Thursday, May 7, 2009

A little off the beaten PAO path -- how to promote your business in Federal agencies - My appearance on FED NEWS RADIO

April 28th, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Special guest Abbe Buck, principal of Abbe Buck Public Affairs, visits host Scott Orbach in studio to discuss how businesses can better market themselves to federal buyers and trade association publications.  For more information on the show or to e-mail your latest government contracting and sales questions to Scott, visit 

"....and now for something completely different." --MPython

From Business Week:

Posted by: on May 01

One of the biggest challenges for small businesses interested in working with the government is a lack of information on how to get started! Prior to jumping into the government contracting arena, the first thing your small business needs to do is register with the Small Business Administration office serving your local customer base:

• It is critical to register using the right North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes based on the products and/or services that you have to offer to the government.

• You should also apply to become a GSA (General Services Administration) Schedule contractor via the GSA Web site.

Once these primary steps have been completed, your small business should then register with the following premier federal contracting research organizations:

• INPUT is an authority on government business and "provides market intelligence, analysis, consulting, events, and training to help companies develop government business." The ability to use INPUT effectively can be a critical success factor for a small business.

• can be used to search, monitor, and retrieve "opportunities solicited by the entire federal contracting community." Again, the success of a small business is directly related to using the right keywords while looking for opportunities.

Success for your small business within the government cannot be achieved without strategic teaming partners:

• A key strategy in winning contracts is to register as a small business with larger government contractors.

• Another approach is partnering with other government contractors in areas where your small business lacks expertise but can offer complementary products and/or services.

Finally, physical presence is very important in this business, and a successful small business must set up shop in the backyard of the federal government. An "in your face" strategy will help in the federal contracting race.

Jack Nargundkar, Director of Marketing
Government Solutions Group, Annapolis, Md.

You can also find this information on the Abbe Buck Public Affairs blog

Special Thanks to Scott Orbach for having me on his program -- ab

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

USACAC: Center for US Army Lessons Learned (KATRINA) - a Primer to keep on file

USACAC: Center for US Army Lessons Learned (KATRINA) - a Primer to keep on file

. United States Army Combined Arms Center reports:


Support Operations, Public Affairs Office

Chapter 8

Extract from Center for Army Lessons Learned Initial Impressions Report 06-11,
Disaster Response Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Figure 8-1: Public affairs interview in Mississippi

This article addresses the need for public affairs (PA) support during disaster relief operations. Public interest in how the U.S. government and the Army supports relief operations was significantly increased after Hurricane Katrina because this domestic disaster hit home in a monumental way. PA officers (PAOs) on the Gulf coast had to work closely with civilian media to ensure command messages and military information was disseminated in an accurate and timely manner. PAOs leveraged the power of U.S. media organizations to assist in information gathering and dissemination.

One National Guard (NG) division PAO in Louisiana conducted a vigorous media information program to get the command message out, despite staff shortages. The NG division, operating under the modular force structure, deployed with no organic staff. The modular force structure authorizes three officers and seven enlisted personnel in the PA section. The NG division possessed only one qualified PAO, who acted as the single point of contact for media operations within the division.

Through rigorous networking with military and civilian media agencies, the PAO was able to coordinate media coverage when opportunities surfaced. Most of this coordination was conducted while attending civilian news media meetings at the state emergency operations center. Command messages were disseminated via these meetings and with the military PA detachment (MPAD) located at Belle Chase, Louisiana, south of New Orleans. However, the MPAD was not part of the division. The division PA office had no tasking authority over the MPAD. Priority of media coverage was determined by the Louisiana NG chain of command, instead of the division-assigned command and control authority. If the MPAD was not available, the division PAO would cover stories on his own. These stories would be included in a newsletter that was distributed by the MPAD. The PAO also would arrange press meetings for the division commander. The PAO possessed 15 years of prior enlisted PA experience. This experience was critical in filling the void in staff structure.

In Mississippi, all intelligence/information was channeled through the joint task force (JTF) G2, who was also acting as the G5 and G7. As tactical-level units reported information about civil infrastructure and the status of services to the G2, this information was also passed to civilian media outlets by the JTF PAO. Initial military response priorities were communicated via press conferences and field media contacts at the local and higher headquarters levels. These priorities became part of the overall information operations (IO) plan and the media support plan. Sample talking points in the initial phase of the relief operation are listed below.

