INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Shrewd PR leads to Labastida landslide

MEXICO CITY: PR played a pivotal role last month in helping Francisco Labastida win Mexico’s first-ever major-party presidential primary.

MEXICO CITY: PR played a pivotal role last month in helping Francisco Labastida win Mexico’s first-ever major-party presidential primary.

MEXICO CITY: PR played a pivotal role last month in helping

Francisco Labastida win Mexico’s first-ever major-party presidential

primary.



Labastida, an economist and member of current president Ernesto

Zedillo’s cabinet, hails from Mexico’s ruling party, the Institutional

Revolutionary Party (PRI). In July’s presidential election, he will be

pitted against Vicente Fox of the conservative National Action Party and

Cuauhtemoc Cardenas of the liberal Democratic Revolution Party.



Pollster Stan Greenberg, who advised Labastida in the weeks leading up

to the primary, said that the victory could largely be attributed to a

PR strategy that reflected the values PRI primary voters were

seeking.



When the campaign started, Labastida appeared to be lagging behind

Roberto Madrazo, who staged an American-style negative advertising

campaign. But while Madrazo’s campaign techniques drew the attention of

the news media and politicians, it didn’t impress voters.



Sensing this, Labastida reoriented his campaign approach to focus on

positives, placing particular emphasis on character. He separated

himself from the old, scandal-tainted PRI by identifying with reformist

Luis Donaldo Colosio, a presidential candidate who was assassinated five

years ago.



Greenberg contended that adhering to a less-flashy PR and advertising

scheme helped Labastida climb steadily in the polls, culminating in a

landslide victory. The economist was also helped by support from leading

PRI officeholders.



The party itself was a major beneficiary of Greenberg’s PR strategy.



Polls indicated that PRI improved its standing with voters during the

campaign, and it will likely continue to project a more open democratic

style. Labastida emphasized this, saying that his nomination signals the

birth of a ’new’ PRI and that he hopes his approach will carry over to

subsequent primaries and elections.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.