Building a better network is focus of GOP gathering

WASHINGTON, DC: Getting more and better PR will be one of the hot-button topics at this week's Republican National Committee (RNC) meeting in Philadelphia.

WASHINGTON, DC: Getting more and better PR will be one of the hot-button topics at this week's Republican National Committee (RNC) meeting in Philadelphia.

The conference will focus on how the GOP message can obtain better PR in the states and how the party can more effectively reach women. Clearly, such an effort is needed, as the GOP has yet to recover from unexpected losses in last year's elections, the resulting turmoil over House leadership and its role in the impeachment process.

GOP communications consultant Bill Greener of Washington-based Greener & Hook will moderate a panel examining 'Making News and Moving the Republican Agenda in Your State.' He views it as an important topic, given that the voters have recently shown a willingness to be receptive to Republican ideas.

Greener conceded that the GOP label currently does not give 'added velocity' to ideas such as competency testing for teachers. But a sustained communications effort on such issues, he said, could help give his party the edge in the same way that it was able to achieve voter confidence on the issue of welfare reform.

Another panel will examine how the party can better communicate to women.

The gender gap has long been a problem for party strategists. In response to this, a program called 'WomenCare' will be launched at the meeting.

The initiative will attempt to instruct Republican women on how they can better differentiate between the two parties on current issues.

While the RNC seeks to improve the party's PR strategy, similar moves are underway in the GOP's House leadership. Speaker Dennis Hastert and conference chairman J.C. Watts are expected to be more visible on the TV talk-show circuit. The leadership is also developing communications plans on key issues including education and taxes.

While the GOP seeks greater clarity in message, it has found the means to deliver such missives in a crystal-clear format. The meeting will introduce RNC members and state chairs to simulcast sharper, Internet digital technology.

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