posted on December 18, 2008 08:33
The rumor this week has been that Governor-elect Perdue will appoint her Cabinet Friday. Other rumors have it that she’s still having trouble filling some key positions, like DENR and DHHS.
Dumping the whole load at once is a different media strategy from past Governors. Most rolled out their appointments one by one. Each secretary got his or her day in the sun, and the Governor-to-be got to set out public goals for each department.
When I prepped Governor Hunt’s appointees for the announcements, I always told them it would be the easiest session they would ever have with the press: They hadn’t screwed up yet.
But what does this mean for Perdue’s media strategy and relations the next four years?
Friday is the last live news day until Monday, January 5. That’s the week of her inauguration.
Another leading indicator: Perdue reportedly told a big conference call this week to call her when they want to send her a message. Don’t send emails, she apparently said: You saw how much trouble Mike Easley got into with the media over emails.
The question: Does she view the media as the enemy?
One thing is for sure: If she treats them like the enemy, they will be.
The media has to be viewed through the lens of a governor’s powers. And one of the office’s biggest powers is that it commands a big microphone.
Rachel Perry, communications director for Hunt III and IV, always called it the “bully pulpit.”
Today it’s an electronic pulpit. Governors can communicate directly with voters online. At the same time that newspapers and broadcasters are cutting back their coverage.
The media is neither friend nor fee. It’s a beast. And it must be fed. Or it will eat you.
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