Saturday, November 1, 2008

Celebrity Endorsements in Politics: Helpful or Hurtful?

As I browsed through today, I noticed another public service announcement from a bunch of A- and B-list celebrities.
The basic purpose of it is to motivate those who are registered to vote.

A few days ago, I came across a picture (or an obvious photo-op) of two reality television stars wearing John McCain and Sarah Palin shirts. On a prior occasion, I noticed that another big name music star was sporting a Barack Obama t-shirt.

I can’t help but wonder if these endorsements by entertainers are helping or hurting the presidential candidates’ chances. Does Oprah Winfrey have more power to sway voters than Heidi Montag? It may depend on who you ask. But why should Heidi Montag or Oprah Winfrey have anything to do with people’s choices in the voting booth?

I believe the gesture is genuine. But what both parties need to realize, is that endorser correlates to the campaign. If that celebrity does something stupid or gets in some kind of trouble, it may reflect poorly on the candidate. It’s one thing to motivate people to vote. It’s another thing to endorse someone based on popularity.

Next time you see a celebrity wearing their political affiliation, think about it.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations firm staff member, Stephanie Loiero.

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