How Political Campaigns Are Different

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May 19, 2016
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May 23, 2016
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For those of us not on the political side of public relations, including running campaigns and ballot box initiatives, this is the time of year when we become sick of hearing about who and what we should vote for.

For those in that game, this is obviously the best time of the year.

While many of the communications strategies and tactics of politics overlap with more traditional communications initiatives, it takes a different mindset to work in political communications.

Russ Schriefer, a partner at Strategic Partners & Media in Washington, D.C., a political strategist and media consultant who has worked on six of the last seven presidential races, shared these differences at the recent Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) meetings:

How Political Campaigns are Different:

  • You must have a start-up mentality and understand the reality of it.
  • You need 50 percent, plus one, of market share for success.
  • Set time frame – there is an election day.
  • Multiple interests are set to destroy your interests.
  • Even a minor screw-up winds up on the front page.
  • Social media is fully engaged – both for and against.
  • Real candidates with real problems.

You can see the differences – and the similarities between some crisis communications efforts, issues management assignments and general B2B or B2C public relations initiatives.

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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