Frank Strategies: The Blog

Big Brother Al
May 27, 2009, 11:30 am
Filed under: Energy / Environment, Online Video

Good video from CEI…


Good Use of On-Location Video By Sen. Sam Brownback
May 21, 2009, 9:16 am
Filed under: Online Video, Staging | Tags: , ,

I just ran across this new video of U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, which was filmed last week at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In the video, Brownback stands outside the detention center that’s been in the news so much recently, discussing what he’d just witnessed during a tour of the facility.

The video was simple and cheap enough to produce, but it works on so many levels.

First, it gives Brownback a moral high ground in the contentious debate: unlike nearly all of Gitmo’s critics, he’s actually been there and can speak with an authority they’ll never have.

Second, he offers the same defense of the facility that nearly all of its defenders in Washington offer, but instead of doing it from a Congressional committee room or sterile network studio, he does it from the facility itself. which most people have never really seen, and that makes it more likely that viewers will actually listen to what he has to say. In essence, Brownback becomes a citizen reporter, much as we did in this video I produced at the proposed site of the infamous Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska in 2006.

Finally, the video is something different, interesting and relevant that his staff can use to pitch his availability and expertise to national news producers. Not only does the video enhance Brownback’s expertise on the issue, it gives producers some unique b-roll to play during upcoming interviews.

Check it out below, and think about how on-location video can help you break out of the pack:

When Exactly Were Unions Not “Fully Engaged” on Card Check This Year?
May 20, 2009, 12:02 pm
Filed under: Card Check, Unions / Labor

(Also posted on National Review Institute’s Media Malpractice blog.)

LA Times reporter Tom Hamburger has a very good article in Tuesday’s paper chronicling the business community’s largely behind-the scenes lobbying effort against the so-called “Employee Free Choice Act,” also known as the “card check” bill, which would largely do away with the secret ballot in unionization elections.

To Hamburger’s credit, he provides a lot of details about the business community’s lobbying effort that were not reported contemporaneously by the national media, such as an April meeting of 250 business owners in Arkansas that aimed to pressure Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor in opposition to the card check legislation. Hamburger also reports about an “airlift” operation by pro-business groups that flew business owners to Washington for personal visits to their Senators’ offices.

However, Hamburger leaves unchallenged a questionable claim from an unnamed union advisor that unions have been “outspent” by business groups this year, and he gives the impression that unions have been largely sitting on their hands during this year’s debate:

“… once (Obama) was elected, labor leaders made a fateful decision … The labor groups scaled back (lobbying efforts on card check,) partly to give Obama time to get his bearings amid the deepening economic crisis…. Before labor groups had fully engaged this winter, the allied business groups successfully cast the legislation as undemocratic… The unions stepped up their pressure. On a frigid, blustery day in early April, 100 union members gathered outside Lincoln’s office in Little Rock and chanted for her to support the legislation.”

Those who have been fighting the card check bill over the past six months should be forgiven for wondering exactly when this supposed “scaled back” union lobbying period occurred, or when they weren’t “fully engaged” in the debate. Were unions giving Obama “time to get his bearings” on Jan. 14, when the union organization American Rights at Work announced a massive $3 million national TV ad campaign in support of card check?

Was it on Jan. 30, when the same group announced a “new television, print and online advertising campaign setting the record straight on the Employee Free Choice Act…?” Or maybe it was on Feb. 4, when labor unions brought hundreds of their members to a huge rally on Capitol Hill in support of the bill? In fact, a look at American Rights at Work’s news release web page shows a steady stream of announcements touting one ad campaign after another on the issue.

Is it likely that more strategic and effective grassroots lobbying by the pro-business community has helped give card-check opponents the upper hand, at least for now? Yes. But have labor unions been dramatically outspent or not “fully engaged” this year? Not by a long shot.

Millionaire Actors Star in Unbelievably Boring Pro-Union Video

I thought Hollywood understood how to make an emotional connection with audiences. Melodrama. String music. Sympathetic characters. And then yesterday a group called “Artists for Workers Choice” released this incredibly boring video in support of card check legislation – featuring pampered millionaire actors reading from a teleprompter and saying the same thing over and over. And over. And over. If you actually get through this entire video without nodding off and drooling on your keyboard, you probably consumed far too much coffee this morning:

Contrast that video with the emotional one below, which was recently released by the House Republican Conference. Has white become black and black become white? Are GOP staffers actually producing better online videos than Hollywood now?

The Week in Review, MSM Version
May 8, 2009, 8:24 am
Filed under: MSM, Obama

In case you’ve spent the past week or so in a rain-induced coma, here’s the big news you missed (according to the mainstream media:)

* OMFG! President Obama is “Enchanting!”
* OMFG! The Obamas Hold Hands and Go For a Romantic Stroll!
* OMFG! Barry and Joe Go On a Burger Run!
* OMFG! A Special Newseum Collection of the Sappiest Obama Photos!

Oh, and the Democratic Senate and titans of journalism tried to figure out why the mainstream media is going out of business. Hmmmm…..

A Few Photos from Today’s DC Opportunity Scholarship Rally
May 6, 2009, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Education | Tags: ,

I just got back from this afternoon’s big rally in support of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, which is providing about 1,700 kids the chance to attend the private schools of their choice. Mary Katharine Ham of the Weekly Standard is reporting via Twitter that about 1,300 kids attended today’s rally, plus a couple hundred or so adults.

Even though the U.S. Department of Education reports that the program’s a huge success and wildly popular with DC parents, Congress earlier this year voted to essentially kill the program – a clear bone to their teacher-union overlords. Click here for more information about the issue. To view a plea from some of the Opportunity Scholarship kids, check out the video below, which I produced for the Heritage Foundation earlier this year.

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