I’m one of the few people living in the Washington, D.C. area who has survived this insidious disease known as Potomac fever.
I’ve lived in the Capitol region on and off since graduating from Furman University with a B.A. in political science in 1988. I’ve left D.C. twice since then: once to earn a masters degree in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government; and a second time to go back home to North Carolina because I desperately missed my family. (I got over that in less than 18 months, but that’s another story.)
Before working in corporate communications, I held a series of staff positions in campaigns, on Capitol Hill and as a Presidential and career appointee in the Federal Government. Those experiences taught me how politics work and how the media and interest groups influence public policy — a very useful tool for any businessperson to have in their toolkit.
After the 1996 election cycle, I started working in corporate communications, first with the DC-based PR shop of Widmeyer Communications and later with Ruesch International, an international financial institution headquartered in DC. In 2003, I joined the internal communications team at Nextel Communications in Reston, Virginia. Following the creation of Sprint Nextel Corp. in 2005, I became the company’s lead crisis communications manager. (Ask me about our response to Hurricane Katrina which hit the Gulf Coast less than 9 business days after the ink dried on our merger agreement.)
While I still handle crisis communications and issues management, most of my time these days at work is spent talking to journalists about the Sprint Nextel’s public policy positions. In that role, I try to help reporters translate complicated telecommunications issues into language their readers, viewers and listeners can understand. I also am the first point of contact for media in North Carolina and metropolitan Washington, D.C. — that means I’m spending some of my day speaking with product reviewers and answering questions about our local network expansion efforts.
Currently, I live in Reston, Va. just a mile from my office. While it’s great to go home for lunch, I miss living in downtown Washington terribly, but I don’t miss the 70 minutes each way I spent commuting.
Got any other questions? Email me at email@example.com.
Thanks for stopping by.
John Taylor, October 2010.