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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

President Obama Hits The GOP, Takes His Voting Rights Message To The People

pres obama NANOn Friday, President Obama appeared at the White House to announce the resignation of Secretary of  the Health and Human Services Department, Kathleen Sebelius. You’d think healthcare would be on his mind all day. Instead, hours later, he was talking about voting rights at the National Action Network annual conference.

The conference, an event hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton‘s civil rights organization, was certainly an appropriate place to broach the topic. And the way he used his speech to present the topic is actually one that will extend beyond the Sheraton ballroom where he delivered it.

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Samsung Takes Things Too Far, Upsets the White House with Red Sox Selfie

ortiz selfiePerhaps you’ve seen the latest addition to the celebrity selfie digital photo album: Red Sox superstar (according to our resident Sox expert, Liz Mitchell) David Ortiz and President Obama. The photo was taken during a White House visit by the team. Ortiz pulled out his phone to snap a pic with the President, which is nothing out of the ordinary. But it turns out that Ortiz is a spokesperson for Samsung, the maker of the smartphone on which the photo was taken. While Ortiz and some members of the team knew that there was a promotional tie to this particular selfie, the President did not.

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Can Amy Poehler Sell Young People On The New Healthcare Law? President Obama Hopes So

President Obama is spending a lot of time this week focused on reaching out to different demographics in an attempt to get back to the business of advancing his plans. Today, he returned to the scene of his first big speech as a new Senator, Galesburg, IL’s Knox College, to talk about his economic program (preschool, new energy sources, and spending on infrastructure, for instance), the needs of the middle class, and raising the minimum wage. It was an hour-long speech that brought back the familiar Obama voice — earnest, determined, passionate.

On the healthcare front, the President is speaking with a different voice. Actually, it’s not his voice at all that you’ll hear. To reach younger Americans with information about the Affordable Care Act, he’s turning singer Jennifer Hudson, Amy Poehler, Kal Penn and other celebs to give voice to the benefits of the new law and the insurance exchanges that will open up on October 1. Read more

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Launches ‘Demand a Plan’ Campaign

Mayors Against Illegal GunsThe social advocacy organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns, co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Meninio, has launched a new PR campaign via social media in an effort to push American politicians to pass gun control legislation. The group also released a petition this week urging Americans to “join more than 750 mayors and 750,000 grassroots supporters to demand that President Obama and Congress step forward with a plan to end gun violence” on a national level.

The three main objectives of the Demand a Plan campaign are:

  1. Require a criminal background check for every gun sold in America
  2. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines
  3. Make gun trafficking a federal crime, including real penalties for “straw purchasers”

Like most modern advocacy campaigns, this one gets creative with social media:

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Livestream: Not Yet Mainstream But Clearly a Game Changer

Streaming events in real-time alters the dynamics for event organizers, impacting the scope of the audience, press coverage and sponsorships. Livestream is a key provider of real-time event coverage services–and while Mitt Romney’s infamous forty-seven percent fund raiser video wasn’t livestreamed, many A-list happenings are: examples include the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute gala, The World Economic Forum in Davos and the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve.

PRNewser spoke with Jessica Kantor, livestream’s head of marketing and content, at November’s Digital Hollywood conference and met recently with Kantor and her colleague, Sam Kimball, EVP of advertising and brand sales, at Livestream’s New York office (left) and here. Below are highlights of our conversation on the Livestream model.

Elements of Livestream’s successful equation include:

1. Brand snapshot and evolution: “To viewers, Livestream is entertainment and live TV”, Kantor explained. “Anyone in the world, both individuals and companies, can broadcast their events”, Kimball added. Viewers can also see past events by accessing Livestream’s online channels.

Adoption of Livestream during the past five years has been steady, but it wasn’t easy early on. “Event organizers may have been nervous at first, since nothing replaces being there in person”, Kantor said. “Livestream isn’t mainstream yet, though more people use it now.”

2. A myriad of usage occasions. Entertainment and music events are popular, and musicians often tape segments at Livestream’s studio as part of their press tours. Livestream is also available overseas, and “as long as an internet connection exists, you can go live”, Kantor noted. Livestream’s most remote customers without internet acces, such as SpaceX and the Volvo Ocean Race, need to rely on a satellite feed and proprietary equipment.

Political candidates frequently Livestreamed events this fall; Kantor said that Obama’s campaign used the service extensively. “The President’s dedicated video team made it a priority, including the final rally with Bruce Springsteen and Jay Z”. Another political customer is Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who Livestreams his press conferences. (They’re also entertaining, thanks to his sign language interpreter.)

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Obama May Have Celebrity Backers, But Romney Has…A Squirrel?

