For Government Officials, Journalism is War

Advice on dealing with the next administration is pouring out all over.

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Advice on dealing with the next administration is pouring out all over. And none is as blunt as the press-shop skinny in a new guidebook from the Washington-based IBM Center for the Business of Government. "Your relationship with them will be adversarial," pens former Clinton spokesman Lawrence Haas in Getting It Done: A Guide for Government Executives. "In speaking with the media, you will be tempted to shade the truth," he adds. "Don't." And, he says, "stiffing them will not work. That will just anger reporters, who will then go out of their way to portray you negatively." The guide features tips from 14 former top officials on every aspect of running a government, key in a year when two senators with no executive experience are the nominees. Haas's suggestion: Hire a reporter as a spokesman.