Election 2012 as a PR Learning Tool

Whether you’re a political news junkie or someone who has never really had interest in Washington, as a PR student it is important to pay close attention to this election season. So many skills we use in PR will be put to use by candidates over the next seven months, and it is important that we are able to pick up on them. Here are a few things to look out for along the campaign trail:

The Language of Persuasion

PR rhetoric and political rhetoric have a deep rooted bond when it comes to persuasion. The goal of both is to identify and capture audiences, then eventually get those captivated audiences to act on their opinions and beliefs.

Watch the next GOP debate and focus on one candidate. Get familiar with their beliefs and policies, then watch that same candidate speak at a college or at a small town hall meeting. Notice how drastically the language changes. The key ideas are the same, but the rhetoric is totally different and tailored to the specific audience.

Crisis Communication

Let’s face it–blunders, embarrassing mistakes and misused words are inevitable and expected in presidential campaigns. Every GOP candidate has been under fire for one thing or another throughout this campaign. It’s not necessarily what happens but how it gets resolved. Most slip-ups are forgotten about a week later, however if they’re handled poorly they never go away.

The next time a candidate has something negative surface from their past, watch how they handle the crisis. Do they spin the story into a new, positive idea? Do they own up to their past and move on? Think of how you would handle the situation, and how you would advise the candidate to move forward.

Get Your News from a Variety of Sources

This is the most important aspect to keep in mind during an election for everyone, not just those in PR. The only way to fully understand an issue is to hear both sides of the story. If you’re politically conservative and only watch Fox News or politically liberal and only get your information from MSNBC, you aren’t seeing the whole picture. Listen to an opposing view– it could allow you to see an issue in a completely different light or could ultimately strengthen your own original beliefs.

What other PR tactics have you been paying attention to this election season?

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Mackenzie Krott.

1 thought on “Election 2012 as a PR Learning Tool

  1. Nice job Miss Krott. I liked it very much.

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