The lack of trust in politicians and the electorate’s apathy challenge PR practitioners’ ability to engage the audience and win their support and votes. So what are the factors that affect the elections outcome and what should we keep in mind in order to develop a successful election campaign?
1. Brand building
Creating the politician’s identity is a very important element of the political campaigning which makes him/her stand out from the crowd. The emergence of social media also brings about a change in the way politicians should communicate with the public. In order to reach the hearts and minds of the voters every politician should adopt more personal approach to communication that highlights the human element and develops a personal image that would appeal to the audience.
2. Internal communication
The good communication within the party is vital factor which affects the election turnout. Being off- message can endanger the credibility of the party and lead to a decrease in public trust.
3. Message management
The campaign message should be related to the people’s hopes for a better life in the future. Obama’s slogan ‘Yes we can’ and the campaign posters embracing the idea of peace corresponded to the voters’ need of change. His message was also designed to appeal to the floating voters who have the power to change the election turnout.
4. Community engagement
What was so special and extraordinary about the Barack Obama’s campaign? Social media platforms were used not simply to communicate his message, but to connect the voters with each other and help them organise in local action communities.
5. Information and media management
It is the PR professionals’ job to make sure that the information that gets out is in conformity with the campaign message and the pre – election promises of the party. However, in the new media age it is hard to be in control of the message, but on the other hand engaging with the online communities gives PR practitioners the power to build stronger relationships with the voters and connect directly with them on a more personal level.