With the presidential election looming ever closer, campaign ads, debate analysis, poll numbers, and speculation as to who’s really on top continue to cascade into our living rooms, offices, and social gatherings via every media outlet imaginable. How does anyone really know which candidate has the upper hand? Well, Stephen Colbert thinks he’s got the answer, and it comes in the form of a fuzzy, gray rodent.

Sure, so many A-list celebrities have come out in support of President Obama that his list of endorsements is beginning to look like “an episode of Dancing with the Stars…with [actual] stars”, as Colbert so aptly put it. But Romney has the endorsement of a bonafide prophet (albeit a nut-gathering, tail-twitching prophet).

A squirrel in South Carolina correctly “predicted” the winner of the 2008 election by choosing to eat nuts out of a bowl featuring a picture of Obama, rather than McCain. This year, the hungry little critter preferred Romney nuts, putting to rest any and all speculation that Obama may win a second term in the Oval Office.

As Colbert says, “Folks, get used to the term ‘President Romney.’ Mmmm, oh, that leaves a real taste in your mouth. What is that, I think it’s…Romney nuts.”

 

Can Halloween Mask Sales Predict the Next President?

It would appear that imitation is indeed the greatest form of flattery, especially when it comes to Halloween costume sales in an election year.

According to this article in the San Francisco Chronicle, sales of Halloween masks often mirror the popularity candidates enjoy with the public and hint at the ultimate winner of presidential elections. Spirit Halloween, one of the largest costume retailers in the U.S., says that the Obama mask is leading with 64% of the retailer’s nationwide mask sales.

Spirit Halloween’s “Presidential Index” based on mask sales has accurately predicted election winners since way back in the glory days of 1996. Nothing about this survey is scientific, of course, but PR experts know that our business has as much to do with timing and circumstance as psychology and hard science.

PR professionals are trained to extrapolate meaning and patterns from even the quirkiest of correlations and relationships. This type of data is our Mars Rover, and seeing human behavior in a new and revealing way for the first time is our ancient Martian streambed. In other words, this is PR geek stuff. Read more

Obama Portrayed As Average Beer-Loving Guy

As the presidential election nears, both campaigns seem to be trying to hammer home the idea that their candidates truly understand the lives and plights of average Americans. While Romney‘s campaign tries to downplay his wealth, Obama (who is currently ahead in the polls) seems to be relying heavily on an old standby of regular-guy-ness — beer.

We recently told you about the president’s foray into home brewing, but now it seems that this historical and popular (not to mention delicious) hobby could potentially make a difference in the swing state of Colorado.

Obama visited Golden, CO this past week. Golden is the home of Coors Brewing Company, where beer is more than just a drink–it’s a culture. In fact, Colorado’s front range has been called the Napa Valley of Beer thanks to a local beer festival, a multitude of brew pubs, and a beer-making-club called “Foam on the Range.” What’s more, Colorado has more members in the American Homebrewers Association than any other state in the union.

And Colorado isn’t the only place home-brewing is popular; while the centennial state may have the highest concentration of members, membership in the American Homebrewers Association jumped 26 percent just last year.

We can see why Obama wants to talk beer and homebrewing in Colorado: It’s one of those “swing states” you hear about so much, and the President certainly would like to call its nine electoral votes his own.

One last note: Were you wondering what might be in Obama’s politically potent presidential home brew? Funny you should ask! Read more

Republicans’ #areyoubetteroff Hashtag Backfires when Twitter Responds ‘Yes’

Unless you’ve been plugging your ears and humming every time a political ad or news story has invaded your living room (we understand the urge), you’ve inevitably heard Mitt Romney (or his campaign) ask some version of the question, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

Earlier this week, in an effort to use Twitter to further the message that Romney can succeed where the president has failed, the GOP used the social network’s promoted hashtag service to purchase #areyoubetteroff, and is paying $120,000 per day for the privilege. Not a bad investment really, assuming that once the hashtag was out in cyberspace and no longer in the hands of the GOP, people decided to use it the way the republicans were expecting (by answering with a resounding, “No! We are not better off! Romney for president!”). But unfortunately for Romney, the Twitterverse had an overwhelmingly different response.

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Will Americans Buy into Energy-Efficient Cars?

The American public has had a long and complicated relationship with the automobile.

Cars once symbolized freedom, rebellion and adventure, and the open road reached out to all of us: rebellious teenagers, vacationing suburban families, slick hot rod enthusiasts, rootless counter-culture drifters and middle-aged husbands alike.

Then things changed.

The Ford Mustang, the classic Cadillac and macho GTO took a back seat to more energy-efficient cars made by employees living on the other side of the planet. Foreign-built cars were more reliable, less expensive and–most importantly–got better gas mileage. The American automobile industry has never been the same. Read more

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