AT&T, Time Warner, Microsoft and Facebook Join New Business Group with Ties to Obama Administration

In the age of social media marketing, what may lobbying look like when the Lincoln Bedroom meets Web 2.0?  This new “progressive” business group will also have to address the special interest agendas of its members, including online marketing and data collection.

excerpt via PR Week about the launch of Business Forward:  The group’s wide-ranging roster includes AT&T, Facebook, Hilton, IBM, Microsoft, Pfizer, and Time Warner and was founded by Democratic strategists… The goal for Business Forward is to provide consistent support for President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress.

National Journal reports that: Rather than lobbying, Business Forward’s initial aim will be hosting events around the country to focus on maximizing funds in the $787 billion economic stimulus package…It will be led by political operative Jim Doyle; former Viacom lobbyist David Sutphen, whose sister is Obama’s deputy chief of staff; former Obama media consultant Erik Smith; former Obama campaign staffer Julie Andreeff Jensen; and Hilary Rosen, former head of the Recording Industry Association of America. Business Forward’s founding members will pay up to $75,000 per year for a membership…

In a letter in Politico, Mr. Doyle explains that “We plan to spend our time encouraging business leaders to discuss how America can make the most of clean energy investments in our current budget, reduce hospital costs through better health care information technology and reform schools so that today’s students are better prepared for tomorrow’s jobs.”

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