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#PR: Winnowing Process Begins for Republican Field of Candidates
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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By now, we’ve all been exposed to the chatter over social media and news outlets about the fireworks from the “prime time” Republican candidates’ debate and especially about the so-called “war” between Donald Trump and FOX News. This flack has to say that the dust-up has produced more PR, some positive and some negative, towards “The Donald.”

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina both appeared on stage during what some called the “Happy House” debate at 5 pm this past August 6. Most commentators agreed that Fiorina turned in a solid performance, enabling her to potentially be considered for inclusion in the next major Republican candidate debate. Even retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr Ben Carson, a favorite among tea party Republicans, turned in a good performance during the prime-time debate.

Now, according to a recent article on Newsmax.com, former Texas Governor Rick Perry may be the first to drop out of the race for the Republican nomination. The article cited the news site Politico as saying Perry earlier this week ceased paying staff in the three key states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Ouch. Not good news and not good PR either. The same Newsmax report cited an Iowan Republican who said, of Perry, “No money and cannot gain traction, even though he has the best record and a superb message. Best retail politician I have ever seen, yet not able to pick up interest against a strong field. Where was this guy last time around?"

The same article noted another Iowa Republican's reaction was less than kind: "When you've suspended all staff pay, the writing is on the wall. His team suggests he'll have a memorable debate moment. Unfortunately for Rick Perry, that moment happened in 2011, oops."

One positive thing about the Republican debates is the field of candidates will begin winnowing out. Only the truly strong candidates will remain to go through the primary process. In terms of PR, if you have a strong message, but you do not have a strong base or support or scandal surrounds your campaign, you ultimately will fail. And that’s too bad…for Rick Perry as well as for any other presidential candidate, Republican or Democrat.

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About the Author
Gerard E. "Gerry" Mayers writes about PR and other relevant topics for PR professionals. A former PR manager for Sensor Products, Inc. (currently based in Madison, NJ), he lives in Milford, NJ.
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