Posts Tagged ‘politics’


Campaign Mistakes PR Practitioners Should Learn From

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

by Emma Hawes

iStock_000067828653_Medium

It’s that time of year when you hesitate posting a political gaffe of a candidate in fear that your Facebook page will become a battle ground by posting the article. The truth is election brings out the worst in both parties. Let’s stop fighting for a moment and think about how awesome, and scary, it is that the future of our country is determined by your vote. So not only do your part and vote this election, but do your research over candidates from non-biased sites. It is inevitable that all candidates make mistakes regardless of the party.

 

Cue the music-

If there’s one mistake we see each year, it’s a political candidate or campaign manager who does not ask an artist to use their music. It just backfires and makes the candidate look bad for not doing their research. Even though a musician might share the same political views they may not want to endorse the candidate. Songwriters need to be included too because Sam Moore changed the lyrics of the Sam and Dave hit “Soul Man” to “Dole man” for Bob Dole. However, the songwriter Isaac Hayes demanded a cease and desists where eventually the song wasn’t played. Enter Sam Moore in 2008, when he asked Barack Obama to quit using “Hold On I’m Coming.” His statement included how his vote was a private matter between him and the ballot box.  However, he did perform for Obama later at the 2013 Inaugural Ball.

 

Communication Breakdown

Whatever you say on the Internet is eternal because a screenshot of a deleted post lives forever. That happened to Bernie Sanders when a tweet was sent out that said, “Greed, fraud, dishonesty and arrogance. These are just some of the adjectives we use to describe Wall Street.” The tweet was deleted because the words were nouns not adjectives. It’s okay if you have to sing a Schoolhouse Rock song while writing to reintegrate basic grammar.

 

Cruz fired his communication director around two weeks after the Iowa Caucus. Lies were spread about Ben Carson suspending his campaign after Cruz won Iowa and Rubio’s religious beliefs. Just creating a lie about the opposing candidate is bad and if issues arise the first time the director should not even have a second chance.

 

When celebrating, don’t get crazy

Before John Kerry won the Democratic ticket in 2004 enter Howard Dean, the man who won the coveted Iowa Caucus. He stated his excitement how he was going to win states then a scream that doomed his political career. Not only does that moment live on YouTube, but Dave Chappelle made a skit, which parodied the scream.

 

Everyone is important

Where does one begin on Donald Trump’s comments about different races and women? His comments about reporter Megyn Kelly is just one of the many numerous comments.  That is not a smart way to pick your battles considering that according to NY Magazine single women are currently the strongest political force.

 

However, during a debate, Ted Cruz stated most Americans could not relate to Trump because he had New York Values. Well Cruz’s mistake was just as bad because it is like calling someone from a rural area in Wyoming a country idiot.

 

Also, as much as you might want to get a certain demographic don’t try to reach out too hard. Hillary Clinton faced flack for the Hispanic community when she posted an article that said “7 ways Hillary Clinton is just like your Abuela.” Soon after the post was made, #notmyabuela became a trending topic on Twitter. Instead, she should have made the post in different languages to reach out to different demographics instead of speaking Spanglish.

PR Insights From Obama’s “Between Two Ferns” Sit-down

Monday, March 17th, 2014

PR Insights from Obama's Between Two Ferns sit-down Ellis Friedman BurrellesLuce Fresh IdeasYou’ve probably already seen President Obama’s appearance last week on “Between Two Ferns,” the satirical interview show hosted by The Hangover star Zach Galifianakis. There to plug the Affordable Care Act, President Obama got a lot of criticism from most corners of the media – not for his message, but for his choice of medium.

Predictably, a lot of pundits proclaimed that the appearance wasn’t “presidential” or “undermined the office of the president.” But regardless of your politics, any good PR pro would have to admit that the White House followed the top tenets of PR and marketing: know your audience, and reach them where they are.

