Palin’s Friday Resignation: Was the Timing Smart or Suspicious?

Exactly one week ago, Sarah Palin surprised many by announcing her resignation from Alaskan governorship. A controversial figure ever since being nominated as John McCain’s running mate, her decision has only fueled the media firestorm, raising a number of questions that remain unanswered: Did she resign so she could start raising money to run for president in 2012? Is she trying to get out of the spotlight before a big scandal becomes public? Is she having financial problems?

Perhaps the most compelling question for a communications professional: Was the timing of her announcement—Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend—a brilliant strategy or a PR ploy gone wrong?

Indeed, waiting until Friday afternoon to announce bad news isn’t unheard of by any means. But Palin’s poetic timing only raised eyebrows as to why she might want to slip under the media’s radar and, in turn, avoid the brunt of their scrutiny. Regardless of her reasons, it calls into question the legitimacy of using a holiday news cycle as a PR manipulation. So, therein lies the question: Is this a cheap-shot tactic or a strong PR strategy?

By Courtney Barnes