Welcome to Washington, D.C.

Today we continue with an excerpt from my recent position paper, “The Global Communicator’s Welcome to Washington Guide.”

Imagine yourself plunked down in the middle of a foreign country. You’ve never been there before. You’ve had only a quick and hasty course explaining the new country’s culture and style. Worst of all, you don’t know anyone who can help guide you.

It’s not so unimaginable for the diplomats and global communicators—such as press attachés and public affairs officers—who have been posted to corporate offices, embassies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Washington, D.C. In fact, it happens routinely.

[Graphic] Photo 1 with link to higher quality photo.If you match the description above, welcome to the USA. This paper is for you and for the Americans who can help you adjust to your new life in the States.

There is pressure to perform immediately in any new job. Being a press officer for a non-U.S. corporation or government is no exception.

Welcome to your new life, featuring a challenging job transition coupled with the need to learn the ways of a new land. What types of individuals should you forge relationships with as you settle into your new professional life?

  • Journalists who report on issues of interest to you and your organization.
  • Fellow communicators—public affairs executives, press attachés, and public relations experts—who can serve as guides to the American media.
  • Compatriots from your country who are also based in the U.S.

On the professional level, the number one trial for many newly arrived public affairs and public relations officers is determining where to find the right journalists and how to meet them. The sheer number of reporters in Washington is vast, as is the number of publications they represent.

As with any profession, the burden falls upon you to seek out opportunities for building professional relationships with these members of the media. Where to start? Stay tuned for some ideas in future posts. Or add your own ideas now in the Comments section.



  1. It is most gratifying to hear that “The Global Communicator’s Welcome to Washington Guide” is proving helpful. Many thanks for sharing the knowledge, Ray.

  2. Ed,

    I’ve shared the Global Communicator’s Welcome Guide with associates overseas planning on visiting the US, and with professionals here in the States working with communications professionals living abroad. Both communities have found it a valuable primer for on-boarding here in the Nation’s Capital. Thanks much for condensing your experience into this handy tool.

    Ray Suarez, Quality Management International

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