This particular appearance was aimed at Millennials in an effort to get them to sign up for health insurance through healthcare.gov before the March 31 deadline. The President has been publicly advocating for the ACA for many months, but enrollment among young people has lagged. So what’s any good marketing and PR pro to do when a particular audience segment isn’t responding? Reach them where they are.

Which is why Funny or Die was such a savvy choice of platform; it’s a site with noted success in the 18- to 34-year-old male demographic. A lot of the commentators who didn’t “get it” or didn’t like it were, unsurprisingly, not in the target demographic.

Now that the dust has settled from President Obama’s appearance, let’s look at a few PR and marketing takeaways:

First, it’s OK if your medium isn’t universally appealing. There’s a reason it’s called targeting – every target demographic will respond to different things. President Obama’s team knew they were trying to reach an audience who wants to be entertained and doesn’t watch much live TV, so arranging a spot on a live-aired television show would not have adequately reached the target audience.  The Huffington Post reports that 25 percent of Americans age 18 to 29 saw the video, so perhaps the segment isn’t as large as the White House had hoped for, however it’s possible that that segment hadn’t been reached in other, more traditional channels the White House pursued previously.

Take your brand outside its normal realm to reach an elusive audience segment and freshen the message. Doing something unexpected grabs attention, like Beyonce did with her unannounced, iTunes-only album launch, like Red Bull did with the Stratos Space Jump, or Amazon did with its drone delivery testing video. It also helps to use a different platform to reach your audience, as Vladmir Putin did with a New York Times op-ed. President Obama routinely takes his brand to new platforms, as he did in 2012 with a reddit Ask Me Anything.

A more obvious choice of platform would have been Comedy Central’s The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, but by choosing “Between Two Ferns,” the President’s team opted out of the implicit political vibe on the two news comedy shows. This not only helped reach a different portion of the target demographic, but also freshened the message on a very drawn-out issue.

Don’t define success solely by whether people like you; look at your numbers to see if the medium was a successful platform for your message. Sentiment is an excellent way to measure your media coverage, but it’s not the only indicator of success, especially if you’re looking to increase referrals, sales, or enrollment. Look at other key metrics like traffic increase and numbers of sales or referrals. The President’s spot, despite positive and negative segment, was successful in that the video garnered more than 11 million views and traffic to healthcare.gov jumped 40 percent on Tuesday. Whether it was ultimately successful in increasing enrollment remains to be seen.

Do you think President Obama’s platform was a successful one? How do you adapt your platform to your audience?

WWPR Media Round Table: Digital Media Experts Dish on Working with PR

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Understand who you are pitching and the beat or beats the cover. Like past panels, this year’s Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) Media Roundtable wanted to get across that message. The panel exchanged best practices and ways to gain better understanding of both positions from the perspective of those pitching and those being pitched.

The panel moderated by WWPR president Tina Beaty included: Amanda Terkel, senior political reporter and politics managing editor, The Huffington Post, Melissa Romero, staff writer for the Washingtonian, as well as health and wellness writer for the Washingtonian’s blog Well+Being, Molly Walker, editor, for trade publication FierceMarkets’ Enterprise IT group, writing regularly for FierceMobileGovernment, FierceGovernmentIT and FierceContentManagement, Amy Harder, energy and environment correspondent, National Journal.

Social media plays a large role in promoting stories, says Terkel. She says to think about how a headline will look in 140 characters. The panel was not in favor of social media pitches, though. They were open to sharing information via Twitter if a relationship has already been established. Romero commented on using Twitter direct message to share email addresses, when the PR person does not have her address.

Media Relations Tips from the WWPR Roundtable Panel

  • Email is still the best way to contact them, but don’t have an intern follow-up with a call 40 minutes later. A phone call may be appropriate if the pitch is time-sensitive.
  • Don’t be afraid to help them put the links together for a story and suggest other people to interview or places to gather more information.
  • Speed is important, so have a good subject line.
  • Do not let multiple members of the team pitch the same story to them. Only one pitch is needed.
  • If using a mail merge program to blast email press releases or pitches, check them first. It is annoying to see their name in all caps, spelled wrong or missing and inserted with an outlet name.
  • Exclusives are still important and will help you win the pitch.
  • Press conferences are useful for sharing thought leadership, Walker says. Terkel suggested outlining why she should attend in a pitch email.
  • Don’t shy away from pitching a small blog to get an exclusive review and then use that post for pitching a larger media outlet.

