PoliSci Campaign/Media Strategy (Midterm)
Terms in this set (44)
3 important words in political communications:
"people don't care...at least not as much as you do."
-just because you care about something deeply, this doesn't mean others do as well.
do not dumb down communication for others
but get them to care more than they currently do
is the goal to get them to care as much as you?
no bc that would be extremely difficult. just try to get them to pay attention more than they already do.
best practitional politician
what is the most important thing in a conversation?
it is what I want.... but you wont get what you want until you fully understand what the other person wants. THEREFORE, The second most important thing in a coversation is what you want.
how do you achieve your goals?
by understanding what your audience prioritizes in order to get them to devote more time/attention toward our goals
people care about what politics can....
People care about what politics can bring them, even if they say they dislike politics
should you immediately start out talking about your campaign/goals??
no, start talking about what your audience wants to hear/what they care about
try to illustrate toward your audience....
why they would benefit from working toward a common goal.
every voter gives us...
A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY!
through that window of opportunity, we can give them ...
the window of opportunity is not very big; what kind of message can we fit inside this very defined window of opportunity?
there are 3 characteristics of the "kind of message." bc people tend to only remember about 3 things from something they don't know much about
what are the 3 characteristics of a good message?
3. easy to understand
3. easy to understand
messages that are complicated should come later, not earlier so that the audience doesn't lose interest
other qualities of a good message
a good message not only fits inside your window of opportunity, but also EXPANDS IT. it is not just direct/short/easy to understand, but COMPELLING, INTERESTING, REASSURING, FAMILIAR, RELEVANT.
good examples of this:
movie previews, where something makes the message more exciting or relevant to you. maybe you will go back to see that film when it comes out. real goal is to get the individual to come see the entire film, which they have used this small window of opportunity to try and expand it so you come back.
maybe someone who was not interested before will now read an article or watch a video or even participate in the campaign you have interested them in...or even better, finally vote for the candidate you want (fit a message in the window, then make it bigger)
message repetition & reinforcement:
more likely to remember messages that are repeated. message repetition has applications well beyond politics
why is a candidate's biography so important?
it needs to give voters a sense of confidence -- it is the foundation for the candidate's message.
the candidate's biography is a _____________....
threshold voters have to get past before considering him or her on the issues that matter most to them. (having a beer test--would you have a beer with that candidate? enjoy spending time with him/her?)
two most important attributes that come about in a candidates biography:
TRUST & CONFIDENCE
doesn't matter how much you like or dislike them; a candidate's biography may not cause you to simply vote for them, but sure helps you understand the kind of person or leader they are.
we trust and confide in leaders to be in charge if something unexpected happens!
sometimes just with a biography, we can assume...
if we think a candidate is confident or if we trust them enough
THREE CATEGORIES of a candidate's biography;
1. personal biography
2. professional biography
3. political biography
Not only what you have accomplished/experienced in person life, but what and who you represent;
-were you born in this community or move somewhere else? Married? Children? Age? Race? Religious heritage? All of this tells us something about a candidate that helps us tell us who they are.
-These characteristics help us understand that candidate better and establish that sense of trust.
What the candidate has accomplished professionally/in his or her profession or career outside of politics.
This divides into 2 categories as well:
1. What jobs have you had?
2. What have you accomplished in those jobs? (Was that person successful?)
The details may give you a certain impression of her.
--Both the positions you have held in politics, and more importantly, what you have accomplished in those positions. This does not necessary mean an elected position--it could be an appointed position/office or even a volunteer office.
Everything you write, say, post, etc. counts; a political biography changes each and every single day. The things you say can change your political biography; it can be a single-issue position too.
trust and confidence have 3 distinct parts (i.e. the benefits of a candidate's biography can accomplish these 3 things)
Give a candidate credibility:
Your experience can give a sense of your level of credibility.
(As with Trump, Republicans saw a lot of experience in his professional biography rather than his political biography. As for Hillary Clinton, is one of the most qualified for president/most credentialed because of her experience. By traditional measures, Sanders lacked the credibility part, because Clinton had accomplished much more politically/held many offices/etc. which really established her credibility.)
The definition of credibility has changed so much this year; now, basically outsiders with little political experience compared to Clinton portrayed a different type of credibility, which allowed both Trump and Sanders to accomplish what they did; Credibility was re-defined this election year
Create an emotional connection (between candidate and voters aka personal connection):
Person worries about the voters concern/voters feel like they may have something in common
(neither Hillary or Trump have been particularly exceptional at establishing that "personal connection.)
○ Bill Clinton is one of the best there ever was at establishing this personal connection. When the country was coming out of the recession he used a certain language showing the voters he understood their concerns/pains: would say "I feel your pain."
○ He was running 3rd in public opinion polls -- his campaign believed that voters had a misunderstanding of Bill Clinton's life experiences; he had grown up with very privileged circumstances aka "rich kid"
--What did his campaign end up doing? Made a video titled, "A man from Hope." He was from Hope, Arkansas. The video was made to show him as NOT a privileged rich kid, but someone who grew up with hard childhood circumstances such as single mom, being beaten at a young age...had to overcome hard circumstances, which allowed him to develop this personal and emotional connection with voters.
Can display a level of consistency over the candidates career:
-We want reassurance someone isn't taking positions simply for the sake of gaining our support
-Politicians make deals and promises; how do we know who is telling the truth? We must look back on their political biography
Clinton's vote for the Iraq War took part in Obama's win; he had consistently opposed the war.
they are rarely popular and rarely ever loved. candidates who run as outsiders tho have a certain advantage.
what happens if you don't have biographical credibility?
