LESSONS LEARNED – – – Those who have served in the office have some common observations about White House.
a) Talk to You Predecessors. Press secretaries indicated they learned a great deal from those who preceded them.
b) Don’t Reduce Reporters’ Opportunities or Venues for Receiving Information. You can add to what information reporters are given and opportunities there are to receive it, but you cannot subtract from it without paying a heavy cost.
c) 90% of Information You Are Dealing With Comes From the Press. While it is natural to think information one is dealing with in a White House is exclusively held, the contrary is true.
d) Don’t Hire People You Don’t Know.
e) An Inquisitive Press Corps Can Work in the Favor of the White House. While the White House spends a great deal of its energy trying to stop stories it does not like as well as redirecting reporters to stories they want covered, it can come to haunt a President and his staff.1
f) Don’t Sandbag the Press.
g) There Are Many Ways to Say ‘I Don’t Know’. All reporters really want is to be able to get the information they need and have it right when they get it.
h) Lying. Providing reporters with misinformation is a cardinal sin no matter whether it is willful or unintentional.
i) Be Wary of Adopting a Role of Persuader. The Press Office is the setting where official information is released not a place where persuasion is the central task.
j) Combining the Functions of Communications and/or Public Liaison with the Press Office. When the Press Office is combined with Communications is there is less control over Executive Branch information and less strategic planning done than is the case when the offices are independent units.
k) Personality Needs. A cool temperament works somewhat better than a hot tempered person.
Reference to Gaslighting = Gaslighting by D.A. Dailey
Smoothing the Peaceful Transfer of Democratic Power
Written by and for the White House Transition Project For the Baker Institute Martha Joynt Kumar, Director Terry Sullivan, Exec. Director Mark P. Jones, Senior Fellow
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