Archive for December 28th, 2007

McCain Campaign Leaks Anti-Romney Ad to Slate’s John Dickerson

Here’s a sneaky way to use the web to put a knife in the other guy: leak an ad targeting your opponent to an online media outlet which can then post it for mass distribution. Combine that with the journalist’s own email distribution list, and you have instant publicity (thanks for the note, John). Besides using Romney’s own words against him in brutally effective fashion, the ad is also interesting in that it was produced by a media group now working for the Romney campaign — they’d been on Team McCain originally but left when he ran into trouble earlier in the year. Kudos to Dickerson and Slate for putting the piece out in context rather than simply running it straight, as you’ll see below.

For more background and analysis, see Slate. For Romney’s reaction, listen for the distant sound of wailing, moaning and gnashing of teeth.

Update: Why do I like this idea so much? Everybody loves a scoop or a leak — something that feels as though you’re getting an insider’s glimpse, and it makes someone like me that much more likely to link to it. It’s just a little naughty! I bet the TV types pick up on it like crazy. When your campaign is short on cash, free media exposure is priceless.

cpd

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The Internet Didn’t “Just Happen” to Howard Dean

The good Doktor Rosenblatt has weighed in on my Matt Bai piece, and the results are excellent. Among his many worthwhile points, he notes that online support worked for Howard Dean because the campaign jumped on it — they saw a wave, and they rode it for all they were worth. Other political communicators can get in on the back-and-forth:

By feeding the online discourse with messages, facts, resources, nudges, and tugs; by pushing these out to a variety of online communities; and by listening to the response and adapting message and strategy accordingly, a campaign can add strategic advantage to the organic chaos of the internet.

See also Alan’s distinction between the message a campaign uses and the actual language they use: supporters can still spread a message even when they don’t parrot a candidate’s talking points verbatim. Besides this piece, the techPrez crew has come back from the holidays in full turkey-fueled force; check out recent articles on Facebook oversaturation, John Edwards’s online ad contest and the year’s best online vidoes, both campaign- and voter-created.

cpd

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The Presidential Campaigns Can Sell Your Issue! (Through Google Ads)

I almost missed it in the pre-holiday frenzy, but last week Kate Kaye of Clickz wrote up an excellent way to use Google Ads (in this case funded by a Google Grant) to hitch your promotional wagon to a presidential candidate’s star:

The Environmental Law and Policy Center gets up to $10,000 worth of Google ads provided free of charge each month to help promote its green efforts, including one aimed at reaching Iowa caucus voters. A search for “Hillary Clinton” turns up an ad suggesting that users “Learn how Hillary Clinton proposes to solve global warming.” Targeted to presidential candidate names, the ads link to IowaGlobalWarming.org, and are part of a year-long campaign set to finalize after January’s Iowa caucuses.

This tactic is an extension of a classic PR tool, which is to tie the story you’re trying to pitch to something topical and pressing. Of course, it’s a classic PR tool because it works, though if too many people jump on board the Google Ad train, the cost of running ads on the candidates’ names becomes prohibitive (try buying a more specific query if that happens to you).

While we’re on the subject of PR, check out this Wall Street Journal blog piece by Laura Lorber (via Publicity Hound) about a flack’s pitch gone tragically wrong (be sure to read before you send, kids). For more consequences of bad pitching, see “Long Tail” Chris Anderson’s email blacklist, which also sparked a fairly violent discussion among PR types.

cpd

1 comment December 28th, 2007 Trackback Bookmark on del.icio.us


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