You cannot invent or simply assert that credibility --> which is where Trump has fallen under criticism (especially about foreign affairs; said he knew more than the Generals)
SO...IF you don't have the credibility, YOU BORROW IT
how do you borrow credibility?
allows you to borrow an organization's credibility through endorsements if you do not have it yourself. You can also be endorsed by an individual and borrow their biographical credibility as well.
3 kinds of endorsements
1. individuals (ex. jerry brown)
2. professional group (ex. CA teachers association, etc.) OR firefighters, etc.
3. organizational group (organizations can represent a demographic group)
professional group endorsements: what are the 2 most respected groups for biographical credibility?
NURSES BC WE INTERACT WITH THEM A LOT AND THEY PAY ATTENTION TO US
FIREFIGHTERS BECAUSE THEY HELP US
HANGING the lantern on the problem
Before unflattering info can damage you, put it out there and address the problem
- Admit your weaknesses and flaws to frame it in a more sympathetic light to allow people to be more understanding of the issue.
- Question of "trust" comes up; Clinton's have been known for having a biography of secrecy, which has caused them problems, especially within her campaign (her tendency for secrecy in her campaign)
- Act as if someone is going to find out
- Human instinct to proactively offer up info that can be potentially debilitating. It is better to hang the lantern for candidates however, in case anything bad comes up later on.
○ Greatest challenge for Hillary: TRUST
○ Greatest challenge for Trump - EXPERIENCE & TEMPERMENT - under category of credibility (downsides & upsides) HE hasn't realized that voters have longer memories than he originally thought.
3 elements of campaign message
1. campaign rationale
2. campaign theme
3. campaign issues
(for candidacy) - takes you from the biography into the rest of the message
○ Why are you running for office? A good campaign rationale can answer this question in one sentence, beginning with the phrase: "I am running for this office because...I want to build a better future for our community..." etc. "I am running for President because the ways of Washington must change."
○ Explain why your biography makes you someone capable of doing what you said/establish biographical credibility + emotional appeal to individuals
○ Chris Matthews would say: he was hanging a lantern on the problem - greater perceived weaknesses? Too inexperienced
○ Prepare candidate with all the things you think he/she might be asked. They need to hear a question first before hearing it from a reporter or voter.
○ You need to know WHY you are running when asked if you want your campaign and potential election to be taken seriously; otherwise, voter enthusiasm will start to sink. Short, simple, declarative way of saying why you are running. Need a verb! Active sentence.
○ Must be legitimate; candidate must believe what they are actually saying; say in a short, direct way
○ Obama verbally referenced what he believed to be an important part of his bio: "Even though I haven't been in Washington for long, I am running because I believe the ways of Washington must change."
--Take all the issues they are concerned about and figure out how to summarize them in a sentence; come up with a unifying concept
-- Obama got to Washington and realized how broken it was; different candidates have different triggering points
--Take a simple single issue and transform it to find the rationale around it. Change, "I am running because I want to change the street lights," to .... "I am running for school board because I want to create a safer community for our school children."
Rationale should be POSITIVE and coming from inside the candidate himself/herself
○ The externalization (external version) of the rationale . Rationale comes from inside the candidate and answers "Why are you running," so theme should answer "Why do we care?"
--We need a phrase to externalize the rational and universalize it to make it appeal to many, many voters
--Obama's theme: "Change you can believe in"
--Rationale not only about him now in this phrase; its about everyone.
--Rationale and theme together: internal message & externalized message that envelops the voters also; an umbrella, broad for campaign, issues are below it.
--1984 - Ronald Regan; his theme: "It is morning again in America." American people were now feeling more optimistic about the future--not just universalized & external, but also visual!
--12 years later--Clinton is running: says to elect him to finish the job, but his theme: "Building a bridge: the 21st century" = visceral and visual! Gives them a mental image to pay attention to and grasp on. Together rationale and theme form an umbrella in which the rest of the campaign fits
○ Hillary Clinton: "America can't succeed unless you succeed. That is why I am running for President of the United States." ... & "I am not running for some Americans, but all Americans." the theme that came out of this rationale...? STRONGER TOGETHER. The theme externalizes the rationale, although Clinton campaign did not do it so neatly. Stronger together is a good umbrella in which all issues can fit under it. A unifying message along with it.
Trump theme: has been relatively clear, not just because it is direct/short/easy to understand; BUT, "Make America Great Again" has been constantly repeated over and over. The word "again" sends an unfortunate message to American people. But it is visceral with an umbrella in which individual issues can fit. His rationale: "I am running for president because our country is in serious trouble; because we don't have victories anymore...etc." Good rationale for an electorate feeling America is running in the wrong direction. His theme? -->
○ Issues in the matter of public policy that the candidate would either implement or prevent from being implemented if elected to office
○ An issue is where the rubber hits the road--not only is a good rationale malleable, it is indisputable
○ Gives you a sense of how the candidate looks at the world
○ Individual issues fit under the "umbrella"
○ A smart campaign limits itself to a proactive discussion of no more than 3 issues
○ Prioritize 3 issues that fit under that window of opportunity
-- Obama issues: broken system healthcare; lift country out of recession--fix economy; end Iraq war once and for all, etc. he uses language from rationale and theme to fit issues underneath it; ejecting same issues and concepts! Says Washington is broken and must change before we can change any of these main issues. Ways of Washington must change if we want to change or affect these issues.
guidelines on how to choose the issues
1. must be important to the candidate
2. voters have to care about the issue
3. ideally we need the candidate and voter to agree on the issue or have potential for agreement