The panel turned to discussing the future of print media. All panelists agreed they do not want to see print go away, but added they all work on the digital side. They feel being able link to other stories and information adds credibility to their work. Digital media makes it easy to add information or make corrections to a story.

I’ve previously posted media relations tips from the Washington, DC assignment editors on BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas. You can check it out here. What other tips would you add? How are you working with digital media journalists?

Media Outlets Leverage Mobile Apps

Monday, November 29th, 2010

by Carol Holden*

Surpurised young woman holding a mobile and shopping bagsFor me, it’s official – the world has gone totally mobile. The other night a commercial, on a kids’ cable channel my daughter watches, featured a Grandmother giving her little grandson (he looked about six to me) a tablet-reader for Christmas. I’ve been forewarned and won’t be shocked if my eight year old asks for one.

No wonder the rush continues for traditional media to expand to mobile devices, with some innovative apps already rolled out and others on the way:

  • The Economist just launched an enhanced version of its publication for the iPad and iPhone. Readers can tweak the layout and graphs so they can receive all the robust content of the magazine, but in a format that makes sense for a small screen. “You’re trying to recreate your print magazine but redesign it to make the most of the medium,” said Oscar Grut, managing director of digital editions for The Economist.
  • Oprah’s O, The Oprah Magazine has just released its iPad app to much fanfare. As described in the Marketwire release, “’I love the written word, and I love the iPad — to me, it’s another way to experience the intimacy of this magazine and its part of the future of the business,’ said Oprah Winfrey. ‘It’s a new way to connect with our readers, who are on a path of becoming their best selves.’”
  • New Corps’ Rupert Murdoch and Apple’s Steve Jobs recently announced they would be teaming up to create a new iNewspaper. “The collaboration, which has been secretly under development in New York for several months, promises to be the world’s first ‘newspaper’ designed exclusively for new tablet-style computers such as Apple’s iPad, with a launch planned for early next year,” writes Edward Helmore in this Guardian UK article. “According to reports, there will be no ‘print edition’ or ‘web edition.’”

In fact, there are already enough publications with apps (over 700) available to audiences and readers on the iPad that strategic research company McPheters and Company was able to put together a ten best list. “McPheters ranked the print-to-iPad products based on design, functionality and use of rich content.” The list presents an interesting mix of both newspapers and magazines covering the gamut of lifestyle, culture, politics, news, sports, food, fashion, etc. The number one spot went to The New Yorker app, with apps for newspaper circulation heavy-weights USA Today and The Wall Street Journal making the list at number eight and ten respectively. Fashion entrant Net-A-Porter made the list at number five.

Mobile applications are becoming such an integral part of the media landscape that other industry organizations are taking notice. The American Society of Magazine Editors announced that among the changes to the National Magazine Awards 2011, they will include a new award for mobile editions.

In this age of PR 3.0, how are you using mobile apps to connect with your audiences? If you use a mobile device to read newspapers and magazines, what outlets would top your list of best media apps? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

***

Bio: I’ve been in the media business all of my adult life, first in newspapers before going full circle and joining BurrellesLuce, where I now direct the Media Measurement department. I’ve always enjoyed meeting and especially listening to the needs of our customers and others in the public relations and communications fields; I welcome sharing ideas through the Fresh Ideas blog. One of my professional passions is providing the type of service to a client that makes them respond, “atta girl” – inspiring our entire team to keep striving to be the best. Although I have been lucky enough to travel through much of Asia and most major U.S. cities for business or pleasure, my free time is now spent with my daughter, visiting family/friends, and of course the Jersey shore. Twitter: @domeasurement LinkedIn: Carol Holden Facebook: BurrellesLuce