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Robert Vega, Director FAC 18 / 2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200 78712-1508 • 512-471-7900

U.S. Senate, Sen. Kay Hagan

Spring 2009 Site Review

Student: Government Senior
Position: Communications/Press (Washington, D.C.)

Working in Senator Hagan’s office has been a terrific experience. Since the office is brand new and still getting set up, it is hard to describe a typical day as it will be for future interns. But I did have certain tasks and responsibilities.

Working in the press office was a great experience for me since I did not have to spend time answering the phones and sorting mail. Though these are important parts of keeping an office running, I did not feel like this sort of work would be the best choice for me in Washington. Since I was a part of a smaller team I was also delegated more responsibility. My hours were typically 9 am to 6 pm, but some days went later than others.

An important part of my job was keeping contact lists updated. Though this might sound boring and administrative, it is actually a great way to become completely familiarized with the states’ media outlets and markets. Calling through various papers, TV and radio stations periodically also allowed me to make connections with reporters around the state.

I was also responsible for maintaining a “best of” news clips document that was used to keep the website updated. The best of list was also used to create packets to send to editorial boards around the state to highlight what the Senator had been doing in DC and back in the state.

Writing press releases and media advisories was a part of my job, depending on the subject matter. The press secretary typically wrote the policy-heavy releases, but I was assigned a good number of releases. Finally, it was my job to monitor the news throughout the day to ensure we were not falling behind on responding to any stories or potential issues. The Senator is expected to release statements on the day’s biggest stories and developments, and it is imperative that the press team has a finger on the pulse of the news.

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