Open your Politics Manual 1.0 to the page headed Media Coverage.
Good. Lets jump straight to b).
b) You have to make a big announcement, for example the choice of your vice presidential candidate. How do you maximize the media impact?
– First of all, draw it out. Go for a long time without announcing anything, and absolutely do not set a date for the announcement. The absence of news has never kept journalists from talking about it.
Example: Barack Obama officially began the search for his Number Two in June, but nothing came out until this Saturday, August 23. For two months, the guessing game occupied chroniclers, journalists, and talk shows.
– Next, turn the method of announcement into news, worthy of coverage in itself. In this way, youll get media coverage of this innovative method, in addition to the choice of vice president itself.
Example: Barack Obama promised that he would announce his VP by text message to all of his fans: what innovation! Its a story within a story! Further, the collection of phone numbers can fill up the information database, very useful for ground operations.
– Finally, announce the VP during an empty time slot for political coverage. Certainly not during prime-time hours, when the news is already focused on the wait for the announcement of the VP! Nor during the peak hours of the Olympics, when a gold medal for the U.S. could overshadow you! No, do it at night, so that the day will be entirely devoted to you.
Example: Barack Obama sent the text message at about 3 AM. In fact, the surprise was a bit spoiled by journalists (especially CNN), who got the scoop about two hours before, but the timing was still good: so now have begun seven days of nonstop Obama, because the Democratic Convention in Denver will last until the evening of Thursday, August 28.
Next lesson, during the Democratic Convention: how to spoil the announcements of your adversaries.