Communications Plan

July 30, 2017

Priority #1 - Improve the Culture

This is the key—everything is possible with a good culture, nothing is possible without it

a) meet with media members (MSM, conservative media, and new media), where

possible, on their home turf to build bridges and foster better working relationships. WH

should leave old grudges behind, but never forget.

b) meet with WH and cabinet communication staff to seek constructive input and convey

that good ideas are welcomed regardless of the source. This should be an ongoing

modus operandi, not an isolated initiative.

c) Implement a series of professionalizing initiatives immediately. For example, no WH

communication staffer goes home without returning all calls, emails, and texts. People

may not like our answers—but they should always be treated professionally and

respectfully (obviously, this starts with the new Director of Communications)

d) Recognize good work in a consistent and formal way. Establish a meritocracy where

real contributions to Comms are recognized. Make it clear that horn tooting and

denigrating colleagues is unacceptable

e) No more threats about leaking and internal game playing - anyone who takes actions

that do not serve the President will be dismissed - period. We will eliminate the bad

eggs and send a powerful message to the remaining staff that well-intentioned mistakes

are acceptable, but misconduct is not.

f) Upgrade talent incrementally - prioritize culture. New communication staffers must

make others better/more effective. We need to be a great team, not a collection of

talented individuals with their own agendas.

g) Reach out and collaborate with Cabinet, Congress, the RNC, and surrogates and

validators throughout the country. People want to help POTUS succeed, but they need

to feel welcomed, appreciated and empowered. Comms, justifiably or not, has a

reputation as fiefdom that is difficult to work with. We need to improve the quality and

quantity of interactions between Comms and its various constituents.

Priority #2 - Comms is a Customer Service Operation—POTUS is the Number One


-before undertaking new and creative initiatives, Comms must more effectively handle

the daily/weekly blocking and tackling of a WH Comms shop

a) Comms needs to be structurally re-organized to serve its various customers

-a group dedicated to serving as a PR department for POTUS and his family

members. Comms need to humanize POTUS and burnish his image. For example,

POTUS is the best golfer to serve as President. Perhaps, we embrace it with a national

online lottery to play a round of golf with him….or a charity auction. POTUS has a funny

and irreverent side which was shared with the electorate during the campaign

-a rapid response group dedicated to handling hot issues/crises to insure more effective

responses while enabling Comms to stay on point/message and conduct normal

operations (i.e. the Clinton White House Lewinsky model).

-a strategy group to work cooperatively with colleagues throughout the WH to develop

communication strategies and specific executable plans that are coordinated with

Cabinet officials and the Hill for a select group of important issues/initiatives

-Responsibilities need to be clearly defined for certain important roles—managing

relationships with the Hill, Cabinet comms, and surrogates/validators. Clear structure

will provide better performance and accountability.

b) The media is an important Comms customer

- POTUS can choose to fight with the media, but Comms can not.

-Comms should seek to de-escalate tensions with the media.

-Comms will continue to challenge stories that are unfair/untrue, but also express

appreciation for good and fair coverage. Comms can be strong without being


-Comms should establish a constructive “complaint box” for the media to make

complaints. Where possible, Comms will seek to make changes that make

sense. Regardless, relations with the media will improve if their complaints are

welcomed and considered

c) Cabinet members and their staff are customers too.

-Comms sets the message, but cabinet members will better serve POTUS if they are

supported and treated like members of POTUS’s team.

-Comms talent throughout the administration has been underutilized. This can be

remedied by sharing information freely, soliciting input, treating colleagues

professionally, and coordinated empowerment

d) Surrogates/validators are important customers. They need to be serviced,

supported, and coordinated better.

e) All Comms actions/decisions need to be evaluated through one and only one prism

—does it help POTUS. To this end, I will lead by example and make sure that my

overall conduct, tweets, internal and external comments meet this standard

Priority #3 Make the News—We Go First

a) Execution is everything!!! Diagnosing the problems is easy- fixing it will be hard


-Comms needs to be run like a news channel with producers, scripts, and narration

-there needs to be clear individual responsibilities, accountability, and a complete

dedication to the team/excellence

-Comms needs better players at many positions. We will give existing staff the

opportunity to raise their games, but expect to make changes in a considered, no/low

drama way

-Comms should not fix things that aren’t broken; but should move quickly (without

rushing) to fix things the numerous things that are

-Comms should assess and evaluate all work product and processes. “This is the way

it is done” is not an acceptable explanation. Communications tactics and strategies

should be evaluated based upon measurable metrics.

-Comms needs to act as a gatekeeper/air traffic controller over all external

communications from the small (i.e. email blasts) to the large (i.e. cabinet member

appearances on Sunday shows). To do this, Comms must be super responsive. For

example, Cabinet members need to be well-informed, well-prepared, and fully

supported in a timely manner (i.e. not on the morning of an appearance)

-Comms needs to do a much better job anticipating media follow-up and reaction. If we

say X, they will ask Y. We need to be prepared for Y. Most Ys are predictable. It is

Comms’ responsibility to be ready with a response and to have surrogates prepared for

the inevitable Ys.

b) the refined Roger Ailes theory- we exercise influence over the news cycle because

POTUS and the government make news—(i.e. do things on a daily basis that

matter). An effective Comms shop will dictate the news of the day on most days.

c) Comms must control who gets on the air/talks to the press….always. We want our

people talking to the press. We just want it to be coordinated and effective. Comms

should arm and empower our people. Comms is a service operation (not the bad cop)-

we want our people to look better/succeed.

