Back-to-work grab bag

October 13, 2009 at 7:57 pm Leave a comment

After a three-day weekend (though I did post yesterday in case you missed it!) I thought I’d catch up with a few things that some email correspondents have mentioned lately. And I’ll include an event, a list serve and a couple of job openings.

Thought it would be appropriate today, as the Senate Finance Committee just approved health care legislation, to mention some good news, at least for now, for many laid-off workers: Continuing your existing coverage under COBRA (an acronym for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, for those who were wondering) will be much less expensive than usual, at least in the short run.  (Federal law requires companies with 20 or more employees to offer laid-off workers the opportunity to stay in their health care plans, but such employees are required to foot the bill for the employer and the employee’s portion of the premium, which typically means huge increases from what employees were previously paying.)

Included in the stimulus legislation Congress passed earlier this year were subsidies that cover 65 percent of the COBRA premium — a huge benefit for those who are not able to transfer to a spouse or partner’s health insurance. Basically, individuals pay only 35 percent of their COBRA premiums and the remaining 65 percent is reimbursed to the coverage provider through a tax credit. The premium reduction applies to periods of health coverage beginning on or after Feb. 17, 2009 and lasts for up to nine months for those eligible for COBRA during the period beginning Sept. 1, 2008 and ending Dec. 31, 2009, stemming from  an “involuntary termination of employment that occurred during that period.”  Check out some helpful information from the Labor Department through the following link:

*Also, several recruiting experts (and some sharp-eyed Facebookies) have mentioned this to me recently: Job seekers should make sure all of their public information is appropriate. For instance, on your Facebook page, it’s good to have a photo that makes you look attractive and friendly but watch out for those where you appear too friendly — either in terms of inappropriate dress or hanging out with pals hoisting a cold one! Watch what you say in your interests areas on social networking sites. For instance if you’re applying to non-partisan think tanks and news organizations for jobs, be careful what you list under political affiliation. Also, tend to your outgoing Voicemail and mobile phone answering messages. Leave a clear, polite message. A hiring manager may respond to a cutesy “You know what to do” outgoing Voicemail message by doing nothing more with your application!

And now in the grab bag, an event, an additional list serve (w/events) and a few job opportunities.

An upcoming event from former CQ publisher and author Bob Merry, who just posted this on Facebook:

*To All My Facebook Friends —

My good friend Kay Enokido, who runs the Hay-Adams Hotel, has put me on the program for the next Select Author Series luncheon, which is a bit intimidating in that I am sandwiched between John Grisham, who spoke this month, and David McCullough, who speaks in February. These are generally wonderful lunches on the famous H-A Rooftop, and I would love to see as many of you there as can make it. Tickets are $50 per person, and I will do everything within my powers of scintillation to make sure the cost is entirely worth it. The topic will be my forthcoming book on James Polk and the powerful wave of expansionism that washed over America in the 1840s, culminating in the U.S. continental map outline as we know it today. This surge of expansionism led to a war with Mexico, to highly intense political battles, and eventually to the reality that the slavery issue couldn’t be contained short of war. So grab your friends and converge on the Hay-Adams rooftop. I’m looking forward to it all the more just knowing you may be there.


Cheers, rwm

Read More

Hay-Adams Select Author Series
Time:12:30PM Friday, November 13th

Location: Hay Adams Hotel, Washington, D.C.

*Also, this list serve has just come to my attention, put together by the Washington Network Group. The job listing board, which is free, is heavy on association and communications opportunities, but includes some in news and public affairs as well. Here is how you can subscribe. Also, they list upcoming events, two of which I’m including:


Here is the latest edition of our WNG Job Announcements posting.


Subscribe to this free newsletter, update and manage your subscription: click here.

Share this newsletter with your colleagues via links at the bottom of this message.


WNG Events


Upcoming WNG Events

October 14, 2009 – Wednesday
Make Your Contacts Count: Networking Know-How – A Workshop
Venue: Arlington Economic Development – Arlington/Ballston, Virginia

October 29, 2009 – Thursday
K Street on 7th Street – A Networking Reception for Government Relations Professionals
Event Partner: American League of Lobbyists (ALL)
Venue: Bar Louie at Gallery Place – Washington, D.C.

*A few job opportunities…The first is from the Huffington Post, which is in expansion mode:

Overnight Associate News Editor
Location: U.S. / UK / Australia

The Huffington Post has an opening for an overnight associate news editor. Important: hours of work will be roughly 10PM ET to 6AM ET.
Associate News Editor’s job duties:
-Find, file, post stories and video, primarily to the front page of the Huffington Post.
-Meticulously follow breaking news.
-Create slideshows and other multimedia presentations.
-Work on long term projects.

The ideal candidate:
– has spent at least two years in a breaking news environment. Candidates with other politics/media backgrounds will also be considered.
– should be well versed in politics and business news. The candidate will be asked to work on numerous topics.
– should be very familiar with a broad range of internet news and media outlets.
– should be comfortable with a job that sometimes requires flexible hours, work on weekends, etc.
– Working knowledge of Photoshop a plus.

Send resume and cover letter to

*And a media relations opening, sent by a recruiter who says this is a mid-level position (about $80K). The firm is seeking someone with a strong knowledge of environmental issues — esp. cap-and-trade — and who is savvy, can work well with clients, can work well independently, can pitch stories, can set up radio tours and is a strategic thinker. The recruiter encourages “transitioning journalists” to apply. The listing follows:

Job Announcement

Outreach Strategies

Senior Account Supervisor/Vice President

Outreach Strategies, a newly launched public affairs firm with a growing practice in environment, sustainability and climate issues, seeks a public relations professional with proven media relations, issues management and client leadership skills to join our growing team.

The successful candidate will bring agency experience, a policy, Hill or campaign background and a deep understanding of how communications can support public policy strategies.

Outreach Strategies clients expect top-notch strategic counsel and the best high-level implementation in the public affairs business.

Qualifications include:
• A strong background in traditional media relations and new media technologies;
• A track record of generating top media placements;
• Established relationships with key energy, environment, policy and opinion media;
• Excellent writing skills for media, policy & general audiences;
• Proven client and account leadership capabilities; and
• A high degree of personal motivation and ability to work successfully on teams.

We seek candidates with a passion for advocacy communications, high expectations for themselves and their colleagues, and a career interest in building a top D.C. public affairs firm.

Please send resume, cover letter and salary requirements to

Happy hunting; and keep those ideas, tips and leads coming!!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

A journalist’s transition…. When the interviewer becomes the interviewee….

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