1. Audience and messagingKnow who you’re hoping to reach, and what you’re hoping to woo them with. Yes, of course every party wants every vote, but what you’ll see playing out already is that the candidates have very much identified who is most likely to vote for them, and also, those which are in the more vulnerable seats. They’ve spent time identifying how they need to pitch to those respective audiences.
If you have in mind who your brand appeals to and what you’d need to say to them to get their vote, money or buying power over the line, you’re a long way on the road to some very successful PR.
2. Training and preparednessAnyone see Nicola Sturgeon in the seven-way debate? Of course you did. Whether live on the night or in the re-run on TV stations everywhere the next morning. The verdict? She won the PR race that night. What does that tell us? It tells us preparedness and training are really effective. Sturgeon is not without some very slick media training, and, on that particular occasion, it showed. She came across unfazed and prepared. She knew what she’d be picked up on, and how to gain the media gaze. Bear in mind who best represents your brand and whether investment in media training could be worthwhile. Read more about the election:
- The humorous highlights of the 2015 general election
- Richard Branson top choice for prime minister ahead of Alan Sugar, Deborah Meaden and David Beckham
- UK business owners wouldn’t hire any political party leaders as employees despite credentials
3. Media friendsNaturally, all parties will have their own friends in the press – and this is when it really matters. Leaks and drip-fed content will be happening left, right and centre. The more the press and journalists alike are on the side of a party (or at least receptive to content) the more the party stands to benefit from column inches and wider audience-reach. Never underestimate the importance of journalist rapport.
4. Online, online… did I say online?More than ever, social media and online presence are going to be playing out in this election. It’s critical that the parties and their respective allies are utilising online opportunities to push their messaging and their respective standpoints. This online space could, in fact, be where much of the election is won or lost – with people forming opinion over what is said and how followers and interactors react.
If you want to get a look at how the election seems to be shaping up in terms of social media followings, check out BirdSong Analytics.
5. Brand championsWhether it’s a politician’s spouse or a business which feels it really benefited when that party was at the help, there are plenty of brand champions to be called on by a particular side in the election race. Likewise, even if you don’t have a spouse to call to the frontline, you certainly have a trove of case studies or those who are really impressed by your effectiveness. Deborah Watson is an award-winning PR and marketing consultant who founded the communications agency Lexia Media.
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