From PR Weekly: Comms challenges dog Republican candidates for 2012

From PR Weekly

Chris Daniels | May 20, 2011


“He can’t play nice forever,” says Vincent Harris, founder and CEO of Harris Media. “Even in the South Carolina debate, Pawlenty wouldn’t attack Mitt Romney because he wasn’t next to him on stage. But at some point the knives need to come out. And when they do, how he delivers those contrast messages will be very interesting.”

Harris says Pawlenty also has to convince voters, particularly in swing states, that he’s “exciting and energetic enough.”

Still, with the recent exits of Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump, there are no clear favorites for the Republican presidential nomination. But both Harris and Reynolds agree Mitch Daniels has the experience to be a strong contender – if the Indiana governor decides to throw his hat into the ring.

Given Obama’s sophistication with social media, all the Republican candidates face the added challenge of how to best use online interaction in their communication.

Barack Obama’s website prominently uses Facebook Connect to ask people “Are you in?”

“The application is genius because it captures data and creates this snowball effect, because people see their friends who support Obama,” Harris says. “Obama is leading Republicans again online.”

Read the full story here.