PR Play of the Week: Rick Lazio spends week on the town

Ten days ago, Rep. Rick Lazio was a virtual nobody. Today, he’s a somebody.

Ten days ago, Rep. Rick Lazio was a virtual nobody. Today, he’s a somebody.

Ten days ago, Rep. Rick Lazio was a virtual nobody. Today, he’s a

somebody.



Get that man a PR Play of the Week trophy.



OK, maybe the sudden surge of interest had less to do with Lazio’s PR

and media minions than it did with the natural ’who the hell is this

guy?’ response to his pinch-hit candidacy.



But consider this: Lazio announced his candidacy on Saturday afternoon;

by midnight on Sunday, he had appeared on six TV shows and jetted to

meet with supporters in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton.



That’s some serious legwork.



Lazio’s first PR message? ’I’m not Hillary!’ And it’s clear that he’s

going to press the carpetbagger button. ’This is real New York, and

anybody who runs for the Senate better get used to it,’ he said last

Tuesday following a trek uptown on the No. 6 train. ’I’m not being

driven around in a chauffeured limousine.’ Ooh - them’s fightin’ words!

He also acted quickly to undermine suggestions from Hillary’s camp that

he stands to the right of Newt Gingrich.



Rhetoric aside, Lazio significantly furthered his cause within an

extremely limited time frame: he smiled for the cameras with his wife,

got people buzzing about his credentials and raised a ton of cash - in

the 72 hours following Giuliani’s withdrawal from the race, Lazio took

in dollars 110,000 from 1,200 Web site donors. In short, he established

himself as a viable contender.



Does Lazio have a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton? ’A lot of people

I know would vote for a rotting fish if it meant keeping her out of

here,’ said one right-leaning PR pro. Cue up the Rocky theme, and fasten

your seatbelts.





- Nominations for ’PR Play of the Week’ should be sent to

news@prweekus.com.



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