Dana Perino: President Obama’s Online Strategy is “Great”

By on 06/02/2009 5:56 PM @beet_tv

NEW YORK — Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary to President George Bush, thinks that President Obama's use of online video for his weekly addresses is "great." 

Perino, now a Fox News commentator and public relations executive with Burson-Marsteller, was in New York today as speaker in Federated Media's media and marketing conference.  She was interviewed onstage by John Battelle.

HuffPo is Doing a Pretty Good Job

She had some nice things to say about the Huffington Post onstage and off in this interview.  She told me the site is "rebuilding its reputation and dong a pretty good job."

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

Video Transcript 

Andy Plesser:  What's happening with journalism and the transition, and I heard you, you know, discuss the transition with the Huffington Post and other media. Tell us how the ecosystem is changing.

Dana Perino:
  Well, the great thing about it is that it's changing all of the time and so there's not a lot of answers yet, there's just a lot of questions. But a lot of new media is trying to become…fill the void where traditional media is falling short, and that's a good thing. Look, people are getting their information from all different sorts of ways now. One thing that I'm concerned about, though, is that if you have a particular interest in one area or you have one political leaning, one side or the other politically, you might just be reading your side and it's important that people be able to broaden out–read a lot of different things. I check a lot of different blogs during the day as well as looking at more the traditional news media sites. I still am quite fond of the networks and the big national papers. And local papers continue to do very well. So people are getting their information in a lot of different ways, and the great thing is for communicators, like us at Burson, is that we can use that to then blanket coverage all over the place. It just means that you have to work a lot harder.

Andy Plesser:
  And how do you see the evolution of the Huffington Post?

Dana Perino:
  Well I've just noticed that they've tried to go for more of something that I think was first of all considered maybe more of a gossip blog or sort of a "news with edge" to more of a mainstream news site and they're getting a lot of credit, they're rebuilding their reputation, and I think they're doing a pretty good job.

Andy Plesser:  So let's talk about crises and new media and a decentralized media. Coming out of your experience in the White House, what are your thoughts and advice in that area?

Dana Perino:  Well things have started to move just so quickly. A crisis that you might have dealt with over a couple of weeks now happens within a couple of hours, so you have to have a team in place to be able to help you immediately scale up, stamp out a rumor, or deal with something, especially if it has to do with public health, to quickly be able to get information out, which is also a good thing. So if there's a food scare, you are able to let people know quickly, "Make sure you don't eat this or that that you might have in your cupboards." And that way you can get information out more quickly to people and hopefully save lives.

Andy Plesser: 
Tell us about this whole…you must have a lot of thoughts about the Supreme Court battle and how it's battled out in the press. Give us some of your thoughts on what's going on now.

Dana Perino:  What's really interesting to me on the Supreme Court nomination is to watch blogs. They have journalists that are going through, looking at all the different opinions that she rendered as a judge over her career and it's very interesting. And sometimes the traditional media just doesn't have enough time to do it. They are trying to do more with less, and so they're looking at the blogs as well. So it almost becomes a symbiotic relationship. The one thing that has to happen, though, when you are looking at this information is you want to make sure that it's solid. So in traditional journalism with the ethics that are involved in finding two sources and making sure that they understand the rules of on background, off the record, that's all still very important, but the blogs are still playing a very important role in this new development.

Andy Plesser:  Let's talk about YouTube for a minute and online video and viral video. That's a new phenomenon that has really come forward during your watch, I would say, or during the time that you were in the White House for good or bad. Tell us some of the impact of YouTube or viral video and how communicators can manage that, if they can.

Dana Perino:
  Well, a couple of things. One, it can be very good. I noticed that President Obama decided to take the radio address and turn it more into a video address that he does weekly and that's great. People love to watch video online and with more people having computers in their home and actually be able to access the internet through faster speeds, then you're actually able to watch video, so that has been a very good thing. On the downside, I know of a company who dealt with something where they had an employee that did something inappropriate, they put it on video, they put it on YouTube, and within 24 hours 800,000 people had watched that video and that can destroy a brand very quickly. So that's what we're trying to do at Burson-Marsteller, is help companies try to figure out, try to navigate that, how to be prepared for it and how to deal with it immediately when it happens. 

Andy Plesser: 
Yeah, because it's almost the react through video. How can companies be prepared to react through video?

