Public Affairs Director

This position was eliminated by constitutional amendment in Spring 2007. The close corollary on the current Executive Board is the position of Media Director.

Being Public Affairs Director: Nothing but the cold hard facts, ma’am
By Josh Bolotsky, PA Director, 05-06

What being Public Affairs Director means right now:

Advertising/Brand Democrat:

All I can say is, the more inventive/creative you are, and the more experience you have with graphic design, the better. I entered this position with a very, very flimsy grasp on Photoshop and a few slogans; if my successor chooses to continue with the whole Brand Democrat motif, know that there will be plenty of nights where you’re staring in front of a blank page and have absolutely no idea which ten new slogans will be rolled out this week.

Also know that, if you are (like me) absolutely crummy with graphic design and (again, like me) somewhat of a perfectionist, the posters will take much, MUCH longer than you now expect. Like, hours and hours longer. Like, it will consume time in a way that’s positively ludicrous. Learn. Photoshop. Now. Unless you’re satisfied by subpar materials…in which case maybe this isn’t your bag, but what do I know.

Expect to spend a lot of time jetting around from print stations to the journalism basement or the copy shop in SIPA. Also note that, whenever there’s a special project, event or umbrella group activity, there’ll be a certain expectation, right or wrong, that you’ll do the PAD stuff for that, too…which essentially means you’ll be doing the equivalent of being PAD for multiple clubs all at once unless you assign someone else that role early on. Note: this number alone makes it conducive to getting yourself one of those eager-to-learn freshman reps.

I’ll try to get through the whole BrandDemocrat thing as quickly as possible: the idea basically comes from Oliver Willis, fellow at Media Matters For America, and his website, the point being to create a brand among everyday folks as to what Democrats mean. Divide this work, and divide it early on. Or ditch it and come up with something better. But if you DO continue with BrandDemocrat, try to establish somewhat of a rapport with Oliver (like I have) and find a few folks to mentor at the beginning of the year whom you can share the work with and train for a potential board position later on. This makes things much, much easier.

Also, know that posters will get old fast, so you should do your best to innovate in terms of other advertising strategies. I’ve tried to accomplish this in the methods of ad-cards (moderately successful) and buttons (TBD), but someone truly creative could do a far better job.

Press Releases: Almost everything the Dems organizes is worth getting in the Spectator and Bwog, and you should always be aiming for big newspapers out in the real world to cover what you do from the NYtimes to the Daily News. As usual, the best way to get something in the spec or bwog is to know someone who writes or edits for them and to email them personally about the event. Make it a point to meet the bwog editor, your Spectator campus editor, and your Spectator beat reporter.

The more professional way is to email the campus editor or your beat reporter for the Spectator and ude.aibmuloc|pissoggowb#ude.aibmuloc|pissoggowb for the bwog. Be impresonal when talking with student reporters, but be aware that they may just copy paste what you say into any article, so take some time to think about how you want to describe the event.

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