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The Media. April 25, 2013. Opportunities to discuss course content. Today 11-2 Monday 10-2. Learning Objectives. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of how presidential and congressional elections are financed .

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The media

The Media

April 25, 2013

Learning objectives
Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of how presidential and congressional elections are financed.

  • Identify and describe the formal and informal institutions involved in the electoral process


  • Chapter 7: Political Communication and the Mass Media (Flanigan)

Horse race coverage
Horse Race Coverage

  • What is it?

  • What does it contain

  • Why?

The keys to horse race coverage
The keys to horse race coverage

  • Polling

  • Perception

  • No issues

Component i categorizer
Component I: Categorizer

  • Sorts the candidates into winners and losers

  • Creates an Image for the candidate

  • Romney

  • Obama

Component ii expectation setter
Component II: Expectation Setter

  • Puts odds on the candidates

  • You want to be at the top… duh

  • But it isn't as good as you might think

Component iii mentioner
Component III: Mentioner

  • You want the media to notice you

  • Not all press is good press

  • Mentions mean money and votes

Component iv winnowing
Component IV:Winnowing

  • The Press Winnows (narrows) down the candidates

  • Attention is on Iowa and NH

  • Frontloading is the results

Presidential debates
Presidential Debates

  • A Recent Phenomenon

  • General Strategies

  • Do not screw up

Why candidates like these
Why Candidates Like these

  • A chance for exposure

  • A chance for Legitimacy

  • A chance to move in the polls

Presidential debates1
Presidential Debates

  • Who Wins (the leader in the polls)

  • The Person who doesn’t make a mistake

  • Does it matter?

Presidential debates2
Presidential Debates

  • Win by not losing

  • What don't you want to do?

    • The 1960 Debate

    • Seem heartless

    • You are no Jack Kennedy

    • Eastern Europe is Free

    • Adm. James Stockdale

      • Blind , Deaf, Dumb

2012 vs 2008
2012 vs 2008

The media strategy1
The Media Strategy

  • Getting the Message Out

    • Paid Advertisements

    • Free Press

  • You campaign for votes and you campaign for media by getting free coverage

  • Avoid cannibalizing

Getting free press
Getting Free Press

  • Having your message get covered by the media

  • You can reach a wide audience and It is not costing you money

  • This is fully mediated

Maximizing free coverage
Maximizing Free Coverage

  • Create a package

  • Convey a winning message

  • Shape an Image

Maximizing free coverage1
Maximizing Free Coverage

  • Don’t Say too Much

  • Repeat the Few Basic Points

  • Bad Press is Bad Press

Ask herman cain about bad news
Ask Herman Cain about Bad news

Paid media
Paid Media

  • Unmediated

  • Control the Message

  • More outlets than ever

A record breaking year
A Record Breaking Year

  • 1 million ads were aired

  • Both Sides were overwhelmingly negative

  • Obama Spent more and Ran More Ads

  • The Best Ads

Herman cain bizarre ads
Herman Cain Bizarre Ads

  • The Rabbit

  • Smoking

Targeting ads and their effect
Targeting Ads and their Effect

  • Uncommitted voters vs Partisans

  • When are they Most Effective?

  • Ads are a sign of political viability

Candidate credibility
Candidate Credibility

  • We have to trust the messenger

  • Issue Ownership

  • Try to focus on your best issue

Getting more votes
Getting More Votes

  • Delivering a positive message about your candidate (mobilizing)

  • Deliver a negative message about the opposition (mobilizing/demobilizing)

Biographical ads
Biographical Ads

  • Inform us about the Candidate

  • Very important early in the campaign

  • Obama doesn’t need to run these….

Issue ads
Issue Ads

  • Focus on a specific issue or a policy area

  • Associate yourself with favorable policies

  • Do not mention issue weakness

Examples of issue ads
Examples of Issue Ads

  • The Bear in the Woods in 1984

  • Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris...

  • Hillary Clinton- Attack/Issue Ad

Attack ads
Attack Ads

  • The Norm Rather than the Exception

  • The Mother of all Attack Ads

The effect of attack ads on voters
The Effect of Attack ads on voters

  • Some voters become disenchanted and disaffected

  • Your Base Loves them!

How effective are these
How Effective are these

  • If they didn’t work, candidates wouldn’t run them

  • The Lessons of 1988

    • The Revolving Door

    • Willie Horton

Why they work and who uses them more
Why They Work and Who uses them more

  • We don’t trust politicians

  • They are more memorable and informative

  • Challengers and vulnerable incumbents use them

How to deal with them
How To Deal with them

  • Defend the Charges

  • Counterattack on the same issue or up the ante- The Puppy Ad

  • Attack the Credibility of your opponent

How not to deal with them
How not to deal with them

  • Do Nothing

  • If you get Punched in the nose, you must punch back

How the attack can backfire
How the attack can backfire

  • If you are seen as being too evil

Ads can backfire
Ads Can Backfire

  • You do it too late to make a difference

  • You bring a knife to a gun fight

The new media
The New Media

  • Innovative in 2008

  • Candidates had a lot to like

  • They didn’t like the anarchy

Social media in 2012
Social Media in 2012

  • No new Innovations

  • Obama Retains the social media advantage

  • More Control

  • More negative