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Here's a look at Mayor Parker's communications policy, requiring all statements go through her office

All media interviews, social media posts, and public statements must be approved by Mayor Parker's communications team.

Mayor Cherelle Parker enters a community meeting at the Mill Redevelopment Project at A Street and Indiana Avenue on Jan. 8, 2024. (Photo by Solmaira Valerio)

On Jan. 18, the city's departmental leadership received an email from Managing Director Adam Thiel stating that all media interviews, social media posts, and public statements must be approved by Mayor Parker's communications team.

"To be absolutely clear: no media interviews, social media posts, or statements of any kind—until/unless approved in advance by the mayor's communications," Thiel wrote.

According to Thiel's email, "any media outreach or requests must immediately be sent" to Sharon Gallagher, the senior director of communications from the Managing Director's Office, who will send them to Joe Grace, the director of communications for the Mayor's Office.

"The Parker administration is speaking with one, unified voice," Grace wrote in an email to Kensington Voice. "We want every department and agency in the executive branch working cohesively together on communications and messaging."

Grace said a recent example of the policy in action was the snowstorm earlier this month, when 12 city agencies internally shared information and messaging with the Mayor's Communications Office, which published a press release that night integrating all of those departments' messages.

"I wouldn’t call the policy new necessarily," Grace wrote. "Any good communications team in a government speaks with one, clear, unified voice."

Here's Thiel's email in full:

ANY media outreach or requests must IMMEDIATELY be sent through Sharon to Joe; if it is after "normal" business hours, then the senior HHS member on-scene/at an event MUST respectfully ask the reporter(s) to contact HHS/Comms the next business day, without providing any interview(s) or information. (You all will need to figure out an internal system for conveying information from the event/incident to HHS/Comms.)


Sharon is copied and available to discuss further, if needed. We plan to invite all comms directors within MDO to attend a Teams meeting next week so we can provide more information and answer questions. Until then, please send everything to Sharon and she will quickly send to Joe.

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