PR Lessons From The Campaign Trail

The presidential campaign trail offer lessons to the "public affairs community, the PR people paid to push the issues. But what they're watching isn't so much who wins, but how they do it," PR Week's Douglas Quenqua writes. "Nearly every technique for moving public opinion, every tactic employed by public affairs people to get an issue on the radar or to get legislation passed, traces its roots back to a political campaign - usually a presidential one. It's become Washington vogue in recent decades to run public affairs campaigns in the electoral style: treating an issue like a candidate, branding it, organizing constituencies, managing messages, even setting up rapid response operations, or 'war rooms.' All of these techniques were first devised and perfected by presidential campaigns; these days, you can't run a public affairs campaign without them."