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Political communicators and their strategies Propaganda Public relations Political Marketing.

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1 Political communicators and their strategies Propaganda Public relations Political Marketing

2 Political communicators Governments Domestically and abroad Political parties Interest groups Non-governmental organizations Military Terrorists

3 Autocratic regimes and communication Absence of a public, public sphere, or public opinion Subjects are assumed to be immature and politically inept, in need of leadership and control "..a wise prince should establish himself on that which is his own control and not in that of others; he must endeavour to avoid hatred, as is noted. [...] It is best to be both feared and loved; however, if one cannot be both it is better to be feared than loved. (Machiavelli, Il Principe, 1513) No modern regime can be based on pure violence and control Most of what formerly could be done by violence and intimidation must now be done by argument and persuasion. (Laswell, Theory of Public Propaganda, 1927) Most autocratic regimes employ ideologies to facilitate control And, according to Herman and Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent, 1988), so do democracies Ideological regimes are transformational and doctrinal, hence necessarily propagandist

4 Propaganda Derived from from the Latin verb propagare 'to reproduce (a plant) by cuttings; spread for sprouting; propagate; enlarge'. [1622] Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (the congregation for propagating the faith). Established by Pope Gregory XV in order to centralize all of the Roman Catholic Church's missionary activity. [1789] Increasingly secularized appropriation of the term during the French revolution [1842] political meaning overshadowing the religious, thereby already taking on a derogatory connotation: "Derived from this celebrated society [for propagating the faith], the name propaganda is applied in modern political language as a term of reproach to secret associations for the spread of opinions and principles which are viewed by most governments with horror and aversion." (W.T. Brande, Dictionary of Science, Literature, and Art) [1922] First separate entry in Encyclopedia Britannica

5 Laswells theory of political propaganda Deliberation search for the solution of a besetting problem with no desire to prejudice a particular solution in advance Propaganda the management of collective attitudes by the manipulation of significant symbols very much concerned about how a specific solution is to be evoked and put over Propaganda objective: to organize attitudes towards a person, a group, a policy, an institution, a mode of personal participation Function of propaganda in modern life Attributable to social disorganization in the advent of technological changes Most of what formerly could be done by violence and intimidation must now be done by argument and persuasion.

6 Propaganda techniques Institute of propaganda analysis (1937) Name-calling Glittering generality Euphemisms Transfer Testimonial Plain folks Bandwagon

7 Propaganda by the deed Three Italian anarchists (Errico Malatesta, Carlo Cafiero and Emilio Covelli) conceived and developed the idea of Propaganda by Deed through a series of letters to each other between July and October 1876 By actions which compel general attention, the new idea seeps into peoples minds and wins converts. One such act may, in a few days, make more propaganda than thousand pamphlets. Above all, it awakens the spirit of revolt... (Kropotkin, Russian Anarchist) Terrorism is symbolic violence Violence aims at behaviour modification by coercion. Propaganda aims at the same by persuasion. Terrorism can be seen as a combination of the two. Terrorism, by using violence against one victim, seeks to coerce and persuade others. The immediate victim is merely instrumental, the skin on a drum beaten to achieve a calculated impact on a wider audience. (Schmid, Frameworks for Conceptualizing Terrorism, 2004) The success of a terrorist operation depends almost entirely on the amount of publicity it receives (Walter Laqueur, Terrorism, 1977)

8 Public relations the management of communication between an organization and its publics (Grunig & Hunt, Managing Public Relations, 1984) using communication to adapt relationships between organizations and their publics (Botan, International public relations, 1992) historically, most PR has been weak propaganda (Moloney, Rethinking PR: The Spin and the Substance, 2000) Two myths of PR Edward Bernays myth that public opinion could be manufactured for a price, bought and sold like any other commodity Asymmetrical/functional approach Ivy Lees myth that PR is natural, honorable and honest - part of the "two-way street" process of democratic communications between businesses and their "publics" Symmetrical/ co-creational approach

