Welcome to Washington Guide Aids Public Affairs, PR Executives Arriving from Abroad


For immediate release                                  Contact:    Ed Barks
day, May 14, 2014                                               (540) 955-0600


International communicators face a daunting task when they arrive for a posting in Washington, D.C. Until now, answering their questions about navigating new surroundings was often challenging.

How to learn about the unique characteristics of the American media? How to get in touch with reporters who cover their issues? Who to turn to for help in acclimating themselves to a totally new environment?

Press attachés, public affairs experts, and communications officers from abroad now have some answers at their fingertips thanks to “The Global Communicator’s Welcome to Washington Guide,” authored by Barks Communications President Ed Barks.

The guide is intended for those communicators who arrive in Washington, often with little help.

“I could hear the frustration in their voices,” Barks said of his talks with global communicators posted to Washington. “They land at Dulles airport with little if any support system. In fact, their predecessors—along with their lists of contacts and helpful hints—may have already departed.

“There is a dire need for an orientation process,” he continued. “My humble hope is that ‘The Global Communicator’s Welcome to Washington Guide’ will provide some assistance and comfort to our colleagues arriving to a new life inside the Beltway.”

To further aid their inside-the-Beltway transition, Barks now offers a companion program called “The Global Communicators Welcome to Washington Seminar,” designed to help international communicators navigate their new hometown.

Both the new guide and seminar offer advice on how to contact key reporters, build a community of fellow communicators who can help with the transition process, strike up conversations when meeting Americans, and identify organizations capable of aiding in the adjustment.

Barks acknowledges the publication isn’t a perfect source of knowledge. As he writes, “During interview after interview with non-U.S. communicators posted to Washington, D.C., there was agreement that few reliable resources exist to help them adjust to life and work in America’s capital city. While there may be a handful of organizations and publications that can help in certain areas, a one-stop source of information appears to be lacking.”

In order to help fill that void, Barks encourages readers to contribute their ideas, too. He writes, “This resource is intended to be a living document, one that you can help to improve. The content will gain value over time if readers like you contribute your suggestions for publication in subsequent editions.”

“The Global Communicator’s Welcome to Washington Guide” is available on the Research page at www.barkscomm.com at no cost.

Ed Barks zeroes in on the messages and skills that executives need on a daily basis. They gain sharper verbal and nonverbal talents, greater confidence, more opportunities for career advancement, and achievement of long-term business goals. He is the author of The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations. As President of Barks Communications since 1997, he has taught more than 4600 business leaders, association executives, and other experts how to succeed when they deal with the media, deliver presentations, and testify before government officials.