Political Communication in Action: From Theory to Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Political Communication in Action

From Theory to Practice, 1st Edition

By David L. Helfert

Lynne Rienner

270 pages

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From developing effective messages to working with the news media, from writing speeches to tweeting, from

crisis communication to the ethics of political communication, and everything in between, Political

Communication in Action takes the reader step by step through the process.

This approachable new text:

• Covers both theory and real-world practice

• Uses examples and case studies to illustrate key concepts

• Shows what aspects of the process look like when done well, and when done poorly

• Addresses public affairs and advocacy communication, as well as political campaigns

• Explores changes emerging from the 2016 elections

Uniquely, it provides a tour of the communication process as it actuallyworks: in political campaigns, in government

from City Hall to Congress and theWhite House, and in advocacy organizations.


“A terrific mix of research and experience, filled with wisdom and insight. Helfert has the real stuff down about campaigning, the press, and what it takes to win.”—John Daly, University of Texas at Austin

“There is a lot more art than science to effective communication. Helfert pulls back the curtain, blows away the smoke, and breaks the mirrors to dispel the wizardry.”—Mark McKinnon, chief media adviser to the GeorgeW. Bush campaign

“Written plainly and from experience, this is like a behind-the-scenes ‘cookbook’ explaining contemporary political communication in terms students and nonscholars will understand, appreciate, and ultimately use in their own careers or as consumers of such communication.”—Ralph J. Begleiter, University of Delaware

Table of Contents

Political Communication in Action. Defining Political Communication. The Tools of Political

Persuasion. Making Political Communication Effective. Political Issues. Political Research and Communication

Planning. Political Speeches. Political Advertising and Television. Political Communication in the Internet Age.

Communicating Through the News Media. Communication in an Age of Partisanship. Crisis Communication. The

Ethical Line in Political Communication.

About the Author

David L. Helfert has more than four decades of experience working in the field of political communication,

including service in the Clinton administration (1994-2000) and as communication director for several

Congressional committees (2001-2010). He has taught political communication at Johns Hopkins University,

George Mason University, and the US Naval Academy.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Media & Internet