Monday, September 8, 2008

PR and Politics

I just got back from a weekend of sightseeing in Washington DC, which I think merits some sort of political PR post, wouldn't you agree?

This was my first trip out to see the East Coast (well, unless you count the PRSSA National Conference in Miami or the 10 hours I spent on layover in the Phili airport) and I have to say, I was quite impressed!  Traveling Europe inspired me to want to see more of my own country, and what better place to start than DC?  It was nice to spend some time in our nation's capital, doing some sightseeing, etc. (although, I have to say, the White House was quite a bit smaller than I had originally anticipated).  But all in all, seeing the great monuments and learning a bit about the history helped me find a renewed faith in my country, and I was inspired to immerse myself in politics once again (it was, after all, my minor).  

As I mentioned in an earlier post, while in France I was surprised at how interested and engaged in politics everyone seemed to be.  Our dinner conversations centered around questions on my views toward certain American policy issues, or the political agenda of Nicolas Sarkozy.  Even most of the young people I met fired off political questions.  But of course, when I mentioned I was American many people would immediately bring up Barak Obama... the celebrity.

This election sure has been an interesting one, and more hyped than any I can ever remember (which, granted, account for maybe 2 past Presidential elections...)  Whatever happened to fair and balanced political news coverage? (um, take last night's VMA show for example?)  Now a days, while most people can ramble on about Hillary's 'incredible' fashion sense or the exact size of Palin's cinnamon-roll bun, if you ask someone about Obama's main platform points you're likely to hear something along the lines of, "um, change?"  The media is so drawn to the drama in elections that they fail to provide the American public with an accurate view of  the issues our potential leaders stand for and how they will use their time in office.  And as a consequence, the Paris vs. Nicole-esque media coverage is pulling, not only GOP and Dems, but also like parties apart instead of uniting us as a nation.  

But to a second degree, I don't completely fault the media.  This is what we want to see and hear about, right?

If the candidates want to really connect with the people in the upcoming election, they need to break through the media hype and show constituents what they're really about.  Meaning, their publicists need to work overtime.      

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