Thursday, July 22, 2004

Say It Loud, Say It Often 

One of my favorite blogs is Rhetorica.  This site features commentary on "rhetoric, propaganda, and spin of journalism and politics, including analysis of presidential speeches and election campaigns" to quote the author, Andrew R. Cline, Ph.D.   Dr. Cline asks the kinds of questions that PR practitioners should be addressing to clients. 

An entry from July 21 struck me as illuminating at least one PR technique.  Dr. Cline was commenting on an entry at www.campaigndesk.org, another great site, about the "millionaire"tag that keeps being hung on John Kerry and John Edwards.  The point made was that Republicans are careful to keep that theme in front of the media, and the media are reporting it.  Dr. Cline's comment was "Take a memo...In other words, political reporters are a bunch of mindless stenographers."

Well, sometimes they are.  But, it is a key point for PR practitioners to remember.  If you hammer a theme long enough and the theme is tied to facts, the media will pick it up.  There is a value in persistence in selling a message, and the temptation to get bored is one to avoid.  Staying on message is not easy.  It becomes automatic and passionless.  One delivers messages by rote and not by mind.  But, like actors and actresses in a long-running play, one has to find ways to make the same words sound interesting and fresh to a new audience every night. 

There is nothing wrong with saying it loud and saying it often, if what you are saying is based on facts. 


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