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Posts Tagged ‘political PR’

While this post is different than my pervious posts, I felt compelled to address this topic and how absurd it is.

With Thanksgiving a little over a week away I have noticed a few things that seem out of place, Christmas lights that have been popping up around the neighborhood, Christmas decorations scattering store windows and the endless TV commercials about Christmas shopping. These things are a little overwhelming considering there is still over a week before Thanksgiving.

A video on ehow.com explains that decorating for Christmas should be done until after Thanksgiving and certainly not before. However, for some reason I still see the decorations, Christmas trees and hear Christmas carols almost everywhere I go.

When will people realize that while Christmas is important, there is another holiday that they are completely forgetting about?

The main reason why many Americans begin decorating for Christmas so far in advance is because many companies start promoting Christmas sales and Christmas gifts months in advance.  Christmas has easily become the largest consumer holidays in America.  With the large amounts of money being spent on holiday accessories, gifts and food, almost every company is trying to make money during the holiday season.

With that in mind, what is the best way for companies to make money during the holidays?  The answer is to start promoting their items earlier than their competition, and in some cases this can mean TV ads for Christmas layaway in September and October.

With this huge emphasis being but on Christmas, Thanksgiving is becoming almost nonexistent. I rarely see Thanksgiving decorations or hear people talking about how excited they are to celebrate Thanksgiving.

I feel that Thanksgiving is quickly becoming just another day to drink beer and watch football. While Thanksgiving offers no real incentive for businesses to make money, it does have a deep history that is an important part of our country.  

Thanksgiving began in 1621 when the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast which is known as the first Thanksgiving celebration in the colonies. The harvest meal has become a symbol of cooperation and interaction between the colonists and Native Americans. The tradition has come a long way from showing thankfulness for crops, but the meaning of Thanksgiving has stayed the same.

Elementary schools still teach children about the meaning of Thanksgiving, and some schools even perform plays. Children are taught why they should be thankful for all the things they have.

However, with black Friday shopping and the constant reminders about Christmas it is easy to see how people forget about Thanksgiving.

This weekend I visited several stores that have already begun to decorate for Christmas. While I understand that companies are trying to get ahead, I don’t understand how they can completely ignore Thanksgiving.

I think that Thanksgiving is an important holiday, and people should wait until after Thanksgiving is over to begin decorating for Christmas. Tell me what you think. Should people decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving?

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When the Declaration of Independence was signed, politicians were focused on doing their jobs and not worried about what condiments they put on their food. However, in our technologically advanced society some politicians and reporters are more interested in giving viewers, readers and listeners a show than the facts. 

In the past politics has been labeled as boring, but in the past five years that reputation is becoming a thing of the past. In a recent post on Gawker.com liberals are mad at conservatives for poking fun at President Obama. The topic of the story was that President Obama ordered spicy Dijon mustard on his burger.

In other words viewers are tuning in to see what condiments the President likes on his burgers, but does this really matter?  The answer is a definite no. The story has no purpose other than to entertain viewers.

Politicians run our country, make our laws and now they are expected to entertain us as well.Radio microphone

In a more recent political entertainment story, Rush Limbaugh read excerpts from what he believed was President Obama’s college thesis paper to his audience.

The story started a month ago, when a blogger wrote a fake news story about how Time Magazine’s Joe Klein had found ten pages of  Barack Obama’s thesis paper. In the fake thesis there were arguments about how the Constitution was inherently flawed.

After Rush Limbaugh and Michael Ledeen reported the story on the radio and in the blogosphere, it went viral.

Apparently Limbaugh discovered that the story was a hoax about half way through his broadcast. He covered his tracks by using the fake but accurate defense.

When Joe Klein heard about the story he added a post on Swampland, saying that it was nonsense.
The story that was intended to be a satire went viral because the public is driven by entertainment. If the story fooled Ledeen and Limbaugh, how is the public supposed to be able to determine what is fact and what is entertainment?

Many people are only interested in news that has some sort of entertainment value. I’m not surprised the story took very little time before it went viral.

Most citizens couldn’t tell you what happened last week in the world of politics, but a large percentage of those people could tell you about Obama’s fake thesis, so what’s the difference?

The problem is that most people have only a few newspapers, radio stations, TV shows or social media sites that they get the majority of their information from. Most of these sites aren’t going to report about what congress did last week unless the program has an emphasis on politics. So in general the public doesn’t know much about the intricate workings of the political system.

Film Clapper BoardHowever, when a political story has some entertainment components, more news stations are likely to run the story. This results in more readers, viewers and listeners. In the instance regarding the fake Obama thesis the entertainment value was the reasoning behind why the story went viral.

The sad fact is that the public is only receiving a small percentage of political news. The public needs to be informed about more important issues than spicy Dijon mustard and a fake college thesis. The reality is that the public probably won’t think about politics until the next entertainment story.

I am more confident in this concept than ever as the worlds first political entertainment network is about to launch.

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Social Media LandscapeOver the past few years social media has become a major influencer of public opinion. More people are using social media as a way to find news and information about topics that interest them. This increased use of social media tools has created a new way for politicians to reach their constituents and address important issues.

Many politicians have jumped on the band wagon of social media users after realizing the benefits.social networking Social media can help politicians better understand, respond to and attract attention of their target audience.

When politicians choose to start a social media campaign, they should be prepared to handle the frequent updates that will keep subscribers happy. Worse than not using social media would be creating a social media site but failing to update the site with current information.

When creating a social media campaign there are four major social media sites that should be targeted first.

Blogs

A blog is an online diary that includes articles, writings, photos and Web links. Blogs can be easily updated with current information and news. Blogs are a great campaign tool because they are easy to follow and give readers updates about campaign progress.

Twitter

Twitter is great for short messages, event updates, blog post pushes and breaking news.  It allows a campaign to instantly send a message to followers.

Facebook

Facebook is a social networking site that allows users to communicate with friends and coworkers. Users can post pictures, add videos, send mass messages and interact. Facebook can also be used as a  tool to calculate the number of people following a campaign.

Flickr

Flickr is an online photo management and sharing application. With over 30 million monthly visitors this is a great way to share photos of campaigns and events.

Social media sites allow politicians to connect with their followers and organize their campaign. For best results, once the four major social media sites are created they should be closely monitored and updated frequently. Some politicians have a staff member that monitors all social media sites along with updating and maintaining the politician’s sites.

social networking communitySocial media sites should complement each other when used as part of a campaign. The messages on each site should be consistent with all other sites used as part of the campaign.

Last year’s presidential election is an example of one of the most successful political campaigns that used social media techniques. Barack Obama used a completely integrated campaign of TV, radio, Web and social media. The reason why the campaign was successful is because these tools were used together. No one tool can create a successful campaign by itself.

Social media alone cannot win an election and the outcome ultimately comes down to the candidate’s appeal and the campaign’s resources.

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