• political communication is as old as
• with democratization & the increased
access to information, the voter became
an active citizen
• Communication between the various
groups became competitive, where each
group would compete for space in the
media and the attention of the people
But, for what for is the political
• At a simplistic view, it is claimed to be all about
winning over others and it is concerned with the
acquisition of power: Candidates to win votes,
dictators to win love, activists to win attention
• A tool for propaganda to gain governmental
power or power over the media?
• In a democracy, political communication is seen
as crucial for the building of a society where the
state and its people feel they are connected.
• Pol. communication can perform the role of an
activator allowing feedback from society and
• the rise of more efficient & demanding
means of communication and the decline
of the partisanship, led to a “consumeristic
Americanized professionalization” of the
• At the heart of the “Americanized
prefessionalization” of the political
communication is the political marketing.
• Marketing is not about what we want to sell. Is about what people
want to buy.
• „Business World‟ Marketing Mix
• Promotion-----------------------------→ Communications Mix :
• People Advertising, direct marketing
• Physical Evidence public relations, packaging
• Process corporate identity-branding
word of mouth, e-marketing
selling, sales promotion
(in Smith p.8)
• Definition: IMC is a concept of marketing
communications planning that recognizes the added
value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the
strategic role of a number of communication disciplines
(e.g. direct marketing, advertising, Public Relations) and
combines these disciplines to provide clarity, consistency
and maximum impact.
• The benefits of the IMC are the consistency in the
message delivery, the creation of corporate cohesion on
identity and communications, the creation of interactive
channels of communication with the customers through
customizing individual needs and the efficiency through
reduction of duplication of effort.
Political Marketing Mix
• The literature on political marketing does not separate its analysis based on
different elements of the commercial marketing mix: (product, place, price,
people, physical evidence and process). Because of the nature of politics,
the literature takes a holistic approach and examines all these elements
conjunctionally as one under the „political product‟.
• Political Marketing Mix
-Product (including party behaviour,
public image, people, etc)
-Promotion------------------------------→ Communications Mix :
Advertising, direct marketing
public relations, packaging
word of mouth, e-marketing
sponsorship, events, lobbying,
management, spin, propaganda,
• Partisanship in ideologies declines
• The majority of the public in the western
democracies will not simply vote for the party
that their parents supported as they used to
• political parties do not try anymore to pursue
• Parties today increasingly follow the people
• Voters become critical on parties and voters
expect parties to deliver what they want
(Rational Models on Party Behaviour).
• Parties in order to survive in this new kind of
electoral market, where voters act like
consumers, act like businesses.
• So, parties are forced to use modern technology
and marketing techniques to understand what
voters really want.
• Specifically, parties seem to adopt a market
oriented concept: they focus on satisfying voters‟
• Party‟s behavior has moved away from a social
class- party model (Mass Party Model) and
party‟s behaviour becomes more operational-
rational (MARKET-ORIENTED PARTY).
• This movement is due to the fact that various
political changes (due to economic-social
changes) have taken place in the last decades.
So, how parties compete to win elections?
They ‘market’ their ‘product’ !
The political Product
• the product is the party‟s behaviour.
• this behaviour is continual (not only at election time)
• and exists at all levels of the party and includes
leadership, MPs, membership, staff, symbols,
constitution, activities and policies.
• The goal is to win long-term electoral success. The
market is the electorate (but within the party members
and the general population as it influences both).
• Parties use political marketing in order to increase their
chances of success and by doing this they -consciously
or not- change aspects of their behaviour.
A conceptual framework for analysis used by political
A. 1) define the organization 2) define the
market 3) define the product.
B. Analyze how the organization goes
through marketing process: 1) market
intelligence 2) product design 3) convey
product 4) market receives product 5)
product delivery 6) solicit feedback.
(in Lees 2001:25)
3 types of parties based on their marketing
• The Product-Oriented Party (old parties)
• The Sales-Oriented Party (transition)
• The Market-Oriented Party (new parties)
Stages of Marketing Process for a
• 1-Market Intelligence: the party uses market
intelligence in order to find the needs, wants, behaviour
and demands of the voters whose support it would like to
• 2- Product design: The party will design the product
due to the results of the market intelligence in order to
match the electorate desires. The party creates a model
product. This translates as potential changes on policy,
leadership, behaviour, MPs, organizational structures,
etc when it is necessary.
