What Obama’s first 100 days can teach communicators

The 44th president offers 16 lessons in framing a message.

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The 44th president offers 16 lessons in framing a message

Barack Obama’s inauguration signified more than just a dramatic change in politics: It also launched an equally significant shift in how White House communication is handled.

“Nearly 30 years ago, Ronald Reagan was hailed as the great communicator in the manner in which he shaped his words utilizing his training as an actor, but also in the way he was able to relate those words directly to the American public through a medium he was intimately familiar with: television,” says Dick Grove, CEO of INK Inc., a Kansas City-based PR firm.

On Jan. 20, “we cheered another great communicator who knows not only how to shape his words as an obviously talented orator, but also knows how to use media to transmit those words for the greatest impact,” he continues.

Of course, we’re only a little more than three months into Obama’s presidency; whether his communication strategy has any impact on the success of the administration remains to be seen.

“But there is no question that he has ‘touched’ the public in a way unlike any president before him,” says John Baird, director of corporate communications at Blue Nile in Seattle.

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