Pol Comm 3 Professionalisation

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Discussion on what makes communication 'professional' and the impact on receiver perceptions. Third lecture for final year students on the Political Communication option in Bournemouth University

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Pol Comm 3 Professionalisation

  1. 1. The professionalisation of political communication Lecture 3
  2. 3. What do we mean by professional <ul><li>It looks better? </li></ul><ul><li>It is done more proficiently? </li></ul><ul><li>All politicians are trained in comms? </li></ul><ul><li>It is done by professionals? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>So there is an emergent profession of political communicators? </li></ul></ul>
  3. 4. Making Sense <ul><li>Strict definition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Making a profession, setting pay scales, applying rules, setting up a code of conduct, making the players responsible for actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional political communicators? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Loose definition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Looking better, appearing that it is done by professionals (competent people), appropriate and suitable for the audience </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Ages of political communication <ul><li>The First (1940s & 50s) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>easy access to the mass media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>loyal, stable electorate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Second (1960s - 80s) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>media more critical, semi-market oriented </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>dealignment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Third (1980s -) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Market orientation of media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rise of professional communicator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Jay Blumler, Journal of Public Affairs, Vol 1, pp 201-9) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 6. Stages of Campaigning <ul><li>The pre-modern (- 1950s) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interpersonal communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ad-hoc planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>loyal, stable electorate and media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Modern (1960s - late 80s) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>central organisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TV the main forum for communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>media & electorate volatile and disloyal (floating) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>The post-modern (1990s -) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>designed by ‘professionals’ and consultants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>politicians become actors not designers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>permanent campaigning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fragmented, competitive media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>volatile, cynical electorate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Pippa Norris, A Virtuous Circle, pp 137-140) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Does this sound familiar? </li></ul>Stages of Campaigning
  7. 8. the traditional / pre-modern era <ul><li>Banging bins lids and barking dogs </li></ul><ul><li>Marches </li></ul><ul><li>Public Meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Socialist Newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>The Radio </li></ul><ul><li>But... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teddy Roosevelt; Stanley Baldwin </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. the modern era <ul><li>All about transmission </li></ul><ul><li>Radio, one key media </li></ul><ul><li>TV born, took over from public meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Increased use of advertising agencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CPV, Saatchi’s </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. the post-modern era <ul><li>TV sovereign, ICT emergent </li></ul><ul><li>The image thing </li></ul><ul><li>Style versus substance </li></ul><ul><li>The public less deferent </li></ul><ul><li>The media are less deferent </li></ul><ul><li>Politicians employ ‘professionals’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultants, campaigners, marketers, make-up artists, dressers – you name em!! </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Perspectives of professionalisation <ul><li>Colonisation of politics by consultants </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Wring, 1999) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The rise of campaign professionalism </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Harrop, 2000, in Bartle & Griffiths) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The evolution of political communication </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Negrine & Lilleker, 2002) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>A new entertainment in an age of professional entertainment </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Street, 1992; not in library) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Searching for the point of origin <ul><li>TV </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A new visual medium </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In the homes of voters on a nightly basis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Image more important - telegenic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dealignment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters will not vote for a party regardless </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voter needs convincing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politicians become salesmen </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Downes & Mui 2000 The Law of Disruption
  13. 14. Technological Evolution
  14. 15. Voter disloyalty
  15. 16. Reality <ul><li>Multiple drivers </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple influences </li></ul><ul><li>Constant adaptation and evolution </li></ul><ul><li>Current ‘thing’ is ICT </li></ul><ul><li>But there is one core, current aim… </li></ul>
  16. 17. The root of professionalisation Politician A Deaf & Blind Public MEDIA

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