AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Dannielle Blumenthal

Federal communicator and co-founder, All Things Brand

Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D., is a federal communicator with 20 years' experience in the private sector, academia and government. Best known for her work on branding, Dr. Blumenthal now focuses on the discipline of management, particularly the intersections between identity, culture and communication. She has lectured at a variety of schools including The George Washington University and the University of Maryland University College. In her spare time she is an independent community activist, focused primarily on raising awareness about child sexual abuse and domestic violence. All opinions are her own.

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How to Serve a President You Don’t Like

April 6, 2018 It is no secret that the vast majority of Washingtonians dislike our current president. Maybe there's some secret poll going about and the proportion is less than awful—perhaps it's 75-25 opposed, instead of 98-2. But here's a quick newsflash, in case this fact isn't clear: By default in every administration,...

Lead, Follow or Get Out Of The Way

March 30, 2018 Once I worked with a career counselor who gave me some great advice: “Try to think of work as an anthropology experiment,” she said to me. “Observe the people like you’ve embarked on a field trip, and write down what you see.” It was the best advice anybody ever gave...

We Need A Plan for Federal Communications

January 23, 2018 As a government communicator I have always had a heightened sensitivity to the gap between what the public wants to hear and what the government wants to say. I've also understood that the government tends to play catch-up with the communication tools used by the private sector. (It took us...

How Poor Government Communication Strategy Fuels Paranoia

October 25, 2017 By and large, Americans in 2017 have a fairly negative perception of government. And it’s far worse than it was 20 years ago. The government's failure to adapt its communication approach to reality is only making things worse. Let's take a look at some data. A Pew Research Center survey...

The No. 1 Reason Why Your Presentation Sucks

September 15, 2017 For some people, public speaking is more terrifying than death. If that’s you, the reason for this is the same as why your presentations are probably terrible. It’s not that you don’t know your subject matter. You likely know it better than the back of your hand. It’s not that...

The Most Hated Job In Government

July 17, 2017 In an uncharacteristically direct comment, my friend asked, somewhat rhetorically: "The government does not need PR people at all, do they?" "What do you mean by that?" I replied. "Just give out the information," said my friend. "Don't pay people to lie." It's a common perception that civil servants are...

Government Isn't Just Another Brand To Be Marketed

June 7, 2017 Recently an interesting debate arose over the fundamental meaning of branding. The context was a call for volunteers to help with the user interface of the Good Country, a project aimed at making the world more habitable for all. Conceptually, here’s how it works: participants get to “vote” on the...

Spending On Government Communications Is Ripe for Abuse

April 12, 2017 Last year the Government Accountability Office issued “Public Relations Spending” (GAO-16-877R) in response to a request from the Senate Budget Committee. The purpose of the report was to "determine how much the federal government spends on public relations activities, including contracts and internal agency support, and identify the highest-spending agencies."...

Why Everyone Should Master Project Management Skills

March 7, 2017 Agile, waterfall, MS Project, Excel, or even a plain old Sharpie—you somehow have to manage your work. And most of what we do in our daily lives, if we are in a professional setting, involves a series of projects. Project management is boring. I know you're telling yourself that, and...

Civil Servants Need to Stay Out of the Spin Business

March 1, 2017 The fact that government communications is ripe for abuse has undoubtedly contributed to trust levels in government that are at their lowest ever. While political corruption is chiefly responsible for public disillusionment (e.g. “Vietnam: The Loss Of American Innocence?”) it is also true that outsized spending on federal public relations...