A new three-minute video produced by Politico touts the publication’s “early success” and its plan for the future. Full of Politico bluster, it’s part of a new “brand and advertising” site the publication launched this week, according to Mike Allen’s Playbook.
Supported by a soundtrack comparable to the background music in Coca-Cola’s anti-obesity ad, the video is narrated entirely by Executive Editor Jim VandeHei and features image after image of the Politico newsroom and photographic vistas of the Washington area. He talks about the complacency of Washington media and reporters getting lost in the weeds, and how this field is more challenging than ever. He says publications must adapt, but many have not because it’s all so uncomfortable to change. All envelop the reasons he wanted to start Politico and why he badly wants it to succeed.
“We launched at the end of January ,” VandeHei says in the video. “By the end of May we were co-hosting a presidential debate and people were talking about Politico like it was a brand that you’d be familiar with. We were four months old!” Wow!
It goes on with VandeHei explaining how exceptional Politico has been in aggressively covering politics, how the publication has been willing to adapt to changes in media and how it’s going to continue to do so heading into uncertain times for news media.
The larger “about” page for Politico has been updated with… a letter from VandeHei and Editor-in-Chief John Harris (“We break down the traditional journalistic conventions that make stories dull, predictable and often unreadable”), information for potential advertisers and downloadable logos (in case you want to print one out).
A release says the redesign is intended to make Politico‘s “about” page a “destination” for people to learn more about POLITICO, their advertising opportunities and company news. It also calls the VandeHei video “awesome.”
This kind of PR ploy is often done by companies that are either in a rut (The New Republic) or recovering from some crisis (BP). Politico doesn’t appear to fall into either of those categories. But then again, if Politico waited for an actual problem before making a PR move, it might be too late. And Politico hates to be late.