By: Ethan Hogan
There are a few things in political public relations that you need to know. One: politics today is changing from what we were used to. Two: politics will always be changing, thanks to the 24/7 media cycles. Three: You will often be tasked with conveying sensitive information to your publics—it’s important to do so in a way that is fair and respectful to any parties that may be involved.
1. If we have learned one lesson from the political upheaval that the United States of America is experiencing, Washington D.C. needs public relations experts. The social media accounts of politicians running rampant, and approval ratings dropping astonishingly low, show the need for a guidance of a trained PR pro. Political PR has challenges, and it is always vital to make sure you are presenting opinions based in fact. When working with a politician, it’s crucial to verify their information, and ensure that your own personal beliefs do not influence the way it is presented.
2. The 24/7 media cycle will drive you insane from time to time. One moment you’re going through daily motions, and the next moment a crisis happens in your politician’s constituent region, the politician makes a gaffe in a speech or there is heavy criticism from an opponent or news organization. It is equally important to pay attention to positive news. If your opponent said something that works in your favor, and you make a note of it for immediate or future reference. Whether it’s positive or negative, the media is never off the clock.
3. Be kind and compassionate. From local offices to national ones, kindness is never a bad idea. Make sure that social media and speeches are accurate without being offensive or inconsiderate. Ensure publics understands what you are saying so they are not confused about the message at large or specific policies. It is impossible to make every voter and constituent happy, but it is possible to be respectful at all times in public forums.
Political PR can be a whirlwind, but is an experience unlike any other. The ever-changing media cycles and platforms require adjustment, which makes clear and crafted messages to the public more difficult to create. Political PR is not for the faint of heart, but will force you to grow and evolve as a professional.