It’s such a trope that even non-PR people know it: if you want a story to get very little coverage, issue a press release on a Friday afternoon. Preferably around a holiday or just about any Friday in the summer.
From that perspective, Sarah Palin’s announcement was a trifecta: A Friday, in July, the day before the Fourth of July. So, was she hoping that her resignation wouldn’t get covered? I’m totally confused by the strategy.
Of course, I guess the real question is why is she resigning in the first place? If there is another scandal coming or something like that, then this strategy makes sense. It also makes sense if she quit for personal reasons.
If she is resigning to run for President in 2012, or even just more vaguely to position herself for some kind of national platform, whether in the government or not, then I’m not so sure. Putting aside whether or not quitting is a smart strategy, wouldn’t you want to launch a new career with a big media splash? And if the answer is yes, then you don’t announce your resignation on the Friday of a summer holiday weekend, right?
I realize trying to figure out what Sarah Palin is thinking is a bit like trying to read tea leaves. Probably why this post has more question marks than periods.
Meanwhile, I think that whatever the strategy was, she failed. How’s that? Well, if she wanted to make a big splash, it didn’t exactly work. There was some coverage on Friday, but at around 9 pm that night Anderson Cooper was “live” on CNN covering Michael Jackson’s death, now nearly a week past, with footage that was days old. The message couldn’t be clearer: Yeah, Sarah Palin quit. Who cares? But on the other hand the Friday announcement didn’t stop the scrutiny of her very state of mind, which dribbled in over the weekend and has wound up with a vengeance beginning today.
Like a lot of things Sarah Palin does (and says) the whole thing just makes no sense at all.