Hello! Been involving myself with some creative character assassination re: that dottering old man that you sometimes see on your television, John McCain! Wednesday was the first action of the campaign, (soon dwarfed by John McCain’s decision to bail on the debate), but we’ve been making headway with the newsmedia, local activists and the mythical ‘blogosphere’
Much like the Take Back NYU! adventure, this campaign is a PR sandbox for my wandering attentions. I’ve learned a few things since signing on:
– Condense condense condense – left-types get caught up too easily in writing out litanies of crimes or deceptions, which usually take too long to read and very rarely make an effective point (in terms of salience). Try to focus that energy into an image, slogan or idea. The Pinocchio nose only works in certain cases – McCain at one point tried to run a campaign on “honor,” and he has his face on the TV a lot, so the iconic image of the Pinocchio nose works particularly well.
– Entertain as well as act – a point belabored elsewhere on this blog, but reinforced in the course of organizing – people react much better to the idea of public confrontation with a presidential candidate if they think it will be fun.
– The floating signifier – people respond to the surface of things. This campaign intentionally tries to avoid dealing in depth. Instead of trying to parse out truth from falsehood, we’re aiming for the image able to circulate independent of the exact ‘facts’ behind it. That’s why the image of McCain with the Pinocchio nose was needed to anchor the campaign before we went public.
– Keep up with the news cycle, even when its hard – this was a campaign that developed lightning fast, riding the wave of a news cycle that was focused on McCain’s lies and deceptions in ads and elsewhere. Arguably, the media backlash to the McCain negative press drove back down his numbers following the Palin/Convention bump.
Overriding question: What is the new ‘voice’ of the left, why are we so Ironic all the time?