d) Comms needs to better explain how POTUS’s actions are helping Americans. For

example, deregulation is an abstract concept to most voters. We need to illustrate, with

real life examples, how lifting burdensome regulations produces jobs

e) Comms needs to start earlier (chronologically). Tomorrow will be won

today. Tomorrow morning is too late.

f) Every Comms message needs to have a nexus to Make America Great Again and


g) Comms needs to equip POTUS with opportunities to make many more positive

announcements The ratio of positive to negative is out of balance, and the

responsibility to correct this lies with Comms. There are achievements/wins throughout

the government that go unpublicized. Comms should help POTUS convey a

Reaganesque “happy warrior” image by sourcing and packaging these wins. Comms

should study the ratio of “good,” “neutral,” and “negative” communications from POTUS

and help move the ratio towards the “good.”

h) Comms should use Kellyanne Conway more. She has consistently been the

President’s most effective spokesperson, and she provides a direct link to the

President’s historic electoral victory.

Priority #4 - Fill the Content Void

a) to quote Obama Director of Communications,Dan Pfieffer, “there is an insatiable

appetite for content” and “traditional news outlets don’t have the resources to produce

the amount of content that the internet requires on a 24/7 basis”

-in addition to written word production (i.e. speeches, talking points, and press

releases), the WH should vastly increases the amount of visual, video, and graphical

images that it produces to communicate our message(s).

-for example, Comms could produce short (3-5 minute) videos with selected visitors to

the WH

b) comms need to identify and engage a broader network of surrogates/validators to

make TV appearances, write op-eds, etc. The traditional media has a significant (albeit

finite) amount of tonnage. Either we fill it, or they will

c) POTUS should regularly provide op-ed pieces to major publications. The op-eds will

(almost always) produce the story of the day, and POTUS will be setting the terms of

the discussion. Op-eds provide a vehicle for him to articulate his policies and ideas in a

well-reasoned, thoughtful and persuasive way. Most Presidents have used op-eds

sparingly to maximize effect. But, the media world has changed, and POTUS should

write frequent op-eds to advance his agenda (and use adversarial newspapers to his

own advantage).

d) People are fascinated by the lives of their Presidents and the operation of the White

House. POTUS is the greatest TV star in history. Comms should produce video

content that constructively operates as “The President Donald J. Trump” show. Obama

scratched the surface of this. POTUS should take it to the next level.

e) Rather than traditional press conferences, POTUS should take questions from real

citizens via Facebook live and/or other social media platforms.

f) Comms should consider a range of ideas including a modernized fireside chats where

POTUS sits with a Cabinet member (and/or senior government official) to discuss the

relevant issues. Perhaps, Sarah or Kellyanne could act as a moderator. These videos

should have running times of between 15-20 minutes.

g) text polling should be evaluated as a means to produce engagement. Obviously, the

polling topics would need to be carefully considered.

h) find ways to connect POTUS with Presidential history to capture the importance,

power, and grandeur of the office. Perhaps, Comms could produce “this day in

Presidential history” videos.

-There is an inherent challenge in flooding the zone with content while broadcasting a

focused message. However, the audience and mediums for each objective are quite

different. For traditional media outlets, Comms needs to do a considerably better job at

producing a focused daily message that is reinforced and coordinated throughout the


Priority #5 - Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

a) “it’s the economy stupid” should be “it’s the Trump economy.” The media (and the

voters) will make POTUS own the economy (which is doing very well) if it goes the other

way, so he should own it now. Comms needs to emphasis the economy early and often

b) The message should be that businesses are investing more and creating more jobs

because they have confidence. The source of their confidence is the election of a

successful businessman to the Presidency. Obama bred uncertainty amongst the

business community. Trump breeds confidence. Confidence=more jobs. Would the

stock market have galloped from election day to year end 2016 if HRC had won? Of

course, not.

c) Comms will coordinate with Commerce, Treasury, State, etc to identify a steady

stream of examples of the Trump administration providing support to small and medium

size businesses. POTUS can take credit and publicize these wins (big and small) while

complimenting the great work of people in various departments/agencies.

d) Every positive piece of economic data needs to echo throughout the Comms ecosystem,

and Comms needs to find ways to connect positive economic data to real

people. The growth in new jobs is life changing for every day Americans. Comms

needs to bring a spotlight to these people/stories

e) When the media or Democrats attack POTUS, Comms should pivot to the

economy. For example, real Americans do not care about palace intrigue in the White

House. POTUS is leading and fostering an economy that makes their lives

better. That’s what real people care about.

Scaramucci To-Do List

-meet with General Kelly

-meet with Hope Hicks, Josh Raffel, Michael Anton, and Dina Powell and anyone else

who you believe should be a top priority.

-meet with Steve Bannon (I want his insight and help. He presumably has an opinion

on how Comms can operate more effectively)

-meet with heads of the various networks and leading journalists (like Maggie

Haberman) to build a better relationship and solicit their input on how we can better

work together

-meet with Directors of Communications from prior administrations (no need to re-invent

the wheel on certain matters, particularly basic blocking and tackling stuff)

-meet with Ryan Lizza (not to litigate the past—to reset for moving forward)

-meet with leading Republicans who, whether for or against POTUS, have valuable

insights to impart Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove are at the top of this list

-meet with Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell and their respective Comms teams