PR lessons from the 2012 campaign (so far)

The campaign trail offers advice for public relations professionals of all stripes.

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Yet, campaign 2012, as well as the ones that preceded it, holds lessons for PR pros of all stripes.

Narrative trumps policy.

Many believe Barack Obama was able to win in 2008 because his narrative of hope and change was more compelling than John McCain’s warnings about a dangerous world and the need for experience at the helm. An inspiring story is worth a thousand policy statements.

For my money, Herman Cain was the master of narrative (while he lasted), with Rick Santorum trying hard over the past month to paint a picture of populist roots and family values.

Marketing and corporate PR professionals are increasingly harnessing the power of storytelling for our clients. Whether a product, corporation, entertainer, or service, we need to take our audience on a “hero’s journey” through challenges and changes to arrive at a new destination.

Speed counts.

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