Behind the Scenes: Secretary Clinton's Press Conference in Mexico City

March 26, 2009

Interactive Travel Map | Text the SecretaryAbout the Author: Mary M. Frangakis serves as a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. Video Text

Days prior to Secretary Clinton’s scheduled visit, I learned that I was assigned to assist with her press conference at the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE). I felt a mixture of excitement and nervousness. As a new Consular Officer who has been at the embassy for only a few months, I barely knew the address of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), let alone would have imagined myself working on a press conference to be hosted there. This changed quickly, of course! My team plunged right in, flying by the seat of our pants at first. Thanks to our walk-thru sessions, good cooperation from our Mexican counterparts, and many flurries of phone calls and text messages, the details began to coalesce into an organized plan for the event.

On event day, we arrived early to begin our tasks. I did my part, working with our Mexican hosts to organize sound checks, secure headsets for simultaneous translation, test equipment in the translators’ booths, and generally prepare for our delegation’s arrival. I really enjoyed working in the SRE’s modern building with its large interior spaces and walls displaying elegant works of art. The SRE offers such great public space for events. It reminds me of being in a modern art museum.

As more and more cameramen and reporters arrived, the excitement mounted. Cajoling one another and joking about which one would get the best coverage, TV camera crews crowded onto platforms at the back of the room. One of my consular colleagues had the task of being a “place holder” for one of the camera crews, and he described the atmosphere as a congenial competition. In any case, the energy was contagious, and it was great fun to be part of the camaraderie among the traveling press as we all anxiously awaited the arrivals of both Secretary Clinton and Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Patricia Espinosa.

Then we got “the call.” Secretary Clinton would arrive shortly! Places everyone, get set and action!



California, USA
March 28, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

It is so much fun to be an insider on camera crews. "Congenial competition" is the perfect phrase. Congratulations to you & your team on a great event. (In all the political advance work I've done, the daggone audio is always the potential villain. And if it doesn't work flawlessly, nothing else matters.)

North Carolina, USA
April 5, 2009

Patricia Elisabeth in North Carolina writes:

Great article, thank you, it is almost like "being there"

A "birds eye" view. Keep us posted.


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