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On Message


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About the Author

Zach Friend is a policy, public affairs, and communications expert who has worked for Barack Obama and John Kerry's presidential campaigns, the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives and the Democratic National Committee. With Obama for America '08, he was a press secretary and spokesman in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. He's been quoted by MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, ABC, CBS, NPR, the "LA Times, "the" Boston Globe, "and" Politico" and is a blogger for the "Huffington Post "and" Business Insider."


"The great film producer Richard Zanuck once said, 'The most important thing is the story. . . . Not the script . . . but the story.' It's the story people remember, the reason they love a movie. Zach Friend, something of a genius, figured out that's not just true about our favorite movies. It's true about everything anyone wants to tell you--or sell you. 'Things go better with Coke' promises you not just a great-tasting drink but a great meal experience.' 'Tell me a story, Daddy'--What your kid is really saying is 'Help me go to sleep in a nice way.' Zanuck was right. So is Zach Friend." --Chris Matthews, Host of MSNBC's Hardball

"Whether calling upon his own experience with the 2008 Barack Obama campaign or mining wonderful nuggets of dialogue from quirky movies like Best in Show, Zach Friend has written an entertaining and insightful guide to crafting messages in business, life, and politics. And as much as I personally chafe as a reporter over excessive message discipline in politics, I have to admit that in the real world his advice is dead-on." --Walter Shapiro, political columnist, former Washington Bureau Chief for "Zach Friend is so good at creating successful messaging, he convinced me to read his book on messaging. He is THAT GOOD." --Lizz Winstead, Co-creator of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart "From a police department to the presidency, Zach Friend has been on the front lines of communications. Zach's book, On Message, has something to teach everyone, from experienced leaders to political newbies." --Jamal Simmons, political professional and analyst "On Message is exactly the kind of reminder that we can all use when telling our stories." --Heather Stephenson, Co-founder and CEO of The Old School, former CEO of "Today, new streams of information are trained on us like so many fire hoses. In self-defense we filter most of it out. What gets through? It's not data, facts, or slogans. It's a good story. In On Message, Zach Friend shows us how great narrative evokes emotion, spurs engagement, and creates action. Best of all, Friend practices what he preaches: this book is loaded with stories from business, politics, and yes, even children's literature, to bring his concepts to life in ways we can all relate to and use." --Gary Stockman, former CEO of global public relations firm Porter Novelli "For giving a behind the scenes insight and the secrets of successful political campaigns, Zach nails it. He has written an illustrative and compelling book that is a must read for anyone who wants the real story. Business leaders, elected officials, and anyone who wants to be successful in message needs to read this book." --Debbie Mesloh, political advisor and corporate executive, Director of Government and Public Affairs at Gap Inc. "This book is a road map for success in creating powerful, lasting messages that will help you stand out in an information-overloaded world. Use it as a manual for developing winning communications that really connect with your audience." --Donnie Fowler, political TV commentator, National Field Director for Al Gore for President, former Vice President of TechNet "On Message has the kind of practical messaging approaches that newcomers and veterans alike can harness." --Mike Maser, former SVP Marketing at AOL, current CEO of FitStar

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