Category Archives: Public Relations

Best Campaign Website: Presidential Candidate Susie Flynn


Surfing the late night Tube last evening, I paused at Tavis Smiley, who was in the midst of an onscreen interview with one of my favorite Americans, the inimitable  and articulate Marian Wright Edelman,  head of the Children’s Defense Fund, or as I like to call her, “the smartest woman in Washington”.   Not only is the CDF behind the children’s health insurance initiative, I discovered they are running their own candidate for President.  Her name is Susie Flynn, a bright young woman who is running on the issue of universal health care for children.  However, her name will never make it to the ballot. Presidential candidate Susie Flynn is 10-years-old. 

This doesn’t stop me from giving her my vote–for the Best Campaign Website and, most importantly, Best Use of New Media in the 2008 presidential campaign, so far.  Candidates, take notes.

I don’t know who is responsible for the creation and execution of this brilliant idea, but you have to hand it to the CDF team for getting it all right.  At this point, it is clear that the 2008 campaign will be made on the Internet, and may the best web developers win.  Political TV commercials are so last century.

Here’s what they’re up to on the electsusie.com website:

HOME page:
As they say in their campaign slogan, there are 9 million uninsured children in this country, so they are trying to collect 9 million signatures on their petition. The platform is laid out simply on the Home page, where you  sign and click your name onto the petition.  The petition counter is right there, so you see that your name has been added and counted. The left hand column is a blog where you can leave a comment, and you also see Susie’s latest campaign videos, posted on YouTube.

Click on “GET INVOLVED” and you see a map with icon push pins of how many have signed the petition where.  On “Supporter Pics”  you get two options:  1) download the PDF of Susie’s campaign yard sign and 2) upload photos of you and your clan with your campaign yard sign to Susie’s–you guessed it–Flickr page.  “My Banners” gives you the html code to paste the campaign banners on your website or blog. “Tell A Friend” sends a message to your contacts with all the appropriate links.  And that’s just the beginning.

LINKS” is where the real fun begins.  Not only will you find, finally, the links to CDF’s fund and issue topics, you are also linked to Susie’s MySpace page, Facebook page, and Care2 page.

See below my favorite campaign video called “My attempt to get a Susie Flynn yard sign at the White House”.  Then directly after that watch part two in that series called, “Susie Flynn takes her campaign to the White House”.

The mystery remains, who is this charming gap-toothed girl. Talk about fresh faces in Washington. Finally, candidates might also be wise to take some cues from Hollywood:  cute kids will always upstage you.

Does Viacom Suck or Rock?


Sucks, evidently, according to the people’s Internet, Yahoo Search API search engine and an amusing new website called sucks-rocks.com

As noted in my previous post on piracy, the Viacom v. YouTube controversy is doing a lot to damage the public image of both companies in the eyes of its customers and audience. When you take a boardroom fight to the streets, this is what you can expect. 

Sucks-rocks.com allows you to search any number of keywords to see how much they “suck” or “rock”.  The website gets its results from a formula worked out from the occurrence of negative and positive phrases regarding each keyword and reduces the results to a scale of 10-1, in which 10 Rocks and 1 Sucks.

According to info on the website, the phrases they measure by are: 
Negative:  “X sucks, X is lame, X is crap, I hate X”.
Positive:    “X rocks, X is sweet, X is awesome, I love X”.

Seems clear enough. So, I couldn’t resist applying this to the Viacom/YouTube controversy.  In my own personal campaign to prove that there really is such a thing as bad publicity, here are my search results for the following keywords:

My Search Term:

10 -1  rating 
Illegal Download 9.0 (Rocks)
Pirates 8.7  
Google 7.2  
YouTube 6.4  
Piracy 4.2  
MySpace 4.1  
Viacom 1.2  
GooTube 0.5 (Sucks)

                                           
 

Welcome to The “M” Word


Welcome to my first blog. I’ve been thinking about writing this blog for a while now, and since I’m in the process of writing a book about PR and the new media, I thought this would be a good time to start.

In my opinion, this is a very exciting time to be a  communicator. There are so many new outlets for self-expression in general and the written word in particular. In this blog, I will look at the many aspects of the press, public relations, and the media–the “M” word–in the digital age. I want to keep current with new developments, not only in technology but in the language that we use both to describe new technology and  to communicate in it.

Why do I call it “the M word” ?    

The word “Media” these days is so overused that it begins to be devoid of any meaning. It has been used to describe any number of types of communications and professions, and so much maligned, that it’s starting to take on an undertone of something ominous. The great media conspiracy.  To me,  “Media” is becoming  a new four-letter word. Five is the new Four?  So much so, that I can’t say the “M” word without wincing myself these days. 

In this Blog, I will write about all things “M”, from new technology to old school print. I come to you as a creative person, a writer and a public relations professional who has traveled in the changing terrain of communications for decades.

I aim to bring back the “M” word to its proper place, as the rightful means to communication in a country that, above all else, loves its freedom of self-expression.

I look forward to your comments and feedback.  Please note the many ways you can RSS feed this blog on the right hand sidebar.  Blog on!