PR gets tougher as politicos chase Net

WASHINGTON, DC: As political candidates and their PR consultants are forced to keep pace with the rise of the Internet, it will be harder and more expensive for candidates to get their message across.

WASHINGTON, DC: As political candidates and their PR consultants are forced to keep pace with the rise of the Internet, it will be harder and more expensive for candidates to get their message across.

WASHINGTON, DC: As political candidates and their PR consultants

are forced to keep pace with the rise of the Internet, it will be harder

and more expensive for candidates to get their message across.



That prediction from Bill Lee, president of the National Association of

Republican Campaign Professionals, was one of many made by PR pros and

politicos at two forums held last week for campaign professionals.



’We’re in a transition period,’ Lee told the NARCP convention. ’The

political world has not caught up with technology. It is five years

behind.’



Around 20 years ago candidates could wage credible campaigns using only

network TV and their local affiliates, Lee noted. Voters took polling

and voter canvassing calls, and the election was a one-day sale. Now,

however, the Net is fast gaining ground as a medium, while TV viewership

is becoming increasingly fragmented.



Lee said publicity, given its low cost, may be most important in

reaching voters. But campaigners must recognize that a target media list

should be expanded to include cable outlets and web site editors.



At the E-Voter 2000 conference held on October 1, David Moore, president

and CEO of New York-based 24/7 Communications, argued that the Net will

revolutionize subsequent campaigns, predicting that debates will take

place online - perhaps every hour - and streamline traditional campaign

processes.



A glimpse of the future beyond banner advertising was provided by Allie

Shaw of San Francisco’s Unicast. Shaw demonstrated how TV-like messages

can be inserted in the web sites of organizations and media outlets. The

messages are played as Internet surfers shift between web pages.



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