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Political Campaigning and Media

Political Campaigning and Media

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Political Campaigning and Media

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  1. Political Campaigning and Media Prepared by: Tina Conley University of Washington COM 538 December 6, 2004

  2. Overview • Background • Applied Theories • History of Political Campaigning • Political Campaigns and Television • 1964 • Emergence of the Internet • Current Situation • Internet and the 2004 Presidential Elections • Presidential Races of the Future • The Future of Political Campaigns • Recommendations Tina Conley December 6, 2004

  3. Applied Theories OVERARCHING THEORY • Communication Model • Harold Lasswell, 1948 SUPPORTING THEORIES • Political Competition Model • Uses and Gratification Theory Tina Conley December 6, 2004

  4. Political Campaigning and Media Lasswell’s Formula of the COMMUNICATION PROCESS Political Campaigns Content & Messaging Television & Internet Audience Effect • Presidential Candidates • Political Party • Current Affairs • Financial Backing • Themes • Types of Messages • Types of Influences • Television Ad Campaigns • Online News Releases • Voters (Demographics) • Political Enthusiasts /Insiders • Financial Supporters • Campaign Volunteers • + Candidate • - Candidate • + Opponent • - Opponent • No Change Tina Conley December 6, 2004

  5. Political Campaigns and Television Television • 1952 – present: Considered dominate medium • 1980 – present: Overall, commercials carry a negative tone • Regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) • Today, 99 percent of U.S. households have at least one television Advantages • Reaches broad audience • Generates awareness • Identifies key issues set by presidential candidates • Shapes political attitudes Drawbacks • Expensive for candidates • Limited availability to audience • Lacks interaction Tina Conley December 6, 2004

  6. 1964 Lyndon Johnson (D) v. Barry Goldwater (R) • Dominating Theme: Vietnam War • Military Draft • Nuclear War Johnson’s Daisy Ad • Considered the most famous political ad of all time • Broadcasted once • Ad description • Theme: Nuclear war • Negative Ad: Goldwater portrayed as reckless • Results: Johnson leads with largest percentage recorded • 2003 Remake Tina Conley December 6, 2004

  7. Emergence of the Internet Campaigns used Internet for electronic mail and to coordinate field operations. Bill Clinton v. Bob Dole “Information Super Highway” 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 The use of the Internet significantly increased that some considered it to be an “Electronic Town Hall” The Internet is used by 24 percent of Americans as a political source of information Question: What is the role of the Internet in political campaigns? Tina Conley December 6, 2004

  8. Political Campaigning and the Internet Official Websites of Presidential Candidates • Consider to be another valuable avenue to reach audience • Internet usage up from 2000 by nine percent • Broadband is pulling viewers away from television • Cost • Less expensive than television • 2004: Money spent on television and Internet campaigns • Messaging • Stronger negative tone • Massive source of information • No regulations • - Standard guidelines Tina Conley December 6, 2004

  9. Political Campaigning and the Internet Advantages • Always available • Wide range of current information • Less expensive than television commercials • Interactive Drawbacks • Niche audience • Must have access to Internet Tina Conley December 6, 2004

  10. Political Web Users Description of Political Web Users • Politically savvy • Politically active • More likely to vote • More likely to seek out information • Diffusion of Innovation: Early adopters of online political campaigns • - “First to know” Young Adults • Account for a majority of political web users • The most difficult to reach through traditional sources Tina Conley December 6, 2004

  11. The Internet and the 2004 Presidential Race Focus: Press releases posted online during the last month of the 2004 presidential election. www.georgewbush.com • Central purpose: Raise money • Middle-class women voters and voters in battleground states • - Ignores young adults • Attacks toward opponent • Negative, 89 percent www.johnkerry.com • Central purpose: Raise money • Voters in metropolitan areas • - Provides limited information to appeal to young adults • Comparative messaging • - Negative, 40 percent Question: How many of you visited official websites of presidential candidates? Tina Conley December 6, 2004

  12. Presidential Races of the Future The Future of Political Campaigns • Reflects the past • - Substantial information is out there for those who seek it • Television remains the dominate medium to reach audience • Internet will increase in popularity • Regulations will be enforced for online political campaigns • Concern for voters currently between the ages 18 to 24 years old Media Forecast • Technologies are changing the way we watch television • Broadband continues to increase, pulling viewers away from TV • - Television networks considering online distribution models Tina Conley December 6, 2004

  13. Recommendations • Media Integration • Currently, television ads are available online • Television ads including URLs to websites • The role of media • Identify avenues to reach the appropriate audience • Customize messaging to media • Broaden online messaging to appeal to 18-24 year olds • Seek new ways to deliver messages • - News media Tina Conley December 6, 2004

  14. Thank You Political Campaigning and Media Prepared by: Tina Conley University of Washington COM 538 All images courtesy of Getty Images unless otherwise noted.