• 3-Product adjustment: The product design then needs
to be adjusted according to: Achievability of promises,
Internal reaction, Competition, Existing or needed
• The party should find the opposition‟s
weaknesses and highlight its own
strengths. The party may also need to
differentiate its product from its
competitors. A SWOT analysis can be
used for this:
SWOT ANALYSIS: factors to consider for the party and
• Strengths: Financial resources (membership, donations,
• Market analysis (support that the party that already has
and support that it needs to win, taking into account
electoral laws and geography)
• Weakness: the same as strengths
• Opportunities: Voters‟ opinions
Support from & for other competing parties
Socio-economic and demographic changes
Events that change public opinion and
• Threats: as opportunities.
Example of the SWOT analysis of the Conservative Party following the
1997 election ( as found in Lansley 1997 in Lees 2001:36)
• Conservative party seen as party of government
• Tradition of policy success
• 200 strong constituencies
• Conservative voters may have left the party but can
• Conservative Thatcher‟s children- still materialistic and
goal-oriented, have only lapsed, there are lots of lapsed
Conservatives in the electorate.
• Age, gender and ethnicity lacking in profile
• Divisions/ factionalism
• Party perceived as out of touch
• The co-operation between Labour and Liberal Democrats reduces
the importance and support of the latter.
• The Conservatives performance in local government could improve
and increase membership incentives.
• There are some big hitters in the party, even if they are not all
currently in parliament.
• Opportunity for policy innovation while out of office.
• Liberal Democrats increase in strength.
• Factionalism within the party since 1992. If this continues in
opposition, could lead to realignments.
• How to sustain party organization in really low Conservative-
• Devolution (especially in Scotland).
• Europe (not quite as big an issue; policy should be equivocal as
public is like that; transaction with the public.
• Generally, not radicalism for sake of being radical; follow what public
want; do not be extreme.
• Build policy on understanding public opinion.
• Possible loss of business support, with the Labour Party in favour
(cont) Stages for political marketing
for a market-oriented party
• Stage 4-Implementation: For marketing to be effective, the findings
from stages 1 and 3 must be implemented.
• Stage 5-Communication: The party should convey its new product
design to the electorate using the most appropriate and effective
The communication occurs continuously and not just in a campaign.
It includes activities as press releases or advertising but also work
done by activists within the party membership. The party should also
try to influence others in the communication process, such as media
and opposition parties.
• Stage 6-Campaign: The election campaign is the final chance of a
party to convey its behaviour.
• Stage 7- General Election: Fingers crossed and Pray!!!
• Stage 8- Delivery: The market-oriented party should focus on the
need to deliver in order to achieve voter satisfaction. Important also
is not only to deliver but also to communicate this delivery.
The Labour party frequently discusses its record on delivery since
getting into government. This party issues an annual report on its
delivery of its promise.
MIX (Part of the Marketing Mix)
• DIRECT MARKETING
-Definition: direct marketing is the distribution of information,products or
services through any advertising medium that invites the individual to
respond directly to the advertiser.
-Direct marketing has become an integral part of modern political electoral
-Today more commercial marketing means of communication are embraced by
politicians. A candidate‟s message often is communicated through direct
mail campaigns, infomercials, videos, telephone, cable television, email
campaigning and the Internet.
-Given the more informed and diverse electorate, modern pollsters constantly
are modeling databases, tracking the perceptions and gauging the
influences of the message.
-Direct Marketing also useful to build databases of donors.
-Advertising as well other elements of the communication mix frequently are
planned in such way in order to collaborate and to strength the efficiency of
the communication of the messages.
Needs of Future Political Direct Marketing
• More emphasis on building relationships with voters through personalized
and interactive communications. The new electronic means can play an
important role in this.
• More sophisticated web sites and specialized kiosks that will be updated
constantly with information and they will hold interactive dialogues with
• Messages should be sent through a variety of targeted media including
direct mail and newsletters that can personalize messages to supporter
• Innovative polling, with on-line polls can be another dimension for profiling
• New technologies could be used more frequently to expand the overall size
of the voting population whose members are exposed to political marketing
messages which are targeted to them.
• blog marketing and email campaigns can add to effectiveness of the
communication of our message as well as to the mobilization of our
• Dedinition: the any paid form of non-personal presentation and
promotion of ideas, goods and services by an identified sponsor.
• According to Kotler advertising can be classified by its purpose:
-Informative Advertising-used to inform consumers about a new
product or feature and to build primary demand
-Persuasive Advertising- used to build selective demand for a brand
by persuading consumers that it offers the best quality for their
-Comparison Advertising- is this that compares one brand directly to
one or more other brands.
