Spin v Branding permanent campaigning and impression management Lecture 6
<ul><li>“ Governing is turning into a perpetual campaign” </li></ul><ul><li>(Blumenthal, The permanent campaign, 1980) </l...
 
After an Election <ul><li>Once about getting on with government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Today is day one of the campaign t...
1976 + all that <ul><li>Dealignment </li></ul><ul><li>Economic / Rational Choice </li></ul><ul><li>Mistrust in the US pres...
Ron Peters (2002)  Why US Senators must campaign constantly www.ou.edu/special/albertctr/extensions/spring2002/Intro.html ...
Ormstein & Mann The permanent campaign & its future (2000) <ul><li>Rise of interest groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sap stren...
How politics has changed
How politics has changed
How politics has changed
This means that… <ul><ul><li>The leader’s image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The party’s image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Th...
A party as brand Ideology (Ethos  & Values) Product (People & Policy) Communication (messages, imagery and symbols) Commun...
The Media and branding <ul><li>“ if you don’t provide a story, some damn journalist will make one up” </li></ul><ul><li>(J...
The public demand <ul><li>The big picture </li></ul><ul><li>Easily convinced by media reporting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hypo...
Gauging how to campaign <ul><li>Research among voters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Me...
Problems with permanent campaigning <ul><li>Short-termism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Governing is a series of mini campaigns </...
The UK permanent campaign <ul><li>Designed to strengthen the party </li></ul><ul><li>Claims to legitimise politics </li></...
The nature of permanent campaigning in the UK <ul><li>Constantly evolving  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seeking the edge </li></u...
A feature of New Labour’s history <ul><li>Permanent reinvention </li></ul><ul><li>Strong defence against anti-Labour media...
The limits to success <ul><li>The Media </li></ul><ul><li>Cohesiveness of the party </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal v exter...
Does it work? <ul><li>Wedge issues don’t just separate the parties </li></ul><ul><li>Spin confuses voters </li></ul><ul><l...
Local permanent campaigning <ul><li>Favours the incumbent </li></ul><ul><li>(Steger, In Newman, Handbook of Political Mark...
Local dimension important <ul><li>Where permanent campaigning is positive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective representation <...
Thoughts <ul><li>Public + Media make it necessary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you’re not in the news you’re dead </li></ul></...
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Pol Comm 6 Permanent Campaigning

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Discussion of permanent campaigning and its impact on public engagement. Sixth lecture for final year students on the Political Communication option in Bournemouth University

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Pol Comm 6 Permanent Campaigning