NG Support to Hurricane Katrina
As of 2 September 2005

Key Messages

  • This is what we do. We are trained and ready to help others, whether they’re overseas or in the United States. These are our neighbors we’re helping now. We’re looking forward to getting there and doing our part to help.
  • We’ve been deployed before, so we’re used to being away from home for months at a time. No one likes to be away from his or her loved ones for too long, but we feel fortunate that it is for a good cause. The sooner we can get there the better for everyone. I’m ready.
  • These National Guardsmen are trained professionals who bring great expertise and sensitivity to their mission in support of local law enforcement.
  • NG helicopters have evacuated hundreds of sick and injured persons out of the devastated greater New Orleans area.
  • Over the next few days, that number will rise to nearly 30,000 as we continue to deploy personnel and critical equipment to the hardest hit areas.
  • These are National Guardsmen saving, protecting, and serving the American people. They are committed citizen-Soldiers and Airmen, gathered from communities across this country.
  • The NG has a tradition of responding during natural disasters.
  • More than 320,000 NG Soldiers and Airmen and their equipment from all states are ready to mobilize into the disaster-struck area.
  • We understand the mission that lies ahead of us. This is why we serve – to help the nation in times of national crisis.

Insights/Lessons learned

  • PA coverage while supporting domestic disaster assistance is vital in disseminating the command message and telling the Army story.
  • The division PAO must be resourced with the authorized level of section personnel to properly conduct media support operations. Working one-deep has the potential to cause gaps in media coverage and may cause media opportunities to be lost.
  • It is important for the PAO to be present in any disaster relief to act as a conduit for military and civil leadership.

Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, and Facilities (DOTMLPF) Implications

  • Training: PA cells need to know and understand IO tactics, techniques, and procedures in order to take the lead when no IO personnel are present.
  • Personnel. Commanders should place more emphasis on resourcing the PA office with the staff needed to conduct media operations during domestic disaster support operations. Deploying staffs should plan for the appropriate level of media support during domestic disaster support operations or identify civilian-acquired skills sets that will support the PA section.

    Table of Supporting Observations

    Observation Title

    CALLCOMS File Number

    Public Affairs Operations During a Natural Disaster


    Intelligence Support to Effects



    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    USA VET BIZ: Michael Hershman, President of The Fairfax Group & Chairman of USAVETBIZ Recognized

      Monday, April 13, 2009

      Turning Five: The ASBC (American Small Business Coalition) has an excellent lineup of Government Leaders next April 23rd

      An Excellent Lineup of Government Leaders for April 23rd at The ASBC's Fifth Anniversary Conference

       Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC


      WHEN: Thursday, April 23, 2009
      7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

      WHERE: Sheraton Premiere Tysons Corner
      8661 Leesburg Pike

      Vienna, VA 22182 

      WHO: Government Leaders to include: (additional info here)

      Shay Assad, Director, Defense Procurement, Acquisition Policy and Strategic 
      Sourcing, Department of Defense

      Soraya Correa, Director, Office of Procurement Operations, Department of 
      Homeland Security

      Casey Coleman, Chief Information Officer, General Services Administration

      Delores Thompson-Gad, Assistant Director, Office of Small Business Programs, 
      Mission and Installtion Contracting Command, Directorate of Contracting, Fort Belvoir

      Mary Davie, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Assisted Acquisition Services
      Federal Acquisition Service, General Services Administration

      Amanda Fredriksen, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, General Supplies and 
      Services, Federal Acquisition Service

      Mike Sade, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Integrated Technology Services, 
      Federal Acquisition Service

      Houston Taylor, Director, Program Analysis Division, Office of Acquisition 
      Management, Federal Acquisition Service

      Kendra Turner, Director, Industry Relations Division, Office of Acquisition 
      Management, Public Buildings Service

      WHAT: The American Small Business Coalition Fifth Anniversary Conference
      and Awards Dinner: "Celebrating a Culture of Collaboration and Success" (

      WHY: In addition to new initiatives like the Economic Stimulus, the change in
      our Nation's leadership is affecting the dynamics of how Government and Industry partnerships will occur, now and in the future. This event is a full day of high-
      touch, high-value information exchange for companies doing business in the
      government sector as well as those seeking to do business there. This event includes keynotes, breakouts and discussion panels led by leaders from Government and
      Industry with unparalleled networking opportunities throughout the day. This
       information-rich event concludes with a festive cocktail networking reception and 
      awards dinner in the Sheraton Premiere's Capital Club.

      The American Small Business Coalition (The ASBC) is a membership organization exclusively focused on supporting the development of relationships, best practices and 
      market intelligence for companies doing business in the government sector.

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      Wednesday, April 8, 2009

      Nat'l Org US Assoc. of Veterans in Business (USAVETBIZ) teams with NC Vet Bus. Assn (NC VetBiz) ---open to other state level Vet orgs

      North Carolina Veterans Business Association (NC VetBiz) Teams with The United States Association of Veterans in Business (USAVETBIZ) For Opening other State Level Organizations

      “Serving Those Who Served” – NC VetBiz pledges to promote, empower and educate North Carolina’s veteran business owners and professionals

      April 8, 2009 CHARLOTTE, NC –NC VetBiz has accepted an invitation to become the first state veterans’ business association to become affiliated with USAVETBIZ, a national organization that represents and promotes all veterans in business under the national banner of Commerce for the Defenders.

