and sets the stage for the panel discussion.   13:12 — Proactive versus reactive communication in White House press affairs. Spontaneity is the enemy and the goal of staff is predictability.  And what makes news.   17:48 — How you respond when things don't go on plan as the true test of a White House communicator, says Bush White House Press Secretary David Demarest.  A discussion of the military dictum, “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.”  The best laid plans get thrown astray when things happen.   19:02 — The day president Reagan was shot and an exchange at the hospital afterwards between the president and members of his cabinet that taught Shelia Tate the importance of responding with grace under fire.   23:32 — Communicating a leader's personality traits authentically under the news media's microscope and the importance of measuring your public relations activities with the true characteristics of the leader. 27:02 — Helping First Lady Laura Bush build her skills as a public speaker through local market new media interviews.   28:01 — Advertisement for the Social Media Boot Camp in Los Angeles on Aug. 18-19, 2010.  Register at https://www.socialmediabootcamp.com.   30:59 — Current White House Press Secretary Camille Johnston discusses First Lady Obama's speech to the NAACP, protecting the private lives of the president's daughters, the ground rules with the news media and how the press treated Sarah Palin's children.   36:00 — Protecting a president Bush's teenage children from the scrutiny of the news media through surrogates and how that has changed in the age of social media.   38:25 — Putting the president ideas into a proactive message that resonates with the American people.  Demarest's Research –> Strategy –> Tactics –> Plan –> Budget methodology.   43:39 — The benefit of working in The East Wing versus the working in The West Wing, First Lady Michelle Obama's garden at the White House, which serves as a symbol of developing healthy eating habits and the risk of starting garden on The South Lawn.  What if it didn't grow?  But today, the garden humanizes and symbolizes the values of the Obama administration.   47:28 — Former White First Press Secretary Shelia Tate discusses First Lady Nancy Reagan's “Just Say No” campaign against recreational drug use, which shined the media spotlight on drug prevention programs.   51:04 — First Lady Laura Bush's ability to overcome comparison's with her mother-in-law.   54:24 — The panelists share advice to private sector public relations professionals who are looking to segue over to a career in government communications.  But government communications is the work of young, because the White House Press Secretary Salary is much lower than private sector salaries.   01:03:03 — Questions and Answers   01:14:26 — End   ABOUT THE PODCASTER   @EricSchwartzman provides online communication trainingstrategy and social media governance to public relations, public affairs, corporate communications and marketing specialists. He has extensive experience integrating emerging information technologies into organizational communications programs through public speaking, hands-on training seminars, consulting and the development of corporate policies on social media usage.    His clients have included Boeing, BYU, City National Bank, Environmental Defense Fund, Government of Singapore, Johnson & Johnson, NORAD Northcomm, Southern California Edison, UCLA, US Dept. of State, United States Army, US Embassy of Athens, the United States Marine Corps and many small to medium-sized companies and agencies.    Eric is the instructor behind PRSA’s top-rated social media and emerging treads training seminars, the Social Media Boot Camp and the Social Media Master Class, which are offered monthly in the US. His upcoming book “Social Marketing to the Business Customer” about B2B applications of social media communications will be published by Wiley & Sons in January 2011.   keywords: gov20

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