PR for PR’s Sake?

As the deadline to apply for the republican candidacy closes, it’s becoming clear that we don’t have to worry about Sarah Palin as a serious contender anymore and yet she’s still as visible in the media as ever. But why?

After her reality TV show on TLC, the campaign tour that wasn’t a campaign, and the new scathing Nick Broomfield documentary, it’s no wonder she continues to remain in the spotlight, which makes you wonder about her motivations for this kind of attention if she never planned on running for office, as she says.  Many people still want her to run but it seems as if she’s only interested in maintaining that popular girl persona.  Catherine Shoard of The Guardian reviews Broomfield’s, “You Betcha!” in which she describes how a place (Wasila, AK) can produce personalities: “It’s a city where prom-queen politics can bleed far into adulthood, and one man’s theory about how Palin still acts like ‘the most popular pre-teen girl’ rings right when you hear her giggle at enemies being insulted, or watch her chew gum.  It’s the stuff of high school horror movies: can you stop the most popular girl in school from stabbing you in the back?”

Whatever her politics are remains a mystery we might never crack.  So far all we know is that she is motivated by her religious zeal.  What we do know is that you can’t even pay for the kind of attention she received at her One Nation tour that was abruptly halted after four days on the road.  Reporters were chasing after her as she boarded and drove away, a rare occurrence for politicians, usually reserved only for celebrities.  Palin invites and relishes the hype, with no particular agenda in mind other than “moving our country forward” with conservative Christian values.

Needless to say, very few people take her politics seriously anymore, but she’s still widely supported by those who focus on emotion and ideology rather than rational thought.  It’s fair to say that her fame is comparable to America’s most undeservedly famous Kardashian family in terms of how successful she is in keeping everyone’s attention, despite having nothing to back her image up, which makes her campaigns probably the most successful PR campaigns we see today.

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One thought on “PR for PR’s Sake?

  1. Great blog post. Without Palin, (and a few other names out there) I don’t think we could have really stirred the debate in legitimate PR campaigns and media coverage. You’re right. Part of it coincides with fact that some producers simply want high television ratings; so they cover stories that sky rocket their ratings. Further more, think of how many political talk shows repeat her name-and her story. Creating a successful PR campaign requires strategy. Her team definitely created one that’s boosting her branding image, as well as… well, her (underlying) campaign for president.

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