      The alliance is designed to help veterans in business in other states to follow in the footsteps of NC VetBiz. The two organizations will remain independent of each other, but will promote the free flow of information, ideas and considerable energy.

      “NC VetBiz has built an outstanding platform to launch their organization and we want to assist veterans in business in other states in duplicating the NC VetBiz foundation", said Richard Ramirez, President of USAVETBIZ. "Our two organizations will work together in developing a template for success. There is a high level of confidence that this will accelerate the Veterans Enterprise Movement by consolidating the forces of advocacy and recognition at the local level."

      Other state organizations in the works include Virginia, California, Texas, Florida, Arizona and Illinois.”

      “We are very pleased to be affiliated with USAVETBIZ, says NC VetBiz, President James Darnell. They were a great help to us as we undertook to create the first veterans business organization in North Carolina and we are honored that our work is seen as a model to help others. We’re excited about the interest that’s being generated around our great state from
      veterans in business, the general public and many supporters who see the importance of stimulating business and assistance for military veteran entrepreneurs. We’re off to a great start and appreciate the support of many.”

      On the web:


      Tuesday, April 7, 2009

      Actor Kal Penn joins White House team - Associate Director, OPL

      Actor Kal Penn joins White House team

      Actor Kal Penn of the television show 'House' and the 'Harold and Kumar' movie series is joining the staff of the White House. Here, Penn is seen with President Obama - then President-elect Obama - on the National Mall in Washington on Jan. 18 during inauguration festivities.
      By Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
      Actor Kal Penn of the television show 'House' and the 'Harold and Kumar' movie series is joining the staff of the White House. Here, Penn is seen with President Obama - then President-elect Obama - on the National Mall in Washington on Jan. 18 during inauguration festivities.
      WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has hired actorKal Penn as a liaison between President Obama's administration and Hollywood.

      White House spokesman Shin Inouye said Tuesday that the actor who had a recurring role on the Fox TV show House and has starred in several movies would join the staff as an associate director in the Office of Public Liaison. His role will be to connect Obama with the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities, as well as arts and entertainment groups.

      Penn starred as Kumar in the movie, Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.

      Penn was an Obama supporter during the campaign. The White House says a start date for Penn has not been set.

      The hire was first reported by Entertainment Weekly.

      Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.  
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        Monday, April 6, 2009

        Harris Contributes $10,000 to Wounded Warrior Project

        Harris Corporation Donates $10,000 to Wounded Warrior Project During HIMSS'09 Healthcare IT Conference and Exposition

        CHICAGO, April 6, 2009 (HIMSS'09, Harris Booth #3974) — Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), an international communications and information technology company, has donated $10,000 to Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a non-profit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. The donation is being presented today during a reception hosted by the company at the HIMSS'09 Healthcare IT Conference and Exposition being held April 4-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

        "Harris is committed to delivering technology that will help enhance healthcare and accelerate benefits for our nation's soldiers, veterans and their families," said Dan Pearson, group president of Harris Government Communications Systems. "We are proud to support Wounded Warrior Project, which is raising awareness and helping to meet the needs of severely injured service men and women." Pearson presented a check for $10,000 to WWP representative Chad Watson.

        WWP CEO Steve Nardizzi commented, "On behalf of the more than 33,000 severely injured service members, we want to thank Harris for its dedication to our nation's heroes. Your company's commitment is helping ensure the tremendous personal sacrifices made by our service men and women are not forgotten."

        Harris is delivering enterprise intelligence technology for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN) CONNECT solution, which supports secure information sharing between federal agencies and health information exchange organizations — several of which serve wounded warriors.

        In February, the Social Security Administration was the first agency to go live with the system, which has already significantly reduced the time required to process disability claims for wounded warriors and other individuals.

        Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. WWP serves to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. For more information, call 877 TEAM WWP (832-6997) or visit

        Harris Healthcare Solutions provides enterprise intelligence solutions and services for commercial and government customers, including systems integration, intelligent infrastructure, advanced visualization and display, enterprise digital content management, and IT services solutions. Harris products, systems, and services improve health outcomes by assuring that critical medical information is delivered with security and privacy to the right person, on the right device, at the point of care.

        About Harris Corporation
        Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has annual revenue of $5.4 billion and 16,000 employees — including nearly 7,000 engineers and scientists. Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class
        assured communications® products, systems, and services. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at

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        Contact Information:

        Sleighton Meyer
        Harris Government Communications Systems