25
Jan

A Politician versus Coca Cola – What is the Difference?

Written on January 25, 2012 by magdalena.wojcieszak in News

Whether we like it or not, political campaigns have become increasingly professionalized, with candidates relying on consultants and analysts to design an effective campaign. These consultants constantly rely on information about citizens’ attitudes, behaviors, voting intentions and policy preferences to craft campaign messages and reach specific target groups with specific policy proposals via specifically selected media channels.

This trend has started in the US, where no presidential or congressional election is possible without the presence of a multi-million dollar political consulting industry.  In the recent years, this trend has spread, with consulting agencies mushrooming around the globe, trade organizations uniting thousands of consultants, advisors and pollsters anywhere between Europe and Latin America and with consultants from one country advising on electoral campaigns internationally (as was the case, for example, with Frank Luntz from the US helping the British Conservatives or Silvio Berlusconi in Italy years back . The professionalization of campaigns has lifted some consultants to the status of celebrities, often appearing in the media and likely earning more than the politicians they help to elect (e.g., James Carville from the left or Frank Luntz from the right of the political spectrum). Meantime, critics have blamed the industry for increasing the costs of political campaigns and the resulting marginalization of candidates from minor political parties.

But, what exactly is political consulting? What is the precise role of those who advise on electoral campaigns? Is “selling” a political candidate similar to selling toothpaste or a specific brand of beer? Are we correct to blame campaign advisors for the ills of modern democracies?

If you are interested in these processes and would like to know the answers to these questions, the next seminar “Scientists and Professionals in Communications” is for you.

On February 9th, Alfredo Franco, Senior Consultant at Redondo & Asociados, Public Affairs Firm will shed light on these issues. In his talk, titled “Political consulting — changing minds, mobilizing to action and winning votes” he will not only show that political consulting – while being a sexy trend in communications – also necessitates comprehensive knowledge and specific skills. In addition, Alfredo will discuss the differences between marketing a political candidate and a product, showing what makes a political consultant different from an advertising consultant. These issues are also part of the new Master Program in Political Communication, to be launched by IE University in October, 2012.

The seminar will take place on Thursday, February 9th, 18.30-20.00, Madrid time.

Location: Maria de Molina 27, M-001, Madrid.

Important: the seminar will be streamed!

If you are interested in joining the Master Program in Political Communication or one of the other Communication programs, please register for the event at: http://info.ie.edu/request/inicio.aspx?events={74afda18-8a43-e111-8310-005056b42592}&idioma=eng

Otherwise, please register as a guest: http://meet.ie.edu/ieuniversidadsc/

Comments

Laura Illia January 25, 2012 - 6:15 pm

Practice teaches us that communication mechanisms of political and corporate campaigns are similar. Clearily what you do with these campaigns makes the difference. Doing claims is easy, supporting these claims is anything but easy

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