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On the Record…Online with Former White House Communications Director Karen Hughes

PODCAST:  Former US President George W. Bush’s director of communications Karen Hughes goes On the Record…Online with iPressroom founder and chairman Eric Schwartzman about strategic communications messaging, promoting American values at this time of war and the challenges of publicizing unpopular US policies abroad.

NOTE: This is not a political podcast.  We are interested in how technology is changing the way organizations communicate, and the way people consume media and information.  This interview focuses on getting at the lessons Hughes learned as a communications professional.  We take no sides on the issues or policies of George W. Bush Administration.

Karen Hughes - PRSA International Conference - Philadelphia, PA


Karen Hughes is the former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, with the rank of ambassador.  Her objective was to lead the development and implementation of a comprehensive public diplomacy plan.  Previously, Hughes was the director of communications while George Bush was governor of Texas, from 1995 to 2000.  Later she was counselor to president George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002.  In July 2002, Hughes moved back to Texas for two years before rejoining the Bush Administration in August of 2004 as a campaign consultant.

This podcast was recorded on Oct. 22, 2007 at the PRSA International Conference 2007 in Philadelphia, the week before Ms. Hughes resigned from the position of undersecretary.  The episode was released on Oct. 31, 2007, the same day Hughes resigned from the US Department of State.

Show Notes:

3:58 – Hughes on the challenges of promoting American values abroad at this time of war.

5:48 – Hughes discusses communicating unpopular US policies that are unlikely to change.

8:40 – Hughes on the single most important part of a strategic messaging campaign.

10:33 – Hughes on the real value of research to political campaigns.

12:06 – Hughes contemplates the internet’s role on the upcoming 2008 Presidential Election.

13:46 – Hughes on the opportunity new media presents corporate communications and public relations professionals.

14:23 – Hughes on her future political aspirations.

15:13 – End

Photo by Josh Hallett

About the author

Eric Schwartzman


  • I”m interested in the business of communications as well. Please more carefully edit your copy in the future. There are errors in the above text that any communications professional should be expected to avoid.

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