Political Communications is the art and science of influencing public opinion for political purposes.
There are 4 basic rules for effective communications:
1) Work for a candidate or cause you believe in.
2) Speak the voters’ language – choose narrative over lists
3) Communicate your candidate’s views in a clear, consistent, articulate, and truthful manner.
4) Without brevity and relevance, there is no message.
Message Grid: What we say about What our ourselves opponents say about themselves
What we say about What our our opponent opponent says about us
Senator Smith is a Liberal Democrat and Congressman Rodriguez is a Conservative Republican. Break into small groups by ideology and produce message grids for your side of this race. You have 8 minutes.
3-9-27 An abbreviated message comprising three main points, requiring 9 seconds to say, and composed of 27 words or less.
In your existing groups, using your message grids, construct 3-9-27 messages for Senator Smith and Congressman Rodriguez. You have 8 minutes.
The media is not your friend. They will not cover their stories in a way that furthers your political objectives. Don’t say anything in public or to a reporter you would not want to see quoted on TV.
If asked a question by the media, rephrase the question in a way that speaks to your message. Do not allow the media person to dictate the terms of the interview.
If you develop trust with a media person, try telling them something minor “off the record.” If they respect the rules, use those rules to give the media person heads up notice of future campaign actions or statements.
Break into pairs from opposing groups and practice asking and answering questions “on message.” After four minutes, reverse roles.
Prepare for debates by staging mock debates, making them as difficult as possible. During debates, do not permit your opponent to frame the terms. After the debate, the communications team will attempt to spin it to shape media coverage, placing the candidate in the best possible light.
With discipline, focus, and teamwork, anybody can beat anybody.