Palins Continued Ups and Downs

In one respect, Sarah is riding very high. Her book has broken the million mark and the print run has been increased all the way to 2.8 million according to the Washington Post. It’s also garnering glowing reviews from conservatives nationally and locally (SWACGirl and James Atticus Bowden both enjoyed it). The media continues to pooh pooh the book, but hey, what do you expect from a gaggle that so thoroughly railroaded her last year? The biggest mark of success–her book is #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This is rather unusual for a politician–she joins the Clintons and Colin Powell in that territory.

However, that can’t stop the criticism. The Hill ran a hit piece on her internet strategy. It critiqued her for an over-reliance on Facebook:

“She is a political celebrity,” said Florida-based Republican new-media consultant Jordan Raynor. “She has built a significant new media space in the last year.”

……

“What I don’t like about as far as an online strategy is that she puts most of her eggs in the Facebook basket. She should be extending her online cachet into other strategy,” he said.

Not using email well enough:

“Even with this web 2.0 and social networking, we still see that one of the most powerful tools is a really good e-mail list,” said a former campaign co-manager for former Sen. Fred Thompson’s (R-Tenn.) 2008 presidential bid who declined to be named.

……..

“Building up a good e-mail list would be a good tool to influence 2010,” the former co-director said of next year’s midterm elections.

And for starting a new Twitter account rather than keep her old one:

Others, such as Alabama-based GOP new-media consultant Jeff Vreeland, lamented Palin’s decision to create a new Twitter account instead of changing the name of her gubernatorial account to keep her follower base of over 150,000, though it’s not clear that she was allowed to keep her old one.

……..

Palin’s new Twitter account has almost 30,000 followers.

I agree with comments in the article that right now, Sarah’s focus is on moving a TON of books….first get the message out there and try to salvage her image, then move on to the dialogue. It’s a smart strategy. The big question is will she have an audience to speak to once the glamour and glitter of the book tour is gone? I think her Facebook-oriented strategy is actually fairly sound, but again, she needs to move more towards that two way street, always cognizant that on a platform like facebook there will ocassionally be cars headed straight towards her. I remain on the fence about her other efforts, though I will say this: I just joined her email list for SarahPAC the other day and have yet to receive a welcome message, or any others at that rate. I got emails at least once a week during the Virginia election cycle from HuckPAC, and even the Romney camp puts out something once a month.

The real test of her star power is yet to come: the primary season and the ensuing general elections in 2010. Like I said, if she’s collecting emails at every stop good on her. If she’s not (and she may not be allowed to be too political by her publisher), then she needs to figure out a way to energize and speak to all the Palin fans out there who will hang on to her every word.

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