Who Won This Weekend’s PR Booby Prize?

Trayvon martiin5 Who Won This Weekends PR Booby Prize?

The PR Verdict: “D” for Santorum and Gingrich in the Trayvon Martin case.

It’s a tie for the weekend’s booby prize for mistaken PR strategy.

Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich both win for their knee jerk reaction to Obama’s statement surrounding the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, the black 17-year-old from Florida.  Obama caught the headlines on Friday with his comment  “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon… When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids.”

Santorum and Gingrich immediately went into attack mode.  Gingrich asked rhetorically if the President was suggesting that  “if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it wouldn’t look like him?”  while Santorum chimed in, saying the President shouldn’t use this case to “drive a wedge in America”.

Romney was the classiest of the Republican contenders.  He echoed the President’s comments about this being a matter for all Americans and added the public needed to be reassured that justice is “carried out with impartiality and integrity.”

The PR Verdict: “D” for Santorum and Gingrich.  Both came across as not listening and making cheap political capital.  In so doing, both ceded the higher moral ground to Romney.

Given that Obama had avoided mentioning the words “black” or “race” it was always going to be a PR risk to claim the President was milking the Martin case for political gain.  Romney’s team understood the PR advantage in not being in constant attack mode.  They  might want to thank Santorum and Gingrich for helping to inadvertently elevate Romney to a more presidential and thoughtful standing.

To read more click here and here.

What’s your PR Verdict on the Republican candidates response to Obama’s comments on Trayvon Martin?

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Donald Trump: Anyone Coming To My Party?

donaldtrump Donald Trump: Anyone Coming To My Party? Donald Trump (left) announced recently that he would be chairing a televised debate with the leading GOP frontrunners. Invitations were sent.

John Huntsman was the first to decline. After that, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney sent their regrets. Michele Bachmann remains on the fence while only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have accepted.

Ironically these very same candidates were previously beating a path to The Donald’s door, assuming his public endorsement would make the difference. That was before The Donald intimated that he might run as an independent himself.

The lesson learnt? Presidential candidates can’t shine when pandering to a celebrity whose trademark is opinionated bluster.

The PR Verdict: “A” to the candidates who have sent their regrets.  This was not the right PR vehicle.

The Donald has a habit of shouting down ideas and people he disagrees with. This has made him a media celebrity albeit without a high level of credibility or gravitas. By appearing in the debate,  a presidential candidate runs the risk of looking like he is pandering to a bully.  Not very presidential. Better to send a thank you note and regrets.