WASHINGTON: Public affairs professionals have been outfitted with a new instrument for penetrating the often-impenetrable walls of federal regulatory agencies and the White House: The Federal Paper.
Debuting with a circulation of more than 30,000 federal executives, The Federal Paper devotes itself to covering the entire executive branch, from the President down through every cabinet-level department. The outlet has been publishing on a biweekly basis since September 23, and will become a weekly with the publication of its January 20 issue.
"There is a huge saturation of congressional coverage - Roll Call, Congressional Quarterly, The Congressional Monitor, The National Journal to a lesser extent. But you have virtually nothing that does that for the executive branch," explained associate publisher Stacy Mason.
Formerly an editor at Roll Call and head of media relations at APCO Worldwide's Washington, DC office, Mason cited access to federal appointees as one of the paper's founding objectives. "We went around town to trade associations and corporation lobbyists in our pre-launch months, and asked them what they do now if they want to reach the executive-branch community" she said. "They tell you they have The Washington Post, which is too expensive, and television."
"The idea is that advertisers have never had a chance before to reach across and run ads that they want to get in front of all agencies and the White House," Mason added.
The free newspaper is largely hand-distributed to upper-echelon political appointees and members of Congress.
The group behind The Federal Paper, Public Sector Media, was founded one year ago by Daniel Leeds. Formerly a principal at CMP Media (publisher of titles such as Information Week and Computer Reseller News), Leeds intends to launch several publications focusing on the public sector. "He doesn't come from a one-publication background," assured Mason.