• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The evolution of the modern political campaign has taken us from television sets in the living room to wireless new media in the hands of voters. Reaching voters with targeted messages, candidates increasingly rely on consumer-driven techniques. What works at the national level can be tailored to work even more effectively at the individual level. Future campaigns will continue to make use of recent innovations like meet-ups, blogs and Internet polling. Newer tactics such as fundraising on the web and get-out-the vote drives with micro-targeting via Blackberrys and PDAs are changing the way candidates advertise, ask for money, interact with the media, co-ordinate with their party organizations and make the most of interest group support. What, then, are the implications for the democratic process and governance? To help students make sense of how and why campaigns are changing, well-respected scholars and practitioners keep their focus on the horizon of campaigning and offer a cutting-edge look at what to expect in the 2008 elections and beyond.

Paid Media—In an Era of Rapid and Revolutionary Change
Paid media—In an era of rapid and revolutionary change

Paid political advertising, which has been the centerpiece of campaign communication in the United States for decades, has entered a period of rapid and potentially revolutionary change. From the Obama campaign's innovative use of the Internet and social media, to mobile election tools, such as Gov. Sam Brownback's (R-Kans.) campaign app “SamForGov,” and YouTube sensations like Alabama agriculture commissioner candidate Dale Peterson, campaigns are communicating with voters in ways that were not available or even conceivable only a generation ago. Practitioners of politics at all levels must recognize that the rapid changes in campaign communication are a wildfire on the political landscape—a fire that will not be contained.

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