9 Quotes We always tell our clients that honesty is the best policy. […] All our work is done in the open. We aim to supply news.... Our plan is, frankly and openly, on behalf of business concerns and public institutions, to supply the press and the public of the United States prompt and accurate information concerning subjects which it is of value and interest to the public to know about. (Ivy Lee, Statement of Principles, 1906) If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind [it would be possible to] control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it.... Theory and practice have combined with sufficient success to permit us to know that in certain cases we can effect some change in public opinion with a fair degree of accuracy by operating a certain mechanism, just as the motorist can regulate the speed of his car by manipulating the flow of gasoline. (Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928)

10 Public relations practice Applications Crisis management Reputation management Issue management Investor relations and labour relations Grassroots PR (astroturf PR) Tools Press conference Press releases Publicity events (stunts) The circuit Sponsorship Objectives Credibility Publicity

11 Political marketing Empirical phenomenon Social change Electoral change Increasing importance of campaigns Professionalization of campaigns Research paradigm Market models of politics Expansion of marketing to non-commercial applications Marketing model of party behaviour

12 Social and electoral change Social change Decreasing identifiability and relevance of social class Increasing social mobility Increased education Decreasing relevance of ideology Emergence of new issues/cleavages (Inglehart) Electoral change Dealignment Increasing electoral volatility Decreasing explanatory power of variables like age, gender, class Decreasing importance of projection/issue alignment Issue voting; pocketbook voting; retrospective voting

13 Increasing importance of campaigns Campaigns are no longer predominantly about mobilizing support With decreasing base support, voters need to be attracted through campaigning Campaign context impacts on economic, issue, leadership evaluations More floating voters to compete over Increasing importance of mass media new findings challenging the minimal effects model providing campaigners with reasons to trust in effectiveness of electioneering

14 Professionalization of campaigns Exponential increases in campaign spending Use of consultants, pollsters, commercial advertisers Increasing influence of campaign consultants on policy content of manifestos Policy convergence need for distinguishing from competitors Market research (focus groups, private polling, direct-marketing, database-marketing) Changing media focus, from coverage of issues, coverage of leadership, image and the race, to coverage of strategy, party- media interaction, and the role of spin

15 Market models of politics Schumpeter Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1947) Elitist model of democracy Function of voting: to restrain elites, not to manifest common will Downs An Economic Theory of Democracy (1957) Rational choice model of voting Assuming material self-interest as primary motivation of elites and voters Median voter theorem: party platforms will converge, to accommodate voter preferences Wellhofer Contradictions in Market Models of Politics: the Case of Party Strategies and Voter Linkages', European Journal of Political Research 1990 Vote production vs. Vote maximization

16 Marketing model of party behaviour Three-stage development of modern business practice applied to evolution of organizational behaviour of political parties Parties may simply stand for what they believe in, or focus on persuading voters to agree with them, or change their behaviour to follow voters opinions (Jennifer Lees-Marshment, 2001: p. 701) Product-oriented party Sales-oriented party Market-oriented party

17 Product-oriented party Ideological Representing/leading social movement Unresponsive to social change Electoral success not an objective in itself Electoral goal: vote production/supporter mobilization Sales-oriented party Ideological Intra-organizational choice of policies, leadership Using market research, advertising, communication techniques to sell itself, its policies Electoral goal: persuasion Market-oriented party Using market intelligence to identify voter demands Assessing deliverability of demanded policies Assessing intra-party acceptability of policy changes Designing product (party manifesto, leadership selection, etc) accordingly Electoral goal: adapting to the market

18 Reconciling reputation with theory Reputation Political marketing considered to be manipulative (spin doctors), dishonest, close to propaganda, placing style over substance Effect Political marketing practice appears to turn people off (decreasing turnout in US since 1970s, collapse of turnout under New Labour since 1997) Public demand for politicians of conviction (but consider the paradox of Margaret Thatcher – the pioneer of political marketing in UK, nonetheless understood as principled and ideological) Theory Positivistic, presenting political marketing as potentially regenerative force for democracies (by basing policy on public preferences)

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