READ: Anthony Scaramucci's communications plan

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