From the latest edition of Campaigns & Elections:
To make that emotional connection with voters, candidates will need to be more invested in telling their personal stories and connecting their narratives to campaign issues, said Isaac Wright, a partner in the digital media firm Forward Solution Strategy Group.
“It’s harder and harder to convey that emotive piece of the narrative through a spokesperson,” Wright said. “I think it’s going to involve more and more of the candidate’s individual time to do it.”
Consultants may also have to spend more time crafting tailored strategies for clients, he added. “It may involve a greater level of consultants’ involvement to say, ‘Ok, we got the earned media, but that in and of itself is not the goal. How do we use it as a clip in a direct mail piece, as a validator in a TV ad?’”
Democrats have the steepest learning curve when it comes to adapting to the new “fake news” environment, Wright said. “Democrats have a painful habit of talking in terms of policy and slogans, but we need to talk about morals and values. Why can voters trust us? Because of our values.”
Meanwhile, President Trump’s communication strategy remains the most visible and practitioners have watched closely his latest tactic: a Facebook video touting the week’s “real news.”
Wright warned that other candidates shouldn’t attempt to follow the president’s lead. “It’s totally playing with fire to think that you can use your own channel and your own voice without outside validation,” he said. “That’s going to work with your base, but it’s not going to work with ever-narrowing undecided voters or peeling off soft support from the other side.”
"Don't Always Lead with Facts, Communications Pros Warn Candidates"