Monthly Archives: January 2009

A ‘Super’ Time to Choose a State Song

When Super Bowl XLIII gets underway in Tampa on Sunday, neither of the NFL teams that play their home games in New Jersey will be on the field. But one New Jerseyan who has performed for large crowds at Giants Stadium will be there at Raymond James Stadium when the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers square off to determine this season’s NFL champion.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will provide the halftime entertainment, joining the ranks of Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and other superstars who have performed at the 42 previous Super Bowls. While this provides a great opportunity for Springsteen to appear before a capacity crowd of 72,500 and a television audience of up to 100 million viewers, it also represents a plus for New Jersey because of the unique and important role that the Garden State plays in his music and his lyrics. Continue reading

How Should Barack Obama Handle the Media?

On the heels of his successful campaign and historic election, Barack Obama would not appear to be a man in need of advice on dealing with the news media. Ever since he emerged on the national scene at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he has enjoyed largely favorable, positive press coverage. In fact, his treatment by the news media was so flattering and so complimentary that his rivals in the primary and general elections frequently voiced complaints. Nevertheless, the dynamics are likely to change. As the nation’s 44th president, Obama will be judged by how he governs, instead of how he performs on the campaign trail.

During my career, I have had the opportunity to offer media advice to several individuals making the transition from candidate to officeholder, albeit at the state and local levels. But if Barack Obama were to seek my advice, here are ten recommendations I would offer to guide his media operations: Continue reading

Are State of the State Speeches Obsolete?

This week’s State of the State of speech has me wondering what function these types of events serve in the 21st Century — not just New Jersey’s annual State of the State address, but the countless “State of…” speeches that are given all over the country at this time of year by Governors, Mayors, County Executives, even the President.

More often than not, the key elements of a “State of…” speech already are known before the event takes place. Decision-makers have been briefed and information has been leaked to reporters whose news reports have made the information available to the public at-large. Although not every detail of every program is known ahead of time, there generally is an absence of suspense, save for counting the number of times the speech is interrupted by applause.

Continue reading