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November 05, 2008


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Milos Sugovic

I like the post, it’s simple and to the point. It screams PR SWOT. But integration of the different components usually gets overlooked, or at the very best implicitly discussed with a typical SWOT. Having a vision and creating a new audience is half the battle. But many stop there. What’s more important is how you successfully push a vision among that new audience you just created. And that step is crucial – it separates the men from the boys.

Sam Ford

Great points, Matt, and this fits right into the conversation we've been having across the PR blogosphere about brand-building and politics, as you know. For readers who might be interested in other takes on this topic, look here:


In particular, I think your point about creating new audiences is crucial. I've done a fair amount of research in the entertainment industry about "surplus audiences," those that aren't in the target demographic for a show. Soap operas, for instance, have actively ignored their 49+ female audience for years, often seeming to do all they can to run them off, because they are pitching their shows as reaching 18-49 or even 18-34 as the target. World Wrestling Entertainment had a large Hispanic population tune in due to the popularity of some of their stars and had no clue what to do with this burgeoning section of the population. Shows like Veronica Mars were cult hits among some groups of adults, but the show insisted that it was for teenage girls, whether any teenage girls watched or not. In the process, VM ran itself off the air, WWE has squandered its Hispanic audience, and the soap opera has declined steadily in the ratings for about two decades now.

The point is, there's a fine line between the windsock approach and the one where you decide who your target audience is and then never look around to see who's actually listening.



Concerning the creation of new audiences, here is some very interesting preliminary analysis on 2008 voter turnout from American University’s Center for the Study of the American Electorate:



"Much-hyped Turnout Record Fails to Materialize: Convenience Voting Fails to Boost Balloting"

Despite lofty predictions by some academics, pundits, and practitioners that voter turnout would reach levels not seen since the turn of the last century, the percentage of eligible citizens casting ballots in the 2008 presidential election stayed at virtually the same relatively high level as it reached in the polarized election of 2004.

According to a report and turnout projection released today by American University’s Center for the Study of the American Electorate (CSAE) and based, in part, on nearly final but unofficial vote tabulations as compiled by the Associated Press as of 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 5, the percentage of Americans who cast ballots for president in this year’s presidential election will reach between 126.5 million and 128.5 million when all votes have been counted by early next month.

If this prediction proves accurate, turnout would be at either exactly the same level as in 2004 or, at most, one percentage point higher (or between 60.7 percent and 61.7 percent). If the rate of voting exceeds 61.0 percent of eligibles, turnout will have been the highest since 1964. This projection is based on the 121.5 million tabulated votes compiled by the Associated Press plus some estimate—partially based on experience with post election vote counting in previous elections and partially based on factors specific to this election, most notably the spread of balloting prior to Election Day—on how many ballots are still to be counted.

A downturn in the number and percentage of Republican voters going to the polls seemed to be the primary explanation for the lower than predicted turnout. The percentage of eligible citizens voting Republican declined to 28.7 percent down 1.3 percentage points from 2004. Democratic turnout increased by 2.6 percentage points from 28.7 percent of eligibles to 31.3 percent. It was the seventh straight increase in the Democratic share of the eligible vote since the party’s share dropped to 22.7 percent of eligibles in 1980.

Gucci Shoes

This is a good blog post, I was wondering if I could use this posting on my website, I will link it back to your website though. If this is a problem please let me know and I will take it down right away.

Steve Cody

No problem at all!

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