Anatomy of a Bloomberg Announcement

  • 00 scale Anatomy of a Bloomberg AnnouncementWhen Michael Bloomberg welcomed 193 volunteers from a federally funded program recently at City Hall, it was yet another example of how he and his staff pull off large, well-managed public events. But it’s not as easy as it looks.

    Here are some of the little-noticed ingredients of a successful Bloomberg media spectacle.

  • When Michael Bloomberg welcomed 193 volunteers from a federally funded program recently at City Hall, it was yet another example of how he and his staff pull off large, well-managed public events. But it's not as easy as it looks. Here are some of the little-noticed ingredients of a successful Bloomberg media spectacle: Prepare for a large audience. Aides began building the stage for the Thursday morning announcement on Wednesday, during rain and lightening.

  • It has nothing to do with the announcement, but puts participants (including sweaty, out-of-sorts reporters) in a good mood.

  • To carry your message. In this case, the pillars of City Hall are holding up a giant orange sign with the NYC Service logo.

  • With useful things, like bottles of water.

  • And hide the wires for the audio system. Nobody needs to see all that stuff.

  • Here, hand fans carry the 'Be Cool & Smart' message, which is part of the city's effort to reduce energy use during the summer.

  • Make sure the staff working the event can communicate without screaming, with walkie-talkies and ear pieces.

  • Aides not directly running the event, but who are nonetheless helpful in the day-to-day operations of City Hall, are usually nearby. Here on the left is Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs. On the far right, wearing glasses, is Director of Communications Jim Anderson.

  • No matter what the announcement, find a way to express approval of Barack Obama, who is very popular in New York.

    Welcoming the 193 volunteers was "another major step forward in our efforts to answer President Obama’s call for a 'new era of service,'" Bloomberg said at the event.

  • Part of Stu Loeser's brief is to anticipate what reporters will ask, and to advise the mayor about what to say in response.

  • Another spokesman, Marc LaVorgna, makes sure reporters are in place before Bloomberg fields their questions. They prefer some distance between the press corps and the mayor.

  • Even for a brief Q&A, the administration provides a multbox, where reporters can plug in their recorders to get a clear audio feed.

    It's important everyone agrees on what's heard and what's not because sometimes, the difference is significant.

    Hanging out among the reporters here is Deputy Mayor Patti Harris.

  • Bloomberg is, at all times, in the company of security guards. They make themselves particularly visible when people like gadfly Rafael Martinez-Alequin get too close.

  • The mayor can then safely field questions from everyone else.

  • While Bloomberg speaks, spokesmen Stu Loeser and Marc LaVorgna work their BlackBerrys. They are also listening, though, and are ready to explain, clarify and produce whatever information is needed to defend the mayor.

  • Stand back and allow reporters to gather supporting quotes from event participants.

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