So far, here’s how I score the campaign, strictly from a PR perspective:
Best Brand: Obama. He has a consistent message of “change” and “hope.” Plus, what could be a fresher brand of change than a young-ish minority candidate who has spent most of his life outside the beltway?
Best Media Relations: McCain. He’s managed to stay either above or out of the fray during much of this campaign season, as the two Democrats continue to bloody each other up a bit. As a result, he has been able to stay on message and communicate his plan. Plus, the one crisis he came up against he met head on. Well done.
Best Crisis Management: Clinton. This is almost by default, as she’s had the most crises to avert, it seems. From dodging sniper fire to “misspeaking” when identifying certain voting blocs, Clinton has had the spin machine running on full power, mostly with success. Hey, she’s still campaigning, right?
* Not endorsements of any one candidate or candidates…simply observations from a PR practitioner.
Best viral campaign: Ron Paul
Best buzz marketing: Mike Huckabee (Chuck Norris?!)
We hardly noticed: Alan Keyes