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Posts Tagged ‘Scott Brown’

Cory Booker: Elected Officials Should Act More Like PR Pros

Newark Mayor/oversized political personality Cory Booker has a suggestion for politicians and government officials who want to engage their constituents and build their public profiles: be more like Ashton Kutcher.

No, really: Booker, who remains one of the world’s most popular politicians on Twitter, wasn’t suggesting that the South by Southwest attendees who gathered to hear him speak should produce reality TV shows or promote smartphones. But he did credit Kutcher with bringing him into the social media fold by introducing him to the land of 140 characters–and he implied that the most successful political leaders of the future will be those who follow him headfirst into the digital maelstrom by interacting with real-life people rather than just posting press statements and linking to complimentary op-eds.

See, it’s one thing for an elected representative to have an official account–they pretty much all do at this point. But Booker’s social voice is closer to that of, say, an “influencer” like Richard Branson than Vice President Joe Biden, whose feed consists of fairly rote announcements created by administration communications staffers.

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Scott Brown and The Dangers of Late-Night Tweeting

Scott Brown TwitterScott Brown, the former Massachusetts senator whose recent loss to Elizabeth Warren left his political future uncertain, got some unwanted attention over the weekend after releasing a series of nonsensical late-night tweets that left many questioning his sobriety.

It’s both a silly story and a great illustration of how a series of poorly thought-out messages can lead to PR disaster–especially for public figures on social media.

The timeline is pretty simple:

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Last Night’s Loser: Big Money

From a PR perspective, we’ve already established the winners of last night’s election: no-frills, on-brand messaging and basic math. The loser, in our humble opinion, was big money.

After the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision, quite a few observers began to freak out over the growing power wielded by well-funded Super PACs and advocacy groups.

These fears may well be justified; 2012 was the most expensive election in history, with spending on presidential and congressional campaigns amounting to approximately $6 billion, and we can’t quite see that as a positive thing. Still, this year’s contests brought encouraging signs hinting at the fact that “a whole lot of money” just isn’t enough to win an election in this country today.

Take, for example, the unsuccessful Connecticut Senate campaign of former WWE head Linda McMahon. Over three years and two different races, the wrestling executive spent $100 million of her own money, easily breaking all records and providing a nice boost to the Connecticut economy. Yet Chris Murphy defeated McMahon by a healthy margin last night despite the fact that she spent twice as much as he did while eschewing divisive social issues to run as a moderate business reformer.

What does this tell us?

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Warren Doesn’t Get One Job, But Has Support for Another

Richard Cordray Photo: Reuters/handout

After a weekend mishap where @BreakingNews accidentally tweeted that President Obama would be making a “personal” rather than “personnel” announcement today, the press conference to announce the nomination of Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just wrapped up.

Elizabeth Warren, who had been serving as the interim director, wrote a column for The Huffington Post and The White House Blog today endorsing Cordray, who not only has a history working in government, but is also a Jeopardy! winner. So we know he’s smart.

Republican Senators have made their opposition to Warren clear, threatening a filibuster if she were nominated. The CFPB was established to help and protect consumers of financial products like mortgages.

Warren may not be getting the director job, but there are some who would like to see her get a job as a Senator.

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Interview: Michael Kempner, CEO, MWW Group

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Michael Kempner has served as CEO of MWW Group since its founding in 1986. As an IPG (NYSE: IPG) owned shop, it is the 11th largest public relations agency in the U.S.

PRNewser caught up with Kempner this week to get his take on the market for PR services in 2010 — “You can’t hide in this market. You’re either really good or you’re not.” — his work for the Democratic Party — “The president needs to tie all of his programs together into a unified theme.” — and how he would grade Toyota’s crisis communications strategy thus far — “I would grade them a D.”

What’s your take on the market for PR so far in 2010?

I’m actually in a good mood. I felt good about 2009, actually. It wasn’t the easiest year, but the team rallied together. The team proved what I thought they would prove:

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Less Laughter in White House Press Room

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White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs cracked a joke about Sarah Palin during his daily press briefing this past Tuesday. Former George W. Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino didn’t think it was funny.

Now, Politico reports that the media may be tiring of Gibbs’ shtick. Reports Politico’s Patrick Gavin:

Back in May, Politico analyzed the press briefings and found that the instances of laughter – as indicated by “(Laughter)” being noted in the official transcript – occurred more than 10 times per day during press secretary Robert Gibbs‘s briefings.

But the laughter has been reduced by half in recent months: In the first six months of the Obama administration, briefings produced an average of 179 laughs per month. Over the past six months, the average has dropped down to 89.

This could be due to the fact that Gibbs has had to address a number of serious issues in the last few months, including health-care reform stalling, Scott Brown winning Ted Kennedy‘s Senate seat in Massachusetts and continued concern about job growth and the economy.

White House PR Goes Into Overdrive on Haiti Relief

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[President Obama meets in the Situation Room to discuss the U.S. response to the earthquake in Haiti, Jan. 13, 2010. Via White House Flickr feed]

In what The New York Times calls a “remarkable public relations campaign,” the Obama administration flooded the media with statements, images and other information in the wake of devastating earthquake In Haiti. According to the Times:

…a torrent of news releases, briefings, fact sheets and statements…flowed out of the White House in the days after the earthquake, a media campaign that illustrates two truths about the Obama administration: its deftness at catering to a nonstop, Internet- and cable-television-driven news cycle, and its determination to project competence and resolve in dealing with a heartbreaking tragedy, in implicit contrast to the way the Bush administration struggled through Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

Is the strategy working? It seems to be. Coverage of the U.S. response to Haiti has been mostly positive, as opposed to other immense domestic challenges the administration faces around health-care, Wall Street bonuses and the loss of Ted Kennedy‘s senate seat to Republican Scott Brown.

Robert Gibbs Brings Damage Control to MSNBC

The disconnect in messaging between what Scott Brown‘s victory in Massachusetts means for health care reform, and what voters were actually trying to say was apparent within the lineup on MSNBC last night. Bracketed between former DNC chair Howard Dean and Hardball’s Chris Matthews calling each other “silly” over poll interpretations, was a pair of interviews with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on The Ed Show, and Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

The PS2POTUS had a tough time with Schultz towards the end of his interview, though posed the point that healthcare stocks gained $4 billion after the loss of the seat to the GOP, implying that killing the bill is exactly what they want:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

More after the jump.

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GOP and Dems Ready To Spin MA Election Results

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No matter how tonight’s Massachusetts Senate election turns out, it already is much harder to spin from the Democratic perspective, as simply the reality of a close race in a state Barack Obama won by 26 points a year ago is a cause for alarm.

Republican candidate Scott Brown has already won on one front: social media. According to CNN.com:

As of Monday morning, Republican Scott Brown has 76,538 fans on his Facebook page. With polls opening in less than 24 hours, Democrat Martha Coakley has 14,441 fans.

On Twitter, Brown has 10,187 followers compared to Coakley’s 3,514 followers. The total uploaded views for Brown’s YouTube videos are 578,271 versus 51,173 for Coakley.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama is “both surprised and frustrated,” by the close race. In addition, there is already infighting within the Democratic party.

UPDATE: Coakley conceded to Brown at 9:20p.m. ET.