How Can McCain “Game Change” the Palin Legacy?

gamechange How Can McCain Game Change the Palin Legacy?

The PR Verdict: “D“ For McCain and his defense of his former running mate.

What’s the best way to defend Sarah Palin?  John McCain, former presidential candidate has been asked to defend his former running mate for the hundredth time, following the release of the HBO movie Game Change.

While the film is vaguely sympathetic to Palin, as she struggles with the immense personal stress of the campaign, the film’s recurring theme is that she was wildly unprepared on both personal and professional levels. Staffers are seen in the movie explaining to Palin endless basic facts re the workings of US government, including the meaning of the shorthand phrase “the Fed”.  McCain in a recent interview said he had not seen the movie and has no intentions of doing so while Palin describes the film as “historical fiction”.

McCain said in the interview that Palin is a “good and decent person” and “fine family person” and “someone who energized our campaign”.  With words like these, reinforcing a perception that she was the soccer mom running for high office, he will continue to be frustrated in putting his choice of running mate firmly  behind him.

The PR Verdict: “D“ For McCain and his defense of his Sarah Palin.  Stop talking about her personal qualities and start talking about a broader perspective now that the campaign is well and truly over.

The key learning from Game Change is that the McCain /Palin campaign was battling not only under the stress of the existing 24-hour news cycle but the advent of YouTube. This allowed everyone to see reruns of Palin messing up, eliminating the possibility of the “forgive and forget” failed interview. Until McCain publicly reflects more broadly on his campaign, he will be obliged to defend his running mate on the same homely qualities that provoked such derision.  In so doing, both Palin and McCain will face ongoing frustration in their efforts to put the past behind them.

To see the trailer for Game Change click here.  To see McCain defend Palin click here and to read more click here.

How would you rate McCains interview on Game Change? What’s your PRV?

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How Funny Was The Dictator On The Red Carpet?

sachabaron choen1 How Funny Was The Dictator On The Red Carpet?

The PR Verdict: “B” for General Aladeen and his ho-hum stunt.

Did anyone find Sacha Baron Cohen on the Academy Awards red carpet funny? As a comedic exercise it was at best lukewarm, but as a PR exercise it hit the mark, securing more coverage than if he had topped the “best-dressed” list.  Is spilling pancake mix the new way to secure coverage?

Prior to the Oscars there had been some noise about whether the Academy would allow Cohen to walk down the red carpet dressed as the fictional General Aladeen from his upcoming movie The Dictator.  Earlier reports claimed he had been forbidden to attend the ceremony, which the Academy denied.  In any case, the anticipation generated some pre-Oscar column inches.

During a red carpet interview on the night with Ryan Seacrest of E!, Cohen, carrying an urn filled with the “ashes” of former North Korean ruler Kim Jong-Il said it was Kim’s dream to attend the Oscars and “to be sprinkled over the red carpet and Halle Berry’s chest.”  He then tipped the urn to cover an un-amused Seacrest with dust.  Cue laughter.

The PR Verdict: “B” for General Aladeen who, despite the joke falling rather flat, got the PR bang he was hoping for.  There is no doubt the Dictator got more coverage than if he had walked down the red carpet as plain Sacha Cohen.

This PR stunt generated endless replays, went viral and gave commentators, tired of debating the length of Angelina’s leg, new material.  It created the sort of fuss that is the dream of every PR and has been followed up assiduously on social media by Cohen’s PR and marketing team. Now, the  the real test will be to see whether the 1.5 million hits on You Tube translate into movie ticket sales.

To see the interview click here and to read more click here. Take our poll and let us know how funny you found the interview:

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