It is widely assumed that a competitive political environment of public distrust and critical media forces political parties to manage communications and reputations strategically, but is this really true? Comprehensive control of communications in a fast-moving political and media setting isoften upset by events outside the communicator’s control, taking over the news agenda andchanging the political narrative.
Based on interviews with leading communicators and journalists, this book explores the tensions between a planned, strategic communications approach and a reactive, tactical one. The interviewees, who over the past 15 years have been instrumental in presenting and shaping the public persona of party leaders and Prime Ministers, include, amongst others, William Hague, Ian Duncan-Smith, Michael Howard, David Cameron, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.It draws a unique picture of how political reputations are managed and, ultimately, confirms the discrepancy between what political communications management is thought to be, and how communications practitioners actually operate. This book empirically reviews political communications practice in order to analyse to what degree reality matches the concepts of strategic communications management.
This will be essential reading for researchers, educators and advanced students in public relations, communications studies and marketing.
'In this careful and thoughtful book, Christian Schnee gets to the heart of the relationship between politicians and their communicators. In his subtle account he challenges conventional wisdom and offers an insightful analysis, based in his own political experience and extensive academic research. A 'must read' for anyone wishing to understand how contemporary politics is communicated' - Heather Savigny, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Bournemouth University, UK
'This is an excellent book that offers a thought-provoking insight into political public relations. The practical experience of the author is combined with their theoretical understanding and empirical data to create a unique and authoritative understanding of how senior politicians communicate.' - Dr Nigel Jackson, Reader in Communication and Persuasion, Plymouth University, UK
1. Strategic Reputation Management: Nothing but a myth? 2. Political Communication Management: Understanding the context 3. The Strategic Communication Management Process 4. Reviewing Political Communication Management Practice 5. Communication Management in Action 6. Managing News 7. Managing Resources 8. Debunking the Strategy Myth: Quite tactical after all
Current academic thinking about PR and related communication is a lively, expanding marketplace of ideas and many scholars believe that it’s time for its radical approach to be deepened. Routledge New Directions in PR & Communication Research is the forum of choice for this new thinking. Its key strength is its remit, publishing critical and challenging responses to continuities and fractures in contemporary PR thinking and practice, tracking its spread into new geographies and political economies. It questions its contested role in market-orientated, capitalist, liberal democracies around the world, and examines its invasion of all media spaces, old, new, and as yet unenvisaged. The New Directions series has already published and commissioned diverse original work on: PR’s influence on Israeli and Palestinian nation building; its origins in the history of ideas; a Jungian approach to its ethics and professionalism; global perspectives on its professional practice; PR as an everyday language for everyone; as emotional labour; as communication in conflicted societies, and its relationships to cooperation, justice and paradox. We actively invite new contributions and offer academics a welcoming place for the publication of their analyses of a universal, persuasive mind-set that lives comfortably in old and new media around the world.