chapter  6
39 Pages

Presidential Media Events

ByStephen E. Frantzich

Presidential press conferences are not only high stakes events for the president. Press conferences serve as communications links to several audiences. While the solo presidential press conference has declined in frequency, joint press conferences with visiting heads of state have served as somewhat of a replacement. Regional press conferences with reporters and editors have a number of advantages. Reporters generally do not like the State of the Union speech. The primary increases in presidential speeches has occurred in the utilization of "minor" addresses in which the president is talking to a particular group such as veterans, specific government agency employees, or union members. Presidents walk a fine line when they give exclusive interviews to favored reporters. Presidential town hall meetings present the image of an accessible president facing his fellow citizens. Normally the communications staff carefully stages photo ops in the Oval Office associated with important meetings between the president and world leaders or individuals of particular achievement.