The strategic playbook for political communications is being remastered in the most unlikely of places: Donald Trump’s White House. No, not by the president during his highly rated, often bizarre media briefings. It’s Vice President Pence’s entrepreneurial press team and their shepherding of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s media blitz that is creating the gold standard. Impressively, they’re succeeding under the immense pressures of an unprecedented pandemic. Their execution seems centered around a few simple rules: Be authentic. Be bold. Be aggressive. Be everywhere.
The Fauci model is one that politicians from both sides should follow, both during and after the coronavirus pandemic. With a little innovation and a willingness to fail by venturing into unorthodox venues, enterprising public officials can overhaul the way they use the media to reach the American people to win elections. While you may think the circumstances make Fauci’s case unique, I can tell you with confidence that it is not. In many ways it’s a continuation of the “go everywhere” strategy I employed as Pete Buttigieg’s media adviser—one that was instrumental in his ascendance from unknown mayor to top-tier presidential candidate.