Mark Hannah

Mark Hannah is a political correspondent for Mediashift and a doctoral student at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication. Mark's political career began on the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign, where he worked as a member of the national advance staff. He's more recently done advance work for the Obama-Biden campaign, the Presidential Inaugural Committee and the White House. In the "off-season" (i.e., in between campaigns) he worked in the PR agency world and conducted sensitive public affairs campaigns for well-known multinational corporations, major industry organizations and influential non-profits. He serves on the board of directors of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and was a research fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and received a master's degree from Columbia University. His personal website is www.mark-hannah.com, and he can be reached at markphannah[at]gmail.com. Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarksTerritory.

by Mark Hannah

The Internet has been alternately characterized as participatory, conversational, and collaborative. By empowering its users to create (not just consume) content, it is by design a more democratic medium than any other. There has been plenty of discussion about how, by giving everyone a public voice, the Internet is upending conventional power dynamics and enabling […] more »

by Mark Hannah

In what some initially speculated to be a homophobic new expurgation policy, Amazon.com removed hundreds of gay and lesbian themed books from its sales rating system, effectively concealing these books from online shoppers. Some titles were completely delisted from Amazon’s search engine. The controversy may never have provoked such widespread media attention — or an […] more »

by Mark Hannah

Last Wednesday morning, as the sun rose over the West Coast, newspaper delivery people in Seattle dropped off the final edition of the Post Intelligencer, one of Seattle’s two daily newspapers. The struggling P-I was 145 years old and, by coincidence, 145 newsroom employees were left without jobs. Hearst, which owns the news organization, announced […] more »

by Mark Hannah

“How could a mass murderer who publicly praised the terrorists of Sept. 11 be winning the hearts and minds of anyone? How can a man in a cave outcommunicate the world’s leading communications society?” — Richard Holbrooke, Former US Ambassador to the UN, Get the Message Out, The Washington Post, October 2001 We’re a nation […] more »

by Mark Hannah

“What is public diplomacy?” was the first question that Ted Koppel posed at the recent Media as a Global Diplomat conference attended largely by public diplomacy professionals. I was surprised that the panelists, including the outgoing Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy & Public Affairs, couldn’t readily agree on an answer to this foundational question. […] more »

by Mark Hannah

In times of crisis, communications professionals have an important — and increasingly complicated — role to play. We used to be the first to offer public responses to catastrophes, able to develop elucidating messages before much of the news media was on the scene. Nowadays, the type of media that will report on a crisis […] more »

by Mark Hannah

Professional communicators are paying close attention to the rise of “direct to consumer” (DTC) communications. This is a phenomenon largely enabled by the rapid proliferation and adoption of online technologies, whereby organizations can communicate directly to the public without filters or mediation from the press. Corporate blogs or advocacy groups’ online “action alerts” are just […] more »

by Mark Hannah

We used to say in my profession — public relations — that you shouldn’t say or write anything that you wouldn’t want to turn up on the front page of the New York Times. Now what I like to tell clients instead is: You shouldn’t say or write anything that you wouldn’t want to turn […] more »