Managing the President's Message
The White House Communications Operation
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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No matter their programs, their party, or their political circumstances, modern presidents regularly communicate with their fellow citizens to inform them of their plans, decisions, and views on world and domestic events and to encourage them to action or patience, as needs...
1. Creating an Effective Communications Operation
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Presidents have communications opportunities and resources unmatched by any elected official in the American political system. Each modern president has a press secretary, a senior communications adviser, and many speechwriters and researchers, with support staff of up to...
2. The Communications Operation of President Bill Clinton
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A study of the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations demonstrates the consistent ingredients in a White House communications operation and identifies some of the differences. Both administrations worked with basic communications office units, in particular the...
3. The Communications Operation of President George W. Bush
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Prior to his inauguration, George W. Bush and his advisers spent a substantial amount of time considering how they would organize their staff. Karen Hughes, the designated senior communications adviser, worked through possible ways of organizing the communications operation...
4. White House Communications Advisers
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No president today would come into office without appointing a communications adviser to handle his publicity and to oversee a variety of existing White House organizational units. In the modern White House, the communications adviser manages the words, pictures, publicity...
5. The Press Secretary to the President
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The press secretary is the White House staff member responsible for creating and disseminating the official record of a president’s statements, announcements, reactions, and explanations.1 Unlike the communications chief, who often speaks on an anonymous attribution basis...
6. The Gaggle and the Daily Briefing
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Following the practice of his predecessors, on most weekdays when the president was in town, Press Secretary Scott McClellan engaged in two public briefing sessions with reporters. While only one source of information among many and far from the only occasion for news-related...
7. Presidential Press Conferences
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Press conferences and short question-and-answer sessions represent the best examples of presidential communications in unscripted forums. Presidents and their staffs go to great lengths to control public situations where a chief executive appears. They do not like surprises. Yet...
8. Managing the Message
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Several presidents have solved the puzzle posed at the beginning of the book calling on chief executives and their staff to figure out ways to reach the public regularly and activate support for their initiatives and goals through independent news organizations. Though the press is not...
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The presidential transition from George W. Bush to Barack Obama puts on view what is permanent and what is malleable in the relationship between the White House and news organizations. Even though these presidents differ in their policy preferences and communications...
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Page Count: 400
Illustrations: 5 charts
Publication Year: 2010