Dana Perino:  Well they need to have some sort of freelancers on, on the speed-dial if they need to. And I think that CEOs and other people within companies should be doing more with video to their employees as well as to their customers and constitunts.

Recent Videos
image
Millennials Are Cool With Brands Changing All The Time: Initiative/IPG Study

Brands need to mimic the characteristics of millennial-age consumers to curry their favor, according to research, The Reset Generation, conducted by media agency IPG’s Initiative group. “Their expectations of brands are what they think people expect of them,” says Initiative’s US ...

image
If “Content Is King,” then “Distribution is Queen” as Paid Media is Essential,...

Mindshare, the media agency within WPP, has created some 250 branded campaigns for video and television over the past 9 years, says David Lang, Chief Content Officer and President of the agency’s entertainment division,  in this interview with Beet.TV  On the subject of viral video hits and paid vs. ...

image
Hearst is Building a “Netflix Model” Around Magazine Video Content

Hearst has just launched “Cosmo Body,” a daily fitness show which is advertiser-free and is  being offered on a subscription basis.  This is the first of what will be a number of Hearst titles and Hearst partners who will be part of a new “Netflix model,” explains Chris Grasso, SVP ...

image
Yahoo Gets Post-Web Analytics With Flurry: Jun’s Reichgut explains

Yahoo has bought itself a role in the advertising ecosystem that comes after the desktop web by acquiring mobile analytics firm Flurry last week. That’s the assessment of one cross-platform video ad tech vendor CEO. “A media company that was based on the web is now struggling getting in to the ...

image
Razorfish, Google & Videobloggers Drive 6+ Million Video Views for Unilever Haircare Campaign in...

A YouTube program in the U.K., designed by global agency Razorfish for several Unilever haircare brands, has driven more that six million views since its launch  in April, says Pete Stein, Global CEO of the agency in this interview with Beet.TV The program takes the pulse of Google queries on hair and ...

image
The Viral Video Is Not a Business Model

While the viral video hit can be golden for brands, it can’t be done consistently and it’s “not a sustainable business model” says Mitchell Reichgut, CEO and founder of the Jun Group, a digital video ad services firm that secures views for branded content on hundreds of publisher ...

image
TubeMogul Crushes Wall Street with 64% Rise on First Day of Trading

Whether the dramatic increase of the company’s stock price on its initial day of trading, which closed at 11.50, up $4.50 or 64%, can be sustained or not, time will tell.  For TubeMogul co-founder and CEO Brett Wilson, he is focused on “building a big, transformative company,” he told ...

image
Native Video Advertising on Mobile Devices Powers Growth for Jun Group

The dramatic rise of mobile, opt-in video advertising has helped fuel revenue growth for the New York-based adtech firm Jun Group by 120% in 2013 and the company is on pace for that kind of growth this year as well, says CEO Mitchell Reichgut  in this interview with Beet.TV. In the last few years, Jun ...

image
Simulmedia’s Morgan: TV Finally Embracing Ad Tech

Tacoda and Simulmedia founder Dave Morgan is just back from a fun week chewing over the TV ad tech revolution at Cannes Lions with Beet.TV He is interviewed on stage by digital media investment banker Terence Kwaja. In this AdAge article, Morgan concludes channel fragmentation, a desire for accountability ...

image
Comcast Serves up 13 Million Video Streams of World Cup: “TV Everywhere is Ready for its Close-up”

Comcast has provided  13 million video streams of World Cup matches to subscribers watching via digital devices.   That’s up  55% over the number of streams for the Soichi games, the cable giant says. The enormity of the digital consumption represents something of a watershed moment for “TV ...

image
Sling Rolls Out New Box With Added Mobile Features

Echostar-owned Sling Media introduced a new box to deliver pay TV channels to other devices. The “Slingbox M1″ and “SlingTVTM” are designed to be mobile friendly and are slated to retail for $149.99.  Here is the company press release. In the last year, Sling Media has been focusing ...

image
Digital Targeting Enables Consumer Choice in Storytelling, MediaCom’s Savic

CANNES, France — In a digital world, where transparency is the name of the game, brands can’t hide anymore. What works and doesn’t work is apparent every day, says Sasha Savic, CEO of MediaCom USA, during an interview with Beet.TV at Cannes. “We used to love our ideas. Now, it ...

loader