A Tip for Eastwood’s Next “Empty Chair” Speech:

 A Tip for Eastwoods Next Empty Chair Speech:

The PR Verdict: “C” (Distinctly OK) for Dirty Harry.

Why did Clint Eastwoood’s puzzling speech to the GOP faithful at the Republican Convention in Tampa, FL, last week get such a resounding thumbs down? Eastwood’s now famous address–talking to an empty chair–did little to capture the public imagination in the right way. It was obviously not the warm-up act Team Romney was hoping for. Was this cold shower one of Dirty Harry’s worst performances?

The reviews were not kind. Eastwood’s failed motivational opener was invariably described as “rambling” by the commentators. Even Ann Romney damned Eastwood with faint praise by saying on morning television that Eastwood did “a unique thing last night.”

Eastwood’s problem was that his speech seemed too much like hard work. Talking to an empty chair, with its overtones of Gestalt therapy, seemed better suited to the analyst’s couch than national television. Above all, the exercise diffused Eastwood’s own anger, which is what was always going to connect with the audience. Despite the botched delivery, he made a case about why he is unhappy with the present administration. It could easily have been the temperature-setter for Romney’s later key speech, but instead Romney had to claw back the audience’s attention and start afresh.

The PR Verdict: “C” (Distinctly OK) for Dirty Harry. Not a bad speech content wise, but why was its delivery so complicated?

The PR Takeaway: Speak from the heart and connect with the audience; any actor knows that. Eastwood’s speech read like an open letter to Obama, and what better way to have delivered it than to stare straight into the camera? Eastwood could have channelled the steeliness of Dirty Harry rather than taking a leaf out of the therapist’s handbook. Connecting with the audience and issuing the President with a series of ultimatums might have made Dirty Harry’s day, as well as Mitt Romney’s.

To see the speech click here.

What’s your opinion of Clint Eastwood’s “empty chair” speech? Give us your PR Verdict!

In Case You Didn’t Know Meghan McCain Is “Strictly Dickly”

meghanmccain2 In Case You Didnt Know Meghan McCain Is Strictly Dickly

The PR Verdict: “D” for Meghan and her PR positioning.

Meghan McCain, daughter of Senator John McCain, has given a puzzling but compelling interview to Playboy.  Unloved by right and left wing commentators, she is facing an uphill battle to be taken seriously.  One conservative blogger describes her as “a self-indulgent set of mega-breasts (that) doesn’t belong anywhere near a TV studio commenting on anything.”  Missing the point Meghan replies, “Every guy I’ve ever dated and every boyfriend I’ve ever had—nobody ever complained about my body.”

The interview continues downhill.  Describing herself as “seriously interested” in politics, (“My mom was pregnant with me at the 1984 Republican convention”), Meghan says she is not interested in the sniping and unkindness of political life.  Reassuring Playboy readers that she loves politics and is not bisexual, she comments “I’m strictly dickly.  I can’t help it.  I love sex and I love men.”

 The PR Verdict: “D” for Meghan and her PR positioning.  Is Playboy the best venue to launch a pundit’s career? Was this the wisest content? Who is doing Meghan’s PR?

Asked why so many politicians get caught up in sex scandals Meghan observes “repression breeds obsession. Politicians have to be goody-goodies…the more you deny your sexual side, the more it builds up and comes out in inappropriate ways.”  Odd words from the daughter of an ex Presidential candidate.  A change of strategy might be what is needed.  This was a great interview to secure a slot on late night Chelsea Lately but not Meet The Press.  Strictly dickly Meghan might want to begin charting a different course.

To read the interview in Playboy click here. To read some of the coverage click here.

What’s your PR Verdict on Meghan’s interview?

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