Political Control of Information Sources for Narrative Building

Political campaigns have varying levels of control over different information sources they utilize to direct their campaign. This assists them in ramping up their public relations game and influencing more voters than they would otherwise.

Political campaigns have complete control of paid media channels, which they can utilize to extend their political clout. Compared to public media, paid entities play a role in aggressive narrative building, helping politicians win votes.

What are different information sources on which political campaigns rely?

Some common information sources for political campaigns include:

  • Paid Media
  • Public Media
  • Exit Polls
  • Investigative Reporting

Political Control of Information Sources for Narrative Building

How Can Political Campaigns Control Paid Media?

In their bid to do reputation management, political campaigns can purchase and air paid advertisements for the sake of narrative building in any election cycle.

Some of the ways advertisement is utilized are:

PPC Campaigns

Pay per Click, or as they are popularly known PPC campaigns, are ads that run on various social media platforms and search engines.

This way, they can bring traffic to their desired page stuffed with the information needed to fill in voters' minds.

The landing pages can vary based on the end goal, but most of them target highly viral news or fundraising so that politicians can act as a gatekeeper to information or win crucial donations for their campaigns, respectively.

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Personal Websites and Supporting Blogs

Websites are an easy way to get traffic for some desired phrases, and politicians typically invest heavily in them, making it one of the mediums of paid advertising.

While a question may arise that politicians may not pay any money to bring organic traffic to their websites, at least they are controlling the content on those websites, which brings them into the paid category.

Traditional Advertisement

When political campaigns run traditional ads on TVs, they have absolute control over the content of the advertisement, putting them in the driving seat of what to show and what not to show.

This makes traditional TV advertisement one of the more popular ways of promoting political candidacy through paid media. The same stands true for radio advertisements.

Political Control of Information Sources for Narrative Building

Magazines and Newspapers

Magazines can also come under the paid media category most of the time. Most political campaigns, especially at the larger levels, launch their own magazines, which helps them in manipulating voters' behaviors.

For instance, many pro-Trump magazines circulated in the American market during his presidency, which were used to portray him as the savior of the country.

Newspapers can also be used to perpetuate a specific ideology that helps politicians to influence opinions.


The Bottom Line

Politicians can use paid media in both proactive and reactive ways. While they influence public opinion at the start of election cycles proactively, most reactive approaches are seen when political campaigns try to mend their diminishing reputation online.

When politicians have to tackle aggressive defamation campaigns against themselves, online reputation management is the key to success.

Reputation management helps them lead their campaigns in their own way, which ultimately uses paid media in their campaigns.