October 21st, 2008
Hidden in the middle of a long Politico piece about in-the-news Republican Congressmember Michele Bachmann is this glimpse at one way to divide a modern communications outreach operation:
As a freshman with a lone Financial Services Committee assignment — Bachmann is 29th in seniority among 32 Republicans — she has had to create her own publicity, and she’s done her darnedest.
Backed by a three-person communications staff — a press secretary for national media, a press secretary for local media and a staffer to handle the blogs and other new media — Bachmann has volunteered herself for the attention she’s enjoying a little less this week.
For a Congressional office trying both to get national notice and stay in office, that sounds like a reasonable breakdown. Of course the team will be collaborating, with bloggers invited to media calls, the press guys aggregating and distributing online stories, and the office website supporting the whole endeavor. Other kinds of communications outfits might break down differently, with communications staff perhaps specializing by issue or by region, but the key part is the integration of the traditional media and online outreach.
Other variations? A group with an emphasis on field organizing might have separate positions for online social networking outreach and blogger relations, while a media-focused group might integrate blogger relations into the jobs of ALL of its press people. But if you’re looking for attention, step 1 is, don’t avoid the internet. Step 2? Have something to say, and hope you don’t regret it later.
[BTW, dig the title of the Politico -- "Bachmann turns to overdrive." Even the cadence matches.]