-Reminding Advertising- used to keep consumers thinking about a
• Pol. advertising is a paid type of unidirectional political
• Until the Second World War this form of unilateral
communication was usually designed as propaganda
• As with all advertising, the political advertising uses a
range of media, designed to garner positive feeling
towards the sponsor.
• According to McNair the advertising power is exercised
on two levels:
1) The pol. advertisement disseminates information
about the candidate or party to a degree of detail which
TV journalists can rarely match.
2) Pol. advertisements are also designed to persuade.
Also for this kind of advertisement there are clear
advantages for the politician. By this, the editorial control
resides with the politician and not with the media.
Politicians free to say whatever they want and to set their
own agenda. Not following this of the media.
• “The political actor controls the encoding of the
advertisement but not its decoding” (McNair
-The advertisement is the only mass media form
over the construction of which, the politician has
complete control. However the viewer is aware
of this and may reject the message.
-Political advertising is everywhere and the
amounts of money spent on this are staggering.
The public deplores the extravagant expense
and mistrust the accuracy of the claims of all
Phases of a typical US political advertising
1-the basic identity of the candidate must be established as
a foundation on which to build subsequent information.
In this phase, positive biographical details are
2-the candidate‟s policies are established in broad terms
with the minimum of extraneous details and with
3-the opponent should be attacked, using negatives
4-the candidate must be endowed with positive meaning in
the context of the identified values and aspirations of the
electorate. In this phase the campaign will seek to
synthesize and integrate the candidate‟s positive
features, allowing him to acquire resonance in the voters‟
Political Public Relations
• Public Relations practice is the discipline that
looks after reputation with the aim of earning
understanding and supporting and influencing
opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and
sustained effort to establish and maintain
goodwill and understanding between an
organization and its publics.
• Modern public relations do not operate in
isolation. Integration of all the modern
communication methods is the key.
• Since the effectiveness of the pol. advertising
would be always limited, the public relations
started to seem more effective.
• Core aim of political public relations: to present
an individual or organization in a positive light, to
enhance the public‟s perception of that individual
or organization and perhaps to get the public to
do something for that individual or organization
• Lilleker states that public relations are about
image creation and branding, campaigning and
• Politicians running for an office, increasingly use
professional public relations expertise for the areas of:
+ Media Management
-News Managemet & Spin, Publicity,
+ Reputation Management
+ „Brand Marketing‟
+ Issue/Risk/Crisis Management
+ Campaigning & Permanent Campaigning
+ Internal Relations & Change Management
+ Image making & management
• „Politics is a mediated experience‟ (Edelman).
• Political attitudes and actions result from the
interpretation of new information through the
lenses of previously held assumptions and
• Media management demands from politicians to
give to the media what it wants in terms of news
while he exerts some influence over how this is
mediated and presented.
• Messages communicated through the „free
media‟ usually are thought by the public to carry
more legitimacy and credibility.
The role of the public relations department on
media management (otherwise the press officer)
• To initiate media coverage.
• To supply information on demand by the media.
• To achieve these, a two-way relationship has to be
created so the press officer is welcomed, accepted,
respected, helpful, sympathetic and efficient.
• Media Management is not only finding interest angles for
a story, or sending press releases.
• The press officer should have the right established
personal relationships in the media based on trust in
order to achieve the so-called third-party endorsements.
• Moreover the press officer should have to establish a
reputation of reliability and to ensure the provision to the
journalists with access to material.
Advices from the corporate world, on initiating
media coverage for political organizations
• Have a newsworthy story. Read about the news
• Know where and when it is likely to be
• Familiarity with the editorial requirements is
• To have a newsworthy story someone needs
good lines of internal communication.
• Do not forget the freelance journalists.
• Paid advertising can also „motivate‟ editors for
Key functions of Media Management
• Control of information.
• Understanding the audience.
• Internal and external education.
• Protection of the organization‟s or the candidate‟s reputation.
• Studying the geographical dimensions of the media that might interests him
(both actual and in terms of communities of interest).
• Mapping the opportunities that could be presented within particular media.
• Identification of these media actors those who someone will have to deal
• Expertise to understand media‟s agenda.
• Identification of the key opinion formers.
• Understanding of the opposition‟s positions.
• Using the media as an ally
• Educating your politicians by giving them media training.
• Control the media‟s agenda.
• Media evaluation (especially in Campaigns).
• Key feature of the news management is to
control the media news agenda in order to
influence the public opinion
• In relation with this, journalists argue that they
act as the gatekeepers in a pluralist society.
• On the other hand politicians often argue that
without these gatekeepers, agenda-setters and
the media biases, they would not be able to
present their case to the public in the way that
the public would want.