13 Dec PR STUDY: POLITICS TARGETS RELATIONSHIPS
By Jenny Fujita and Joy Miura Koerte, Fujita & Miura Public Relations
The political season is upon us and offers a fascinating study in public relations. Political parties are vying for the spotlight and looking to capture voters’ attention and support. Candidates within those parties are developing their platforms and messages, and working to get them out to their constituents.
If you own a business or are in any way involved in developing an image for your workplace, pay close attention to how politicians are acting and faring in this election time. Most everything in a political campaign is well thought out, from the yard signs to the giveaways, even down to what events candidates attend, how they comb their hair, what they say, who they shake hands with, and what they wear.
Somewhere amidst the campaign plans, convention themes, political icons, donkeys, elephants and rhetoric is a very basic lesson in public relations. When the pundits analyze what determines why a voter votes a certain way they come up with all kinds of reasons from party loyalty to fear to a desire for change. In the end, we think that more often than not, votes depend on a real or perceived relationship with the candidate. That is, voters tend to vote for people they can relate to, people they think understand them. Likewise, business success starts and ends with connecting to your publics including your customers, employees, investors, and community at large. Establishing that connection takes a lot of work.
For a number of reasons, political candidates, especially new ones, generally have a short period of time to communicate with their potential constituents. In order to win over voters, candidates use a good portion of their campaign budgets to “talk” to voters in a variety of ways, over and over again. Really, they are wooing voters in a whirlwind romance of sorts.
As a business, you may have a little more time than a political candidate to cinch the sale, but note the great effort it takes to not only communicate with members of your public, but to also call them to action. If you work even half as hard a political candidate, you will surely see business results.