What is Political Communication and Why is it Important

Political Communication and Why is it Important
TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 15: Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden briefly speaks to reporters before boarding his plane at Tampa International Airport after a roundtable event with military veterans at Hillsborough Community College on September 15, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. Biden is

Political communication is one of the areas that help from academia and consulting to strengthen democracy, due to the good strategic practices proposed by this new discipline that combines areas of communication, political science, social psychology, sociology among others. In a world where the role of political leaders is currently being questioned, it is good to know what political communication is, to apply it with its techniques and tools.

Exploring concepts of political communication:

There are concepts within political communication, such as that of Mazzoneli, which mentions that it is “the exchange and confrontation of the content of political public interest, produced by the political system, the media system and the electoral citizen.” more related to the relationships that occur in a contest, this because, political communication was studied mainly from the electoral field, since studies began to be published that proposed some concepts that helped a better strategy for consultants in campaigns electoral.

According to Canel Crespo, he proposes that political communication is “the activity of certain people in institutions (politicians, communicators and citizens), in which, as a result of the interaction, there is an exchange of messages with which the decision-making is articulated. political decisions, as well as the application of these in the community”, this definition is much more complete since, not only relegates political communication in the electoral field, but, because it combines it, within a sphere where decisions are made From an interaction with the citizen in general, it means that this political decision can be made in an election or in government.

Also this definition, as its own author mentions it, abandons the classical conception of sender and receiver, because it is dynamic and all actors participate in a circular way, including politicians, the media and citizens.  

Political communication in elections:

Electoral communication is closely linked to marketing and advertising, even the definitions are associated with marketing, since, according to the American Marketing Association, it is “the process of planning and executing the concept, price, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy the objectives of the individual and the organization ”.

Then the electoral marketing will be all the research processes before the election that can help segment and study the electorate, to distinguish different audiences to make strategic decisions during the electoral contest. One of the characteristics of marketing is the positioning of the brand or the product, the same can be understood when the campaign requires that the name, or the slogan of a party or candidate, be positioned in the collective imagination of the voters.

The main objective of electoral communication is to win votes. The duration of the communication is given in a short time, which can go before the formal term of the start of the campaign, according to the electoral schedule and ends on the day of the election. Electoral and governmental communication can be done at the same time in cases of campaigning during a government; this example is valid for the officialdom, who want to re-elect to power. The cost of communication is high in the short term. The actors that intervene will be the same as the concept that Mazzoneli was cited, that is, the media, the electoral public and the political actors in confrontation.

Political communication in governments:

You can also say government communication, according to Canel and Sanders, this communication is: “The function, practice, objectives and achievements of communication that takes place in and on behalf of those public institutions whose primary function is the exercise of executive power, who are at the service of a political logic, which is constituted on the direct or indirect knowledge of the people, and who are charged with defending their will ”. In this definition, it is highlighted that the issuing actor of the message is the executive branch, which means that government communication is applied in the governments that execute the budget, such as mayors, regional or federal governments, and central governments.

Another definition is that government communication is the maximum construction of consensus, since it will provide legitimacy and institutional capacity to execute public policies. Ponce even points out that the search for consensus will shape the type or form of communication of a certain government.

Government communication is infinite, since it passes through governments, however, seen from the point of view of the politician who exercises an executive position, it will end when the term ends. The costs of government communication are high in the medium term. It aims to achieve consensus. Information is given to the general public. It does not exclude anyone.

As we can see, political communication is extensive and is becoming more systematized and conceptualized. It is good that consultants and advisers are interested in investigating more in the field of political communication, to raise the levels of professionalization