From the perspective of thirty years later, there are three particular lessons we learn through White House communications operations in the Carter years. First, President Jimmy Carter demonstrated that, as important as it is for a chief executive to develop and maintain a relationship with the public, listening and responding to public concerns need to be part of an overall communications program designed to focus on a coordinated agenda. The chief executive needs a disciplined communications operation that focuses the attention of the public. A listening operation is important, but so too is a publicity operation that channels public attention through speeches and events designed to communicate specific messages. Second, the central elements of a press secretary's job remain today in spite of all of the subsequent changes in the publicity environment, such as the development of cable news networks and the Internet. No matter who is in office, reporters expect to receive an accurate accounting of the president's thinking and actions and to get it in a timely manner. It does not matter whether there is a twelve-hour news cycle or a twenty-four-hour one, authenticity of information is crucial to a White House communications operation. Third, through the experience of the Carter administration, we learn presidents need to have communications organizations in addition to their daily press operations. Communications is a basic White House function and requires an office dedicated to responding to critics, long-range planning, and coordination to carry it out.