Since moving to New Hampshire in February, I have developed a new hobby: seeing (and listening to) presidential candidates. I’ve seen ten of them so far this political season (list is down below), and I look forward to more. Politics takes on so much more excitement when you can see it unfolding in-person.
Thus, I was truly excited last Thursday when Katie and I embarked on our first Paine Publishing field trip. We hopped in her Honda Element and drove to the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College (in Manchester, NH). It was amazing to step foot inside the NH Institute of Politics and hear experts discuss politics from a PR perspective. It was one of those cool moments when 2 interests of mine met: PR and politics (and yes, they are a match made in heaven).
That evening the Yankee Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) held a discussion “PR, Polls, the Press & Presidential Politics.” It was moderated by Amy Coveno, WMUR reporter, and featured a panel of 3 experts (pictured below, from left to right):
-Scott Tranchemontagne (President, Montagne Communications)
-Andy Smith, Ph.D. (Director, UNH Survey Center)
-Neil Levesque (Executive Director, NH Institute of Politics)
As you may have surmised, the 3 of these men specialize in politics: Mr. Tranchemontagne has run numerous presidential campaigns including George H.W. Bush’s campaign. Dr. Smith runs the UNH Survey Center that does most of the polling for the state and many of the candidates. Mr. Levesque is in charge of the NH Institute of Politics which is basically ground zero for NH’s First in the Nation Primary (#FITN).
They covered topics including Donald Trump’s marketing prowess, faulty polling methodologies, and print media versus social media. (Author’s note: There’s a lot I learned, but I committed a rookie mistake: I forgot to bring a pad of paper to take notes & record insights.)
As for Katie, when I asked her what her favorite part of the event was, she replied “I loved hearing Andy Smith talk about the validity of data and margins of error, but then I am the data geek.” Data geek, or not, that’s one thing that makes her the Measurement Queen, right?
One more thing I want to mention is that I was utterly charmed by this piece of marketing collateral from the past: a JFK coloring book!
Although today’s presidential candidates haven’t issued coloring books (that I am aware of), it’s interesting to think about the marketing materials our society/this presidential race will leave behind. Perhaps screenshots of Tweets and clips from Saturday Night Live? Ah, let the evolution of PR/communications continue…
As promised, here’s a list of the candidates I’ve seen since May 2015 (in random order):
Chris Christie (twice)
John Kasich (twice)
Ben Carson (except I was in the hallway because room was too full)