I worked with Harry for five years and was fortunate to see him grow from a
police reporter to part of an investigative team that was nominated for a
Pulitzer Prize and won several state and national journalism awards. In fact,
his diligent reporting led to the replacement of all of the toxic mattresses
being used by inmates at Norwich State Hospital.
The combination of Harry’s wit, humor and style compounded by his 25 years working in government lend him a unique and knowledgeable perspective on a wide range of topics. He’s seen government move swiftly (though not often) and very slowly, witnessing the sausage-making-like process from the inside-out…and back again. He’s handled speech writing and media relations throughout his career in a number of different capacities with quick deadlines and extreme pressure and handles all with extreme professionalism.
Harry Phillips is a true renaissance man. I met Harry in Norwich, Connecticut in 1978 while he was a very young, aggressive reporter for the Norwich Bulletin. Harry was tough, quickly moving up in rank with the newspaper by building relationships and networking. I was impressed when Harry started to report news regarding the KKK. He formed a relationship with the Grand Wizard of the KKK and was able to access information and also attended KKK rallies no one else could. He wrote a story about the KKK while under death threats from them. Harry reported the news, not his opinions and revered Edward R. Murrow. I will always remember Harry as a great friend, reporter and colleague. I highly recommend Harry as a reporter, strategic partner, consultant, employee, and colleague.
Harry Phillips introduced me to the art of speechwriting and I continue to benefit from his years of writing experience. He has a gift for writing persuasive and engaging speeches. He drills down into the essence of complex topics so speakers can convey what's important without boring the audience. He is a thorough researcher and a skilled editor: each of Harry's speeches is honed over multiple drafts until it is tailored precisely to fit the speaker, the topic, and the audience. I'm a former speechwriter for the Secretary of Agriculture (well, obviously!), the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and a senior member of Congress.
Harry Phillips has ‘a way with words.’ During his distinguished service in several federal agencies, including work as my colleague, he has helped craft language several of our nation’s top policymakers have used to convey their views on important issues ranging from national security to energy to transportation. Anyone seeking a strong writer would be well served by Harry’s keen intellect and abundant creativity.
I’ve know Harry since his reporting days. Harry has an instinctive aptitude for finding the hook in material that turns a speech into a story that absorbs audiences. It is interesting to see listeners to Harry’s speeches unconsciously lean forward in rapt attention. If you want to separate yourself from all the others Harry Phillips should be your choice.
Everything you’ve heard about Harry Phillips is true. He is a gifted writer with stellar credentials and a generous heart. Today, everyone yearns for a great storyteller who engages human beings. Harry is the best.
Harry and I first met working at the Department of Energy in the early 1990s. He is easy to work with, quick to grasp the key part of issues, and insightful in his expression of them. Harry is equally at home writing for the eye or the ear; for an audience of policymakers or for the general public. Whether the goal is to inform, inspire or persuade, the words Harry chooses will get the job done precisely…not just the right word or phrase to convey a message, but the overall effectiveness that comes from using just the right amount of words to tell your story.
I worked with Harry on Capitol Hill during the heady days of the early 1980s, days that brought constant political changes and challenges. Harry, as our press secretary, was not only first to know about a breaking story or political event, he was first to distill the essence of the moment and fashion a story line that was both usable and memorable. Harry's wit and instinct for the story have been a recipe for successful speech writing for many inside and outside the Beltway!
Harry once told me how very fortunate he feels to have been given the gift of talking through others. His words and messages stick with the audience far longer than the duration of a speech, and I know he treasures that both personally and professionally. At a time when many people struggle to write a simple thank you note, the gift of writing comes naturally to Harry, and he shares this gift with others quite generously.
Harry, I am happy to serve as a reference. Good luck!