As The Election Takes The Media Spotlight ,The Lessons Public Relations Can Learn From Politics Grow Ever Larger
By Mike Bako, D S Simon Productions
Michael Steele might not have been able to take the Republican Party down the right path as Chairman but he can lead the way down the road for public relations professionals as they try to navigate the ever changing worlds of messaging for clients and the social media landscape.
At the PRSA 2012 Internatonal Conference in San Francisco, Steele said he had a tough go of changing the perception of the Republican Party from the inside because the party had a tough time of understanding exactly who it was and what its core message should be. The lesson to be learned from that example, and the lesson that public relations professionals should learn, is that you need to be closer to the ground in terms of gathering information and disseminating information than your client is. That is why they are hiring you and that is why they will value your expertise.
Public relations professionals also need to do a better job of not following the pre-described narrative. Thinking outside the box is what got Steele in trouble when he first tried to do it while running the GOP but a lot of the initiatives that he tried to enact have been adopted by party officials and are working out quite nicely in terms of being able to shape their message during this election cycle.
Finally, Steele stressed the importance of not just using social media and mobile devices, but using them in a proactive and targeted way. Sometimes it’s the value targets that are hit using social media that are more important than just generating hits and views of drive by consumers.