Political PR On Target? Good PR is Good PR
(Editor’s Note: This is a re-post of Merritt’s article originally appearing in the public relations blog, Spin Sucks)
As a lifelong Jeopardy! fan and former third-place contestant, I was surprised at how engrossing the 2012 Teen Tournament was. Typically, I ignore the Teen Tournament, turning up my trivial nose at post-2009 pop culture and 7th grade biology questions. This year’s tournament was compelling for three primary reasons:
- Harder material (which means smarter kids; show writers and producers match material to intellect based on pre-show screening)
- Washington, D.C., locale lent itself to good host-contestant interchange
- Joe Biden presented an entire category of questions.
Now, I have watched probably 80 percent of the nightly Jeopardy! broadcasts since the current show began airing in 1984. And I have never seen Presidential/White House involvement like this.
The contestants and 28-year host, Alex Trebek, toured the White House as part of the tournament, met Mrs. Obama, and sampled vegetables from the White House garden. That is a pretty awesome event for the high-schoolers selected as contestants. And they talked about it.
The best part, though, had to be the Vice President presenting all the questions in the category, “Cars in America” on the show broadcast on May 9.
“The Chevy Coach dates from around the time this became the world’s largest car company; with cars like my favorite, the Corvette…it held that position until 2008, then filed for bankruptcy, but now it’s back on top.”
Whoa! A blatant pitch for the Detroit bailouts! On a game show! For children! Will today’s politicians stop at nothing?! Pundits chewed over that the following day, of course.
But isn’t the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament the kind of thing you would want the White House to support? No matter who lives there? I remember my first trip to Washington in high school and I would have loved a personal White House tour and visit with the First Lady – Rosalyn, Nancy or Barbara.
Oh, Obama Administration, you support teen intellectual development – how evil!
And the Vice President presenting “Cars in America?” Hey, I can’t begrudge anyone product placement that brilliant. That’s the political equivalent to a Red Bull can showing up on an episode of The Big Bang Theory.
I found myself dazzled by how brilliantly the White House managed the Jeopardy! opportunity. Right tone, right spokespeople, right audience. You don’t have to love the current administration to respect really good PR when you see it. If you’re smart, you’ll find a way to incorporate the Jeopardy! tactics into your own campaigns!
As the “big boss” at Vox Optima, Merritt ranks creating her company as “a bigger deal than coming in third on a game show.” A radio disc jockey, a Navy public affairs officer at 20, and a business owner at 35, Merritt lives her life going several different directions at once. In addition to head paycheck writer, Merritt brings considerable strategic communication, media relations, and campaign and issue management expertise to Vox Optima as well as being the only adult supervision around here. You can find Merritt on her staff page, hanging out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or you can shoot her an email.
2013 236th birthday 911 accuracy ad content advertising amanda jones american university amy and samy bouzgalo amys baking company ari matusiak barack obama basketball baumgartner belvedere vodka birthday blog blogging book review booth babes branding brittany lowrey budgets business ethics carnival cruise carnival cruises clarity cloud cloud computing coalition building coffee collaboration common sense communicating communication communication counsel communication planning communication specialist consequence of actions content content creation content development content management correcting the record courtney english creativity credibility crisis crisis communication crisis communications crisis management crisis planning customer approval process customer engagement customer service dallas cowboy cheerleaders dallas cowboys dave nagle digital signage digital signage expo disaster dnc veteran tribute snafu drayage charges economic growth employment engagement ethics event planning exhibit planning exhibitions exhibitors exhibits expos facebook family fashion financing free speech gay rights gen mcchrystal gmail google google apps google docs gordon ramsay grassroots gsa conference scandal hampton roads hootsuite horses and bayonets hud human resources hurricane irene hypocritical infographic insightly integrated communications integrated strategic communication internet content interpretation interviewing jack odwyer jason collins jc kreidel job growth jobs john doucette journalism journalists judgment kitchen nightmares learning management margaret thatcher mark mcdonald marketing mcpon media media pitching media relations media spokesperson media training melissa kellerman merritt allen merritt allen hamilton messaging michael jordan mistrust mitt rommney mobile mr media training national address navsea navy nba netflix new mexico new mexico private 100 news news marketing news media news source newsgathering obama administration online reputation opinions outcome based communication overcharging partisanship perception personal privacy persuasion planned parenthood political address politicians politics pop herring pr pr gaffe pr redefined preparation presentation presentation development press release privacy product professional conference professionalism promotional models prsa public corruption public funding public interest public relations quickster rachel osullivan rainn relationships reporting republican response reputation reputation management resolutions rick west rules sales san diego sdvosb service disabled sexist small business social media social media marketing social media planning social media policy social media strategy sotu speaking speechwriting spokesperson spokesperson training sports fan sports illustrated sports reporting staff staff profile staying on topic storm reporting strategic communication strategic communications strategy subscription content surface navy association susan g komen telecommute telework templates texting thanksgiving thomas lake time management today show newsworthy tom mason trade show trade shows transparency triumph troy miller tweeting twitter us embassy us navy va conference scandal veteran owned veterans veterans administration veterans day video video marketing video production vince dickens virginia tech virginianpilot vox optima voxoptima voxvoices wasteful spending website westchester county white house womens health wounded warrior yelp youtube zicam