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Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

What’s a Presidential Debate Worth, Anyway?

You’re probably aware that the first debate of the 2012 Presidential election takes place tonight. We know, we know–you can’t wait to hear more about this incredibly exciting race, right?

Well, we’re going to ask the question anyway: What’s the real PR value of a debate? We can’t imagine that too many voters would honestly describe themselves as “undecided” at this point, but an estimated 50 million people will watch the events live—and an audience that big has to be worth something, right?

Maybe not. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently predicted that the debates would be a “game changer” for challenger Mitt Romney, but the general consensus holds that the overall influence of these events (which are heavily scripted, despite what they all tell us) is negligible.

Candidates love to play along. In fact, the most irritating element of the debate build-up is the lowered expectations game in which each candidate tries to convince the news media and the public that his or her (okay, his) opponent is a master debater who may well triumph—although it won’t matter in the end.

This is why President Obama recently rated his own debate skills as “okay” while veep nominee Paul Ryan called him “a very gifted speaker” and an “experienced debater”. Obama’s spokesman David Plouffe followed by saying that Mitt Romney has “…prepared more than any candidate in history. And he has shown himself to be a very, very good debater through the years.”

Geez, we get it—you can all be very annoying!

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#CantAfford4More: Are Promoted Tweets a Waste of Money?

Promoted tweets are worth about…this much.

Shock of the day: Twitter is a complex tool, and its mastery requires a bit of…nuance.

We recently reported on the company’s promoted hashtag service and its tendency to produce unpredictable results: When the Republican Party purchased the #areyoubetteroff tag to promote their National Convention back in September, the response got a little out of control—and supporters of President Obama ended up hijacking the thread. At one point, the “yes/no” response ratio was an embarrassing 5 to 1.

We have no doubt that any message promoted by the Obama team would have received plenty of mockery as well. The lesson we took from that debacle is that no campaign—and no company—can truly control the conversation on social media. Twitter is a bit of a crap shoot at the end of the day, and throwing a bone to a pack of howling wolves may not be a terribly effective messaging strategy.

But the Romney campaign didn’t agree, and they’ve made another attempt to drive the conversation ahead of tonight’s first debate by purchasing the #CantAfford4More hashtag for 24 hours–everyone who signs in to Twitter will see the tag in a tweet promoted by the candidate’s official feed. We assume that Romney will use the phrase during his monologue and encourage others to co-opt it. At the very least, this will get everyone talking, right?

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Voters to Pols: TV Attack Ads Are Soooooo 2008

Negative election season ads are about as American as Ford trucks. We don’t necessarily like it when politicians interrupt our favorite sitcoms and sporting events with inflammatory messages, but we seem to accept the fact that it’s going to happen every other November, right? Well, maybe not.

The 2012 election will be the most expensive in history. By the time it’s through, an estimated $6 billion will be spent on various PR efforts by presidential and congressional candidates, and most of that money will go to buying time for TV ads. The problem? Fewer and fewer Americans are actually paying attention.

According to a Say Media study covered in Ad Week, the number of potential voters who watch live TV is steadily decreasing as more consumers watch video on their own time via DVR and streaming services. This trend only heightens the challenges for political PR teams desperate to reach undecided voters (is there really such a thing?).

Gee, we can’t imagine why Americans would get sick of commercials like this one:

Or this one: Read more

Analyzing the Media’s Impact On the Iowa Caucus

Mitt Romney after his Iowa caucus win last night. Photo: AP

With the big GOP’s Iowa caucus behind us (results here in case you’re just climbing out from under that rock), New Hampshire directly ahead, and lots of lingering confusion over who’s really winning this thing, everyone is looking for a way to read the tea leaves with help from the media, digital or otherwise.

Going the traditional route, Mediaite found a correlation between the amount of television and radio coverage a candidate received throughout January 3 and where they placed in the caucus. However, the results don’t determine whether the media is following the voters’ lead or vice versa.

