Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Branding Sarah Palin.

Whatever your political orientations/choices may be, there's some interesting information to be found in the article about Sarah Palin in the October issue of Vanity Fair, now online.

She manages to be at once a closed book and a constant noisemaker. Her press spokesperson, Pam Pryor, barely speaks to the press, and Palin shrewdly cultivates a real and rhetorical antagonism toward what she calls “the lamestream media.” The Palin machine is supported by organizations that do much of their business under the cover of pseudonyms and shell companies.

In accordance with the terms of a reported $1 million annual contract with Fox News, Palin regularly delivers canned commentary on that network. But in the year since she abruptly resigned the governorship of Alaska, in order to market herself full-time—earning an estimated $13 million in the process—she has submitted to authentic, unpaid interviews with only a handful of journalists, none of whom have posed notably challenging questions. She keeps tight control of her pronouncements, speaking only in settings of her own choosing, with audiences of her own selection, and with reporters kept at bay. (Despite many requests, neither Palin nor her current staff would comment for this article.)

She injects herself into the news almost every day, but on a strictly one-way basis, through a steady stream of messages on Twitter and Facebook. The press plays along. Palin is the only politician whose tweets are regularly reported as news by TV networks. She is the only one who has been able to significantly change the course of debate on a major national issue (health-care reform) with a single Facebook posting (in which she accused the Obama administration, falsely, of wanting to set up a “death panel”).

The reaction from Palin's marketing division/PR should be instructive.


Antonia Z said...

Don't give Steve any hints.

MgS said...

Sounds to me like Palin's been taking cues from Harper ...

Orwell's Bastard said...

Were they very small cues? Written slowly using big type and words of one syllable or less?

deBeauxOs said...

The fewer letters, the better.

Cue-tips for Sarah™©, from Stevie™©.

Now there's an idea for a gimmicky humour book. We'll get Alison at Creekside to work up the illustrations.

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