Learning From The Convention
- Drama: Events are about creating a sense of drama, a sense of connection with the human spirit that takes the participants and observers out of the daily grind and entertains, educates and reinforces values, messages, perceptions and myths. The convention certainly did that although it was much quieter than others in the past, the unifying thread being that President Bush is universally disliked. Think of Kerry's entrance into Boston with his "Band of Brothers" at his side. Think of the documentary on Kerry's life in order to build a foundation of who he is, what he's done and how it defines him. Think of Teresa Kerry's speech where instead of being a liability for her outspokenness, she was positioned as a champion for women's rights. Think of John Edwards and his ability to bring a grass roots, "I've been there" tone as the son of a mill worker. Think of Max Clelland, one of my heroes and fellow Vietnam vet, who was so depressed after losing his Senate seat and then rallied for Kerry and has been his point man on the road to the presidency ever since. Think about Kerry's speech last night as the climax of a play with twists and turns when he laid out his vision and spoke as passionately and as down to the ground as he's ever done, dashing the pundits' laments that no one knows the real John Kerry. And so it goes. It was as much a rite of passage for John as it was for those who watched it, and it brings to mind the best in marketing since it was well orchestrated, with great attention to detail, with compromise on the issues, with an integrated approach to telling the message and with a call-to-action to "join us."
- The Value of Blogs: The Democrats credentialed 35 bloggers to observe and get the word out showing the power of this free flow of information in an overloaded world. Apparently, the Republicans have credentialed 20 bloggers.
- Symbols: From donkeys to flags and everything in between, the visual candy of the convention shows how powerful symbols are in our world. It's definitely a branding world even if one wraps the American flag around the ideas.
- Public Relations: Although the merchants in Boston were hurt somewhat with the closing off of streets and security measures, Boston is a hearty town and full of pride. The PR of showing the best of the city to the nation and the world is coverage you can't buy at any price. The "bad" PR was carefully contained away from the convention and protesters were either not covered or scarcely heard. In crisis management, that's the best scenario.
Enough said...off to a client.