THE BIG PITCH: How should Michael Bloomberg run his campaign to become NYC mayor?




Managing Director

Weber Shandwick Worldwide, New York

(press spokesman to Rosalyn Carter, 1977-1981)

He needs to run as a tested businessman who has run large corporations, someone who is not a politician. He's a bipartisan negotiator, someone who has made tough decisions amongst a wide range of business interests.

He's got to use his previous Democratic history to his advantage and say that he is not an opportunist, but someone who is not wedded to either party, that he'll be bipartisan and 'a uniter, not a divider.' He should not be defensive about his wealth and whatever personal money he puts into this. Like Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ), he needs to say, 'this means I'm not beholden to any special interests.' There's a ripe opportunity here, after Giuliani, to elect someone who is not a politician.



George Arzt Communications

(press secretary to Mayor Ed Koch, 1986-1990)

He should stick to three issues. He must address the education problem - the top issue in the polls. He has to demonstrate, using his high-tech experience, that he can make the schools work, especially in disadvantaged areas. Second, he must show how he will make the city a better place to live using his experience as both an entrepreneur and innovator. Lastly, he must convey the fact that he is the only non-politician in the field.

He must frame the four Democrats and any rival Republican as part of the complacent past, and not part of the solutions for the future. His subtle message should be, 'There's me, and then there is this pack of pols.'


EVP and senior advisor

Powell Tate

(press secretary, GOP National Committee, 1997-2000)

Michael Bloomberg created thousands of high-paying jobs and built a media empire because an educated population was able to read and appreciate his product. Besides being a gifted and brilliant manager, Bloomberg knows the importance of a good education. The challenge will be to develop and communicate that image before the opposition has a chance to define him, and to contrast him with the field of career City Hall hacks he's running against - none of whom have ever run anything but their own campaigns!

I'd commence with a strong paid media introductory campaign, coupled with a good grassroots effort to let the community get to know him.


Managing director, global public affairs practice

Ogilvy PR Worldwide

In his campaign to become mayor of New York City, Mike Bloomberg should play to his strength as a successful businessman with panache. Being a big city mayor is closer to running a business than any other political position. Bloomberg needs to communicate this to New York voters and demonstrate how his experience managing a business will make him a successful mayor.

But in New York managing the city is only part of what's demanded. It takes an outsized personality to run New York. If he is to be successful in swaying New York voters, Bloomberg will have to demonstrate that he can combine his larger-than-life-personality with his ability to manage the nuts and bolts of city government

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