Episode 22: Peter Arnold

Peter Arnold was a speechwriter for George H.W. Bush and has managed media campaigns on high-profile public policy issues.

For the past 35 years, Peter Arnold has been immersed in the high-stakes world of Washington political and corporate affairs. Following his years as a White House speechwriter during the Reagan and Bush administrations, Peter began leading national media campaigns, including serving as director of public affairs for UN-50, which organized the United Nations’ 50th anniversary.

In 1998, Peter founded Arnold Consulting in Washington, D.C. Since that time, he has managed successful government and media campaigns on some of the nation’s highest-profile public policy issues of the past quarter-century.

Look Left’s Davida Dinerman and John Moran recently caught up with Peter on the Look Left @ Marketing podcast to talk about his illustrious career and the best ways for corporate leaders to communicate in today’s fast-paced media climate. Here are a few of the highlights:

  •  A common communication mistake is focusing too much on the offering and not enough on the outcome: “There’s an old saying among political consultants: When you build a temple without Jesus, you get a warehouse. And what that basically means is, yes, you have a product to sell, but there’s nothing more important than selling the larger issue of how people will benefit. It’s an important point, and yet I’ve seen this certainly in the political world, but also in the corporate world, missed over and over again.”
  • Many people have a very contradictory stance when it comes to data privacy: “In the abstract, they all say they want privacy, and yet frequently I will see on Facebook somebody will post something along the lines of, ‘Yesterday my daughter gave birth to a new grandchild,’ and they will list the baby’s full name, the baby’s date of birth, the mother’s maiden name. It’s all right there. Legislation can only do so much if people’s attitudes and actions don’t change.” 
  • Peter reflects on his time working for George H.W. Bush: “I spent two-and-a-half years at the White House, and there were a lot of frustrating times, there were a lot of late nights, but I’ll tell you I don’t think I ever had a boring day while I was there. It was remarkable to watch a presidential campaign unfold from the vantage point of the White House and to see everything that was going on behind the scenes.”

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public affairs
media campaigns
peter arnold

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