Election messages need substance, not sermons

As any effective communicator will attest, singular messaging is the easiest way to explicate an entity's brand positioning in a way the public can easily digest.

As any effective communicator will attest, singular messaging is the easiest way to explicate an entity's brand positioning in a way the public can easily digest.

BP has chosen to make the environment its calling card in recent marketing efforts, Burger King has begun its seamless ad assault on NFL fans with its oversized King head, and CBS News has placed all of its innovations behind the Katie Couric mantle.

Politics is no different, as DC-gazing media reports have stated that both sides of the political aisle will have a singular message for the public this election season: conflict in a post 9/11 world. Five years later, as somber memorials dominate today, the 2001 terror attacks remain embedded in the public's thoughts.

As we enter the mid-term election season, Democrats are making the difficulties in Iraq their focal point, while Republicans discuss the nation's struggle against terrorism. Joe Lieberman, now an independent, perhaps is free to touch upon both.

While the two parties see the Iraq war as totally different things and any weighty decision like going to war deserves its debate, the public loses if political strategists become derelict in their other communications duties.

It's too easy for communicators to write scripts that pull on the heartstrings, but fail to add substance. It's craven to pen rebuttals that blindly attack without addressing the public's concern. PR advisors must not cave in to providing their pols with weightless sermonizing.

Like the chicken and egg cliché, it's hard to tell if the public is so focused on matters of conflict because it's what politicians seem to always bring up. PR pros must help politicians give the public more than pandering or doom and gloom. How else will people be able to make decisions on where the country should head? Smart communicators will find a way to address concerns by pushing the issues - and America - forward.

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