Going into the voting, it was Ron Paul who was riding a social media wave. The Washington Post‘s new @MentionMachine, a new app that tracks the election across Twitter and other media, has Ron Paul on top with more than 363,000 Twitter mentions and more than 5,300 media mentions for the week.

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Benetton’s Pope Ads Pulled; Lawsuit to Follow

Rather than make its clothing more interesting, Italian fashion house United Colors of Benetton has garnered attention once again by creating controversy with its advertising.

Instead of death row inmates or abortion tools as in previous shock-stunts, the UNHate campaign released this week showcases images of world leaders kissing on the mouth – President Barack Obama and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, for one.

The most shocking of the images, a photo of the Pope kissing an imam, was pulled in response to outrage. It was nowhere to be found on the Benetton website by Thursday evening, but the company had not released a statement about its removal.

The Vatican is expected to sue.

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Hunstman, Romney, Broadway Bring Visibility to Mormon Religion

In 2008, PRNewser became very interested in the Mitt Romney campaign, as it thrust the former Massachusetts Governor in to the spotlight as a de-facto spokesman for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints–or the Mormon religion.  At the time, a confluence of pop culture and current events put him there, and then it became a non-issue as John McCain rose up to become the presumptive nominee for the GOP.

Fast forward to today, and we have not one but two viable candidates with former Utah Governor and ambassador to China (nominated by Barack Obama) Jon Huntsman entering the race with a campaign video last week.  Say what you will about the ad, his resume is ridic.

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Obama Increases Outreach to African Americans

Photo: Getty Images

With the midterm elections just weeks away, President Barack Obama has stepped up his outreach to African-American voters Politico reports.

The message President Obama is bringing to places like Philadelphia and Maryland relies on the continued need for change for the African-American community, and the importance of voting next month even if he’s not on the ballot.

“We had 10 years of policies that did not help the African-American community, did not help the American economy and led to this disaster,” the President said on Sirius XM radio last month. “Nobody’s been more damaged than the African-American community by that. We’ve got to make sure that we turn out to vote.” Read more

White House PR Official on Why Some Banks Weren’t Invited to Financial Regulation Bill Signing

Barack Obama signed a massive financial reform bill yesterday. However, the CEOs of two Wall Street behemoth’s — Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan — were not there. Why?

Jen Psaki, deputy communications director at the White House gave a very clear reason to the Washington Post:

If you were part of an effort to spend millions of dollars opposing the legislation, you were unwelcome at the celebration.

Very clear, indeed. [h/t New York]

Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes Launches Philanthropic Venture

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Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and one of the main drivers behind the Barack Obama presidential campaign’s online organizing, today announced plans for a “new web based philanthropic venture.”

The company is called Jumo, which means “together in concert” in Yoruba, and will “connect everyday people and organizations working to change the world.”

The other news is that as far as we can tell, no one noticed that Hughes has left GMMB, the Fleishman-Hillard owned media consultancy he joined as a strategic adviser last March.

Hughes confirmed to PRNewser in an email today that he left GMMB in September 2009.

GMMB focuses on left-leaning political advocacy and consulting, using PR, media buying & planning, interactive strategy, and design.

Do You Have What It Takes To Be President Obama’s Twitterer?

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PRNewser readers: do you want perhaps the most high profile social media job in all of the land? Then apply to be “Social Networks Manager” — aka “Barak Obama‘s Twitterer” — at the Democratic National Committee.

Via The Wall Street Journal:

The Democratic National Committee’s “social networks manager” job description says the position entails maintaining the President’s accounts on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.

Mia Cambronero, who currently holds the job, “will be stepping down from my infamous role as ‘Barack Obama‘s twitterer,’” she said in an email message posted to a listserv. “We’re looking for someone who is available to start immediately.”

The new hire will work closely with the rest of the new media department to execute grassroots campaigns to advance the President’s agenda for change, the listing says. Among the qualifications sought: “Ready to work hard; this isn’t a 9-5 sort of job.”

Apply for the job here.

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