WASHINGTON, DC: Clinton administration communicators have begun to think about life after government service, which may well lead to a flood of battle-tested talent joining PR firms in coming months.
WASHINGTON, DC: Clinton administration communicators have begun to
think about life after government service, which may well lead to a
flood of battle-tested talent joining PR firms in coming months.
The exodus started weeks ago, when oft-quoted senior advisor to the
president Doug Sosnik joined the National Basketball Association as SVP
of strategic and corporate communications. Department of Education
director of communications David Frank quickly followed suit, leaving to
join The Widmeyer-Baker Group. White House deputy press secretary Barry
Toiv left late last year to join another ex-Clinton deputy press
secretary, Amy Weiss, at Burson-Marsteller (PRWeek, Dec. 20, 1999).
Politics, obviously, will be a key factor in determining who goes
If Al Gore continues to show signs of life in the presidential race, the
’urgency’ factor to leave will decrease, according to an ex-Clinton aide
now with a large PR firm.
Though the Clinton and Gore staffs have a relatively smooth
relationship, a Gore victory will almost certainly lead to him
installing his own people in key positions, including communications.
And if the Democrats appear to have a good chance to seize a majority in
the House of Representatives, there will be even less urgency for
Clinton communicators to bail, as Democratic higher-ups will be able to
’take care of people.’
According to Fleishman-Hillard/DC GM Paul Johnson, the marketability of
many administration officials is determined less by who they know than
what they know. That’s why Fleishman just snagged former Energy
Department communicator Ben Finzel to work on the firm’s big-budget AARP
Widmeyer-Baker EVP Joe Clayton added that a solid understanding of the
ins and outs of an issue can make an ex-administration official quite
attractive to poten-tial employers. Frank’s big strength, Clayton said,
is that he knows the ’substance’ of complicated issues, such as