  1. 1. Spin v Branding permanent campaigning and impression management Lecture 6
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ Governing is turning into a perpetual campaign” </li></ul><ul><li>(Blumenthal, The permanent campaign, 1980) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Everyday is Election day” </li></ul><ul><li>(Hugh Heclo, Campaigning and Governing, in Ormstein & Mann, 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Campaigning is… “the political ideology of our age” (Blumenthal, 1980) </li></ul>
  3. 4. After an Election <ul><li>Once about getting on with government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Today is day one of the campaign to win a second term – don’t let one of you forget that” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Blair, speech to new MPs, May 8 th 1997 Interview with Paul Marsden 2001) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ telling the truth doesn’t get you elected and we are in politics to get elected not scratch around being nice and hoping everyone will be nice to us” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Karl Rove, reflecting on Bush and Enron scandal) </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. 1976 + all that <ul><li>Dealignment </li></ul><ul><li>Economic / Rational Choice </li></ul><ul><li>Mistrust in the US presidency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nixon and Ford the ‘bandaid’ president </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to be permanently vigilant! </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pat Cadell, Carter’s marketing guru </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 6. Ron Peters (2002) Why US Senators must campaign constantly www.ou.edu/special/albertctr/extensions/spring2002/Intro.html <ul><li>Realignment of parties </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters need to know of and understand shifts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dealignment of voters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to seek voters daily, not every 4 years </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Media demands / Making up news </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To gain funding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsors need courting too – PR!! </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. Ormstein & Mann The permanent campaign & its future (2000) <ul><li>Rise of interest groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sap strength of electoral organisations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fragility of government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marginal seats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dramatic shifts in public opinion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mid-term reaction can be permanent </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. How politics has changed
  8. 9. How politics has changed
  9. 10. How politics has changed
  10. 11. This means that… <ul><ul><li>The leader’s image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The party’s image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The ideas & beliefs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The communication </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Must be positive, consistent and constant </li></ul><ul><li>“ every communication does something to the brand image – if you can control it, then it must all be positive” (Barry Goldwater) </li></ul>
  11. 12. A party as brand Ideology (Ethos & Values) Product (People & Policy) Communication (messages, imagery and symbols) Communication covers all aspects and so must be positive, if not it damages the overall perception
  12. 13. The Media and branding <ul><li>“ if you don’t provide a story, some damn journalist will make one up” </li></ul><ul><li>(John Chen, consultant to Clinton, speech 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>A party must “coordinate all forms of communication in a seven days a week news cycle” </li></ul><ul><li>(Thurber, 2002) </li></ul>
  13. 14. The public demand <ul><li>The big picture </li></ul><ul><li>Easily convinced by media reporting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hypodermic effect of negative frames </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cynical of political communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gap between rhetoric and reality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Greater demand for responsive government </li></ul>
  14. 15. Gauging how to campaign <ul><li>Research among voters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Measuring perceptions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Assessing how to reinforce/change them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opinion polls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gauging the mood </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Often related to political salesmanship </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Problems with permanent campaigning <ul><li>Short-termism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Governing is a series of mini campaigns </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Adversarial </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parties compete to set agenda </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Persuasion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Political communication = propaganda </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. The UK permanent campaign <ul><li>Designed to strengthen the party </li></ul><ul><li>Claims to legitimise politics </li></ul><ul><li>Makes the leader pivotal </li></ul><ul><li>Can drive the news agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To report campaigning activities - positive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To thwart spin-doctor’s efforts - negative </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Has changed how politics is done </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Norris, A Virtuous Circle, 2000) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 18. The nature of permanent campaigning in the UK <ul><li>Constantly evolving </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seeking the edge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Targeting a range of audiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrowcasting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Daily news management </li></ul><ul><li>Negative advertising </li></ul><ul><li>On message communication at all levels </li></ul>
  18. 19. A feature of New Labour’s history <ul><li>Permanent reinvention </li></ul><ul><li>Strong defence against anti-Labour media </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment to a market-orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of losing </li></ul><ul><li>Drive to win the 2 nd full term of office </li></ul><ul><li>(Philip Gould, ‘What permanent campaign’, BBC News, 21/11/02) </li></ul>
  19. 20. The limits to success <ul><li>The Media </li></ul><ul><li>Cohesiveness of the party </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal v external campaigning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Efficiency of permanent rapid rebuttal </li></ul><ul><li>Public perception </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Point scoring = childishness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blurring of truth/accuracy = cynicism </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Does it work? <ul><li>Wedge issues don’t just separate the parties </li></ul><ul><li>Spin confuses voters </li></ul><ul><li>Protracted war hinders effective politics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lack of continuity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies defined by political purposes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>People reject politics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>See Mandelson, The Blair revolution Revisited, Politicos, 2002. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 22. Local permanent campaigning <ul><li>Favours the incumbent </li></ul><ul><li>(Steger, In Newman, Handbook of Political Marketing, 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Reliant on the local paper </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Lilleker & Negrine, in Journalism Studies 2002) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Image of effective representation </li></ul><ul><li> (Lilleker & Negrine, in Journal of Political Marketing 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Can cause conflict with the centre </li></ul><ul><li>(Franklin & Richardson, in Journal of Political Marketing 2002) </li></ul>
  22. 23. Local dimension important <ul><li>Where permanent campaigning is positive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective representation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Must be backed by party image and legislative agenda setting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Barbara Sinclair, US Senator, Extensions, Spring 2002) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Working for public consumption enhances democracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But can conflict with role of effective governance </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. Thoughts <ul><li>Public + Media make it necessary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you’re not in the news you’re dead </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Yah-Boo politics boring and unedifying </li></ul><ul><li>When parties agree, opposition ineffective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Iraq War </li></ul></ul>

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