THANKS, OBAMA: MY HOPEY, CHANGEY WHITE HOUSE YEARS by David Litt (Ecco)

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Former Obama speechwriter David Litt came to Press Shop to help augment the excellent work of his in-house publicity team at Ecco. His memoir, THANKS, OBAMA: MY HOPEY-CHANGEY WHITE HOUSE YEARS was Ecco's lead title and their publicity department put together a first-rate media and event campaign. But more publicity muscle always helps.

There were a few specific things Litt wanted us to focus on:

  • Using the news cycle to pitch him to national news broadcasts. When Trump gave a speech, we pitched him to radio and to MSNBC and CNN to comment on the language, process, etc.

  • Pitching the book to radio. There are tons of great radio shows on NPR affiliates, Sirius, PRI, BBC, CBC, and local markets. We made sure to book him on as many top-tier shows as possible.

  • Pitching to niche audiences. Since Litt was 24 when he landed a job in the White House, millennial media was a target. He’s also Jewish and he was responsible for writing many of Obama's speeches for Jewish holidays. That was a good hook for Jewish media. And, since the political tables had turned since his manuscript had been accepted pre-November 2016, he wanted to place some stories encouraging young people to get involved in politics despite its many challenges.

  • Pitching late-night shows. One hole in the campaign was an appearance on a late-night show. We booked Comedy Central’s The Opposition with Jordan Klepper.

  • The book became a New York Times bestseller shortly after publication.

A couple of our favorite media hits we lined up:

MSNBC spots on AM Joy and Ari Melber

We lined up a Sunday morning spot on AM Joy, and two appearances on The Beat with Ari Melber on MSNBC, one where Litt commented on the headlines out if the White House and one book-focussed segment.

CBC’s Q
This popular Canadian arts magazine show did a fantastic interview, which was syndicated on public radio throughout the US.

Unorthodox Podcast
Tablet magazine’s popular Jewish podcast hosted a lively conversation with Litt.