Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain's VP Pick & PR

Like a lot of us, I've been scouring the web this morning for information about McCain's little-known VP running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. In some ways, Palin may seem like an odd choice. But in terms of the PR / media side of things, I think it's pretty smart.

Had McCain chosen a well-known politico -- like, say, Mitt Romney -- the result would have been rather "ho-hum," I imagine. Surely no one would have been surprised. And there wouldn't have been that much to say or write about him. People know where he stands on issues. They know who he is. Sure, there would have been media coverage. But nothing like what McCain's campaign is going to get by tapping a relative unknown.

Everyone's going to be talking about McCain's choice (was it good or bad?), about what she believes in (how does she vote on issues?) and stands for (what are her causes?), her background (both in and out of politics), her family life... There is so much to write about as a reporter covering this story. (A testament to this: The announcement was this morning and the 1:23 p.m. edition of Help A Reporter Out already had a query from a reporter seeking sources to weigh in on whether McCain made the right choice.)

Will this choice be a good one in the long run? Not sure. I don't know enough about her yet. (Though I'm sure by the end of the weekend I'll no longer be able to make that claim.) But from a purely PR perspective, I have to say it seems like a pretty smart move.

-- Robin

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