PAO Officers Speak to MARCOM Committee on the Changing World of Media

MARCOM Committee Chairpersons and event speakers Back row: Sheila Blackwell (Decision Sciences), Alan Hill (Serco), Eileen Rivera (NantHealth), Andrew Bryden (SRA International) Front Row: John Verrico, Jamie Cosgrove, and Matt McQueen (Northrop Grumman)

MARCOM Committee Chairpersons and event speakers and sponsor
Back row: Sheila Blackwell (Decision Sciences), Alan Hill (Serco), Eileen Rivera (NantHealth), Andrew Bryden (SRA International) Front row: John Verrico, Jamie Cosgrove, and Matt McQueen (Northrop Grumman)

As professionals in any industry know, communication with employees, customers and the general public is critical to the longevity and success of an organization. This idea was reinforced by keynote speakers Jamie Cosgrove, a Public Affairs Officer speaking in her personal capacity, and John Verrico, President of National Association of Government Communicators, at the WashingtonExec MARCOM Committee Roundtable.

Both keynote speakers support using more creative communication when engaging with staff and the general public. Cosgrove began the discussion with the group of 25 marketing and communication GovCon executives highlighting three trends that she sees as a PAO in the industry:

Both keynote speakers support using more creative communication when engaging with staff and the general public.  Cosgrove began the discussion with the group of 25 marketing and communication GovCon executives highlighting three trends that she sees as a PAO in the industry:

First, she sees speed becoming more significant when it comes to media relations. Second, she notices the challenge to communicate creatively with audiences – moving away from traditional forms of communication, such a press releases and interviews with trade publications, to using pictures and short videos in order to relay complex messages. Lastly, she stressed the need for open lines of communication between PAOs and the project managers involved with the updates to develop a consistent message to release to the public.

Verrico also commented on how the relationship between the media and GovCon industry has changed just in the past few years. Today he is seeing media outlets stepping away from utilizing specialized beat reporters, the need to overlook reporters work has increased significantly. This is one of the reasons why the public affairs sector is making an increased effort to relay messages in a more absorbable way so that everyone walks away with the same message. The use of social media is also a way public sector communication professionals view as a way to establish transparency in an organization and generate public support.

As Cosgrove and Verrico said, PAOs are important people to have relationships with. By knowing the PAO individually, they are great resource to have while working through the bureaucracy and red tape of industry.

Sheila Blackwell, Decision Sciences; Andrew Bryden, SRA International; Alan Hill, Serco; and Eileen Rivera, NantHealth, are the Chairpersons of the MARCOM Committee.

Northrop Grumman sponsored the event. The committee is set to meet again in October.

Related articles: WashingtonExec MARCOM Committee Discusses the Evolving Role of the MARCOM Leader

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