Managing Your Press
NAGAS, one of the few remaining on-campus SG bloggers, came back from a hiatus today to ask: What have I missed?
The easy answer is not much.
The biggest flaw I’ve seen thus far in the campaign – aside from how late and disorganized the two parties were in getting started – is that despite the small number of days left, there is really a dirth of news-worthy activities going on. The last week was dominated by the SWAMP treasurer candidate’s high-profile embarassment over the budget, and Susan Henriques’ steady attention in the press, even as she attended an event at Ben and Jerry’s (which I still say should have been held on Sunday).
One thing political managers (and those with the degree/aspiration to be one) know is that you have to manage your press. You have to get your name and message out there every day as much as possible – and it can’t just be on the editorial page arguing over this and that.
While I have my issues with Susan’s campaign, her team has shown this skill better than the others – by actively inserting Susan into the budget debacle and recovery, and keeping information pumping on her website. Unite has spent most of its press attention on the debate over its use of swear words in public; not exactly laudable press. But Swamp – aside from the casual connection of its treasurer candidate to the budget debacle – has been largely ignored in the Alligator.
I don’t think that’s intentional. I just don’t think either major party has done what is necessary to give the Alligator material. If I were John, I would send the paper a list of all of his accomplishments and that of his running mates, as well as his record as Senate President. Maybe even provide them with his voting record. I would then highlight atypical issues his party supports, to emphasize the idea that he’s not the normal “system” candidate. If I were Jared, I would hold an open forum every day this week on a different issue, at a time that still allows him to hit all the major organizational meetings; and bring with him to these events some of his more unusual and more stellar Senate candidates. That will show he’s more than ambition with a pulse, and puts substance to the idea that his party has attachment to the “independent” parties of old – Access, SUN, Vision.
But I’m not sure either party will do that. Instead, I’m sure tabling will start this week, and the t-shirts will come out in full force (including the adorable baby-T’s), and the same old campaigning will go on.
Who wants to bet that overall turnout will be below 9,000 votes?