With today’s real-time information sharing capabilities, it is crucial for any political figure or political organization to have a public relations plan. News is constantly at our disposal and it is up to communication professionals to make sure the correct exposure is gained. People’s perceptions of an individual or organization and their opinions matter, and a proper strategy can help shape that public image.
Political public relations is the management process by which an organization or individual actor for political purposes, through purposeful communication and action, seeks to influence and to establish, build, and maintain beneficial relationships and reputations with its key publics to help support its mission and achieve its goals.
Throughout the past few years, with the introduction of social media and sophisticated mobile devices, news spreads like wildfire. Whether it’s good news or bad, appropriate public relations practices should always be taken. Positive news should be shared with the right people and outlets, and appropriate actions should be taken in the event of negative news. However, all press is not always good press – when unfortunate events occur, communications professionals go into “crisis communications mode,” which involves reacting and communicating in a well-executed way to avoid tarnishing the reputation of the person or organization. This is especially important to someone in politics; bad press has the potential to make or break an individual’s political campaign.
Over the years, political PR professionals will typically cultivate relationships with specific reporters and news outlets which becomes a huge asset to both parties. This means that public relations account managers are assured that their press releases, op-ed’s, etc. will be picked up by a trusted news source, and it also ensures that reporters can count on these PR managers from time-to-time with exclusive tips or stories. At the end of the day, news outlets only want to deliver content that their readers will care about.
For political publicity in particular, PR managers are also in charge of setting up appropriate public speaking events and other press activities. This is an important aspect since politics is a public-facing business and the individual or organization should be viewed as a reliable source of confidence and information.
It is also up to the communications manager to build and manage relationships with those who influence an organization or individual’s audiences. Through proper research, monitoring and understanding of the client’s message, identifying the target audience is a major factor in a political campaign.
Public relations can be done in-house as part of a company’s communications team or can be outsourced to an agency that specializes in the field. Whatever the case, it is crucial to have a creative, reliable and clever public relations team if you are involved in the political world.