The PRV Report Card: Debate Winner & Loser

 The PRV Report Card: Debate Winner & LoserDEBATE WINNER: “B” (Good Show) to Barack Obama, who won the debate (but only just). Democrats wanted a more aggressive President, and they got him. At times, Obama was jocular: When Romney repeatedly asked, “Have you looked at your pension, Mr. President?” Obama laughed and shot back, “I don’t look at my pension – it’s not as big as yours.” But when Romney accused POTUS of flying off to a fundraiser the day after the attack on the US embassy in Libya, Obama Hulked out and put Romney in his place. Game on. No one in this debate was prepared to turn the other cheek, a recharged Obama stepped up to the plate and met expectations. Is there new momentum in the campaign?

 

 The PRV Report Card: Debate Winner & LoserDEBATE LOSER: “B” (Good Show) to Mitt Romney, who lost the debate (but only by the slenderest of margins). Romney still has a propensity for sinking his own ship with one catchphrase. Previously we had the now infamous “47 percent.” This time, in response to a question about equal pay, Romney told a story about staffing his male-dominated cabinet and said, “They brought us binders full of women.” The comment quickly reverberated around the blogosphere, went viral on Twitter, and was a URL within an hour. Fodder for the next attack ad no doubt, and only time will tell how this affects 50 percent of the voting public.

 

 The PRV Report Card: Debate Winner & Loser

THE “NONSENSICAL TANGENT” PR AWARD TO: Both candidates, for their answers to the question about gun control. Romney began talking about marriage and two-parent families, starting a rapid-fire spree of Tweets beginning and ending with “WTF”? Obama fared no better, veering sharply off into education and higher test scores in math and science. So…guns don’t kill people, divorce and geeks do?

The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & Losers

bidenryan2 150x150 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR Perfect) to Joe Biden. Now this was a debate!  If Obama had previously brought a knife to a gun fight, Biden brought a cannon. Throughout the debate he aggressively debated Ryan, who seemed at times unable to keep up with Biden’s derisive comments. Biden’s ongoing smirks at what Ryan was saying was a PR object lesson in undermining an opponent.  A fine line to be sure  and presumably not everyone saw it this way, but frankly whatever your political color, this debate was very entertaining.  The Twitter-verse was on fire with Biden’s opening shot “That’s a lot of malarkey!” and later putdown”Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy?” Brutal.

 

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (Full Fiasco) to Lindsay Lohan. The girl can’t help it; she’s in the news constantly, but rarely for what she first became famous for – acting. This week, Lohan allegedly placed an emergency call about her mother’s erratic behavior to…her father? As a scandal-headline grabber himself, Michael Lohan is hardly the most reliable source of assistance. Lohan needs to hire the celebrity version of Harvey Keitel’s Pulp Fiction clean-up character.

 

 The PRV Report Card: This Weeks Winners & LosersTHE “FLOGGING A DEAD HORSE” PR AWARD TO: The US Anti-Doping Agency, which revealed that nearly all of Lance Armstrong’s former teammates have signed affidavits saying that Armstrong won his seven Tours de France by doping. They say he doped, they doped – even Armstrong’s former wife took performance-enhancing drugs. But Armstrong relinquished rights to his Tour titles months ago. Okay, he probably did take the drugs; does anyone still care, other than the USADA, which is determined to say “told you so”? Again and again.


Two-Step Fix for Romney’s “47 Percent” Disaster

 Two Step Fix for Romneys 47 Percent Disaster

The PR Verdict: “C” (Distinctly OK) for Romney’s response to this latest setback.

Any suggestions for Mitt Romney as to how to put the genie back in the bottle? That is the question as he copes with the fallout from the now infamous “47 Percent” video, in which Romney claimed that 47 percent of the American voting population suffers from a paralyzing dependence on government support and entitlements. It’s a “victim” mentality, said Mitt as he told the faithful that nearly half of the US population is an electoral lost cause.

This taped speech at a private fundraising event was never meant to be aired publicly, but now Democrats can’t believe their luck. For Romney’s campaign, battling with accusations of being tone deaf to the economic plight of ordinary Americans, this comes at a bad time. Mitt, in his response, is holding his ground. While his views were “inelegantly” expressed, he says, they related solely to how his campaign is being structured. This was about tactical electoral strategy only.

Not a bad response, and what else could he say under the circumstances? No sense in denying the comments, but they certainly need explanation and context.

The PR Verdict: “C” (Distinctly OK) for Romney’s response to this latest setback.   His response may have blunted some of the damage to the campaign, but he needs to do more.

The PR Takeaway: Distract and Switch should be the mantra of Team Romney’s campaign for the coming days. Change the topic of the conversation by pulling wife Ann or running mate Ryan into the media to talk about something completely different. Crisis moments like these have a shorter shelf life when something else fills the vacuum. With the Democrats milking the video for all its worth, the best advice to Romney is to cede the limelight over the next couple of days – the sooner the better.

What else can Team Romney do to mitigate this damage? Give us your PR Verdict!

The Romney-Ryan Tango

 The Romney Ryan Tango

The PR Verdict: “B” (Good Show) so far for Paul Ryan.

How do you PR package 42-year-old Paul Ryan for vice president?  And what’s the PR dynamic for his running with Mitt Romney? Father-son? Teacher-pupil? Firebrand-moderate? Or just great pals? This choreography will be more carefully planned than the finals of Dancing With the Stars.

Both political sides are excited by the Ryan announcement. Ryan rouses fiscal conservatives – at last, said the commentators,  a candidate who has built his reputation on fiscal discipline. Democrats, on the other hand, think they have been handed a political gift. “The man who wants to end Medicare” is now their political rallying cry.

A generation younger than his potential boss, Ryan has the charisma and energy to appeal to voters. His positioning is that of the Young Turk brimming with ideas, energy, and conviction. Romney may find himself playing second fiddle to a younger deputy with stronger, more headline-grabbing ideas. Where does that leave Romney: agreeing with Ryan on all matters, or being the more moderate, generational elder? How can the  younger, pushier brand, Ryan, compliment and not overshadow the more seasoned brand of Romney?

The PR Verdict: ”B” (Good Show), so far, for Paul Ryan and his opening salvos. His youth, vigor, and ideological commitment seem to have energized his party. The PR work is now to position both candidates as being not only on the same page but having the same level of firepower and conviction.

The PR Takeaway: Brands need space. Ryan has captured the headlines with some radical views, and his brand is becoming clear. For Romney, his own brand positioning needs to reaffirm who is running the show – a public tango where Romney needs to be seen in the lead at all times. Romney’s faux pas on the day of the announcement, when he introduced Ryan as the “next President of the United States,” could be a portent of a potential PR problem. Romney, for the sake of his own candidacy, needs to make sure that he is seen as being in charge of the ideology, as well as the campaign.

Is Paul Ryan a wise or radical choice for Romney? Give us your PR Verdict!