New AFL-CIO Communications Team merges digital and traditional media

The AFL-CIO recently announced the merger of its Communications and Digital Strategies departments into one innovative, modern and dynamic team, with the goal of creating a 21st century communications department for the Labor Movement.

The new Communications Resource is a fully integrated team that allows for maximum reach of its message and ensures one cohesive voice across all communications vehicles. This change gives the team the ability to quickly communicate through a variety of media.


The staff consists of seven teams—rapid response, social, writing, activism, video, websites and production—that seamlessly work together to provide the latest information to working people and the media. Innovations include a modern field communications operation that incorporates digital activism, and a rapid response team that utilizes press releases as well as Twitter and Facebook postings to respond to working family issues.

Communications Director Amaya Smith leads the team and is responsible for the strategic communications direction of the federation. Smith has worked at the AFL-CIO for eight years, most recently serving as the national media director before her promotion.

Prior to joining the AFL-CIO, Smith served as a press secretary for the American Association for Justice, as a press secretary for the Obama for America South Carolina campaign during the 2008 Democratic primary and as a regional press secretary for the Democratic National Committee.


“The media landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Working people get their news from a variety of sources, including online and through their friends and family. The goal of our new department is to talk to working people wherever they are—however they receive information. Now more than ever, we have to communicate about the importance of joining together on the job to fight for the freedom to prosper.”


Smith’s two deputies are Digital Director Michelle Blau and National Media Director Josh Goldstein.

Blau brings 15 years of experience managing political and issue advocacy campaigns, including eight years protecting the freedom of working people to come together in the union and five years leading press and digital media for international organizations in Asia and the Pacific. She has served for the past two years as Digital Strategies deputy director for the AFL-CIO, activating working people through online electoral and legislative campaigns, and leading the website redesign of

Goldstein has been fighting to give working people a more powerful voice through the Labor Movement for more than a decade. Before coming to the AFL-CIO, he managed progressive communications at all levels from political campaigns to both House and Senate offices on Capitol Hill. To his new role, Goldstein brings a diverse background that excels in crisis communications and the development of long-term communications campaign strategies.

For the latest, follow @AFLCIO on Twitter and check out the AFL-CIO website.

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