Crisis Communications–Ganim, The Cinematic Mayor

Controlling message through your own communications portal is nirvana for a politician. Leveraging charts, information, statistics, special guests, high-profile elected officials, low-profile healthcare warriors, Mayor Joe Ganim’s weekday COVID-19 Facebook updates, drawing thousands of regular viewers, has caught the attention of political observers.

They are part fireside chat, part stern reminder of social distancing, part government information exercise, part prompt that your chief elected official is present–albeit virtually–during a health crisis. Radio stations WICC and CUMBRE air them in real time at 12:30 p.m.

Ganim’s guests have included Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congressman Jim Himes, heads of hospitals, job training leaders and essential service providers.

Ganim with Congressman Jim Himes as virtual guest.

The outreach has even spawned a “Care Caravan” to salute fatigued first responders at hospitals cinematized in a polished video presentation showcasing cheering healthcare workers.

“There’s nothing like what (Mayor Joe) Ganim’s doing,” Richard Hanley, an associate professor of journalism at Quinnipiac University, said in an interview (with the Connecticut Post). “It’s a whole different level. It’s well-produced. … This is a leader trying to project ‘leadership qualities’ as opposed to simply being a person citing (virus) statistics day after day.”

Skeptics will be dismissive, especially when used for a paid media campaign, as noted in the Post article.

Bridgeport City Councilman Matthew McCarthy, also a Democrat, said, “I think social media’s good enough. Do we need commercials? I don’t think so. … I hope we’re not wasting money on this.” McCarthy is a member of the budget committee.

Paid campaign aside, Ganim’s communications team led by Rowena White is logging long hours to churn out the weekday presentations that last more than 30 minutes serving as program producers providing information, scheduling guests, fielding Facebook questions, projecting charts while their boss appears at ease hosting the daily briefings in his office.

During the first term of JG2 (Facebook did not exist for JG1), Ganim did not utilize the social media platform in such a pivotal format. Of course, there’s been nothing like this in our lifetime, a virus forcing virtual communications.

Still, the platform projection does raise the question: when virus coverage subsides, will the Facebook application be utilized for the mayor’s future use to reach thousands of people as an institutionalized medium of communications?

Welcome to Joe TV.



  1. It’s so obvious that these ads are campaign ads the same that Ganim’s friend 45 is using the Coronavirus task force for his campaign. Maybe there’s one thing that Joe Ganim should learn from last week area First Responders rallied in a Care Caravan to Salute Our Healthcare #Frontline at Bridgeport Hospital & St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport CT and that is Mayor Ganim has seen for his self that large part of those hero are women. Every day the country gets to see these real hero on TV walking into danger and risking their life to help others and unfortunately those nurses are the only one there at the bedside their patient when they pass away. Mayor Ganim, you CAN’T seem to find women like those nurses that you celebrated as hero to be members of the Bridgeport Fire Department, hey Joe, how many women have been hired in the past 12 years but you want those women votes but they aren’t good enough to be a firefighter and you call that leadership.

  2. Once this nightmare is over,other than natural disasters(snowstorms,hurricanes etc),what possibly could he want to let the people of Bpt know??..Perhaps a video of why developers are leary of doing buisness here?,or maybe to explain to us that the Majestic theater development was just him trying to fabricate a development to promote his gubernatorial run?? or maybe to explain why he is using our tax dollars to hire attorneys to get his friends out of some trouble?..I guess I’d watch those..

  3. Thank you Matty McCarthy. Comments were succinct and on target.
    Demand a full accounting now while at budget time and don’t wait until the time has passed.
    Ganim will try to put it off, tell you all the bills aren’t in yet and make other excuses just to avoid accounting for his actions.

  4. Mayor Ganim, why aren’t you trying to get masks for the 145,000 residents of Bridgeport instead of wasting 4.5 million on that amphitheater or this commercial. Ernie, why aren’t you advocating for the people that you profess to love, to get ya boy Mayor Ganim to buy masks for those residents that can’t find or afford them. Or does your care of Black folks only extend to using Bridgeport’s money to line the pockets of Mayor Ganim’s cronies?

    Why don’t you both do something to benefit the Black community instead of blowing smoke up the asses of the Black community? Just asking! ☻☻

    1. Don
      I really shouldn’t respond to you and Ron your side kick our Council President AIDEE ordered 20,000 Mask for council people to give out to their districts. Please do me a favor How about all the retired firebird buy masks and give them Out in the black community. All you do is bragg about shit that happen 40 years ago. Give me a break!

      1. Ernie, I’m sure that you, Mayor Ganim and Mario Testa can get all of those donors who give you guys money for your campaign, Joe’s campaign and to the DTC for all their campaigns, I’m sure that they would be glad help. Ernie your brother-in-law is the current President of the Firebird Society so you ask him to have the Firebird Society make that donation.

  5. And then find out how much other cities are spending in CT.
    There is no guarantee that this money will be refundable. None at all. But Joe doesn’t care it not like it is coming out of his pocket.

  6. How about freezing the CC’s stipend accts,effective imediately,before they start using that $$ to pay their own bills again like in the past.Then use that money for masks,food etc for those in need??

  7. I thought they did that to reimburse themselves for the tickets they might have bought to the amphitheater to promote themselves oops I promote Bridgeport.
    It’s all the same thing.

  8. I thought they already did this to reimburse themselves for tickets they would have bought if the amphitheater opened this year. It’s all about promoting themselves.
    Oops I mean promoting Bridgeport.

    1. Harvey
      The rules have changed so many times since I have been on the council don’t quote me but I think when I was on the rule was you had to submit receipts before you could get a penny. Then it was changed so that you got a quarter in advance and when you submitted receipts you were reimbursed for that quarter. Then they extended it to you would get reimbursed for that quarter and then paid the next quarter whether you submitted receipts or not. Then they simplified it to just getting a quarter at the start of each quarter.
      I stopped because I didn’t want it. Period.
      Then at some point during Ganim’s corruption trial he started issuing 1099’s for any expenses not paid directly by the city most travel expenses. Not that it was the right thing to do but just that he had the IRS and other federal agencies looking over his shoulder he didn’t want them to pile on. Then he went to prison and Fabrizi stopped issuing 1099.
      So I cannot tell you what they are doing but I can tell you whatever it is is wrong.

  9. You’re right Ernie you shouldn’t answer me because you tend to look foolish when you do. Adiee is buying 20,000 masks for the residents of Bridgeport, but what are the other 125,000 people going to do, share a mask when it’s not being used? So now it’s the Firebird Society’s job to furnish Bridgeport with masks as opposed to you taking your $9000 stipend and spending it on your constituents that your professed to love so much. Since we’re on what people have done why don’t you tell all of us what you’ve done for the residents of Bridgeport in the last 40 years? Go ahead, I’ll wait!

    1. Don, you notice how Ernie will come at you and myself when we say something about Ernie or questioned him but Ernie has been totally SILENT when Lisa let the cat out of the bad about his past and he hasn’t said a word, so it must be true because Ernie hasn’t said a word. I hope Ernie challenge what Lisa said because she said that she would post more about Ernie but Ernie won’t challenge Lisa.

  10. Did Aidee use her stipend or did she use city funds???
    If she used her stipend then good for her.
    If she used city funds then why did she give them to council members to distribute. Why not give them to the Health Dept?


Leave a Reply