4 PR Takeaways From Carly Fiorina’s Campaign Announcement

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carly-fiorina-6Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina on Monday tossed her hat into the GOP presidential ring, showing a flair for technology as well as integrated communications.

Fiorina, regarded by many as being the first woman to head up a Fortune 20 company, made the announcement on ABC's "Good Morning America" (GMA) as well as via her Twitter handle.

"I think I'm the best person for the job because I understand how the economy actually works,” she told GMA. "I understand the world; who's in it."

Fiorina, who has never held public office, may be a long shot for the White House, but the launch of her presidential candidacy provides a few takeaways for communicators on how to deliver one clear message across multiple digital platforms.

  1. Market a concise tweet.  Keep the tweet simple and the links clean. Fiorina’s tweet says, “I am running for President,” and includes a link to her website, carlyforpresident.com. That's it.
  2. Have an uncomplicated home page. The page, titled, “New Possibilities. Real Leadership,” features two links, one introducing Fiorina and why she’s running for president, and the other for financial donors. It’s well lit, uncomplicated and based on links.
  3. One strong, brief branding message. Fiorina’s message starts on a personal note, sharing what she calls an essential lesson she learned from her mom. The backstory recounts how Fiorina went from being an entry-level employee to leading AT&T's spin-out of Lucent Technologies and, later, Lucent's North American operations, and features a separate list of her accomplishments during her tenure as head of HP.
  4. One-minute video. This is getting to be de rigueur for any important announcement, presidential run or otherwise: the one-minute video. The video, which starts off with Fiorina watching Hillary Clinton’s video announcing that she is running for president, has Fiorina asking viewers to end the era of “identify politics” and “empower citizens” to give them a voice in government. The video ends on a positive note, of course. “We can do this together.”

 Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1