20 November 2007

Pure theatre from Howard and Costello

Prime Minister John Howard performed the "best" PR stunt of the election last night by appearing with Treasurer Peter Costello on Today Tonight. It was almost as good as his donation of $500,000 to save the orangutan (complete with YouTube video and sick child).

Suddenly voters are supposed to believe all is well in the House of Liberal between these two, after two years or so of tension about the leadership. Sure.

It was a cosy setting. More interesting was that it was on Today Tonight, a pretty "low-brow" infotainment program (it long ago ceased to be about current affairs or news). I imagine it's the Liberals' attempt to reach the "masses", seeing as though Howard isn't disposed to using the fm stations to push his messages.

This morning there was another interesting "sideshow. The Liberals' used a garbage truck, featuring a poster of Howard and Costello and some other politician. I couldn't make out who, as I was driving back from the beach, and I usually don't look at garbage trucks.

Not to be outdone, my son then got a text/voice/viedo message on his mobile from Kevin. This was actually an excellent use of the medium. You could also enter several areas of policy and read the details. The only drawback was that it is unsolicited. But then again, so have been the pamphlets appearing in our letterbox over the past two weeks.

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The PR Lab is a consultancy, specialising on research, reputation management, social media, media relations and the development of measurable strategies that produce results. It is run by Dr Greg Smith, a former journalist and PR professional. Greg worked on daily newspapers in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. He held senior PR positions in the Australian Defence Force, Sydney Olympics and national not-for-profits. He has also lectured in PR at Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame Australia.