Last Friday, around closing time, the White House dropped a bomb in the form of an executive order — one that restricts travel of citizens from seven predominantly Muslim nations to the United States, suspends the entry of any refugees for 120 days, and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely.
In this week’s episode of Gov Actually, hosts Dan Tangherlini and Danny Werfel talk about the political communication cycle in government, their firsthand experience with it, and if what seems like a stodgy and dated process remains that way for a reason, in light of the way the new White House has handled response to the executive order.
On episode 6, Gov Actually features its second guest, Eric Schultz, the former principal deputy press secretary under Barack Obama, in his first public interview since leaving the White House. Schultz has since take a senior advisory position with former President Obama for his post-presidency communications.
Chatting with Dan and Danny, Schultz recalls his work managing communications around crises. “Nobody wanted to see me in their meetings,” he says. “I always got bad looks whenever I entered a room.”
The three go on to discuss how the administration handled hot-button news items, navigated the press, and conveyed an image of trust and transparency with the public during trying times.
Spoiler alert: Schultz explains there’s no “secret sauce” and his team didn’t have some “monopoly on wisdom.” They just experimented, balancing tried-and-true techniques with the creativity needed in the era of new media, he says.
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