This session is on political communication, more specifically on paid and earned media options for a campaign. Faulkner discussed the elements of a communication strategy from establishing or increasing name id, developing image and issue, creating contrast, to defending yourself against attacks.
Most people think of political communication of being mainly centered around television advertising, but Faulkner brought a great perspective on the fact that our new technological milieu, while still maintaining the importance of running TV, has exposed some of the things that TV can’t do for a campaign, including targeting voters effectively, reaching as many voters as it did 10 years ago (too many channel choices now), and giving detailed information/messaging for your campaign.
Much of the discussion on paid media explored the ability to use direct mail effectively and to use radio as a “rapid response” vehicle for staying abreast of issues and getting out early on attack response/damage control. However, because of the constraints of the day’s schedule, Faulkner had to skip over a number of points of discussion, which participants in the training can access via a membership gateway at American Majority’s website.
A discussion of earned media and its effectiveness (both in terms of costs and in terms of name/issue identification for voters) was the second half of the session, but much of it was passed over due to time constraints. It might be a better plan for future trainings for the earned media portion of the training to be a separate session.
And yes, even though many don’t want to hear it, Faulkner reiterated that negative ads (attack ads) do work and work effectively. He did warn that candidates should try to create contrast, but to stay away from the clearly personal attacks on the opponent: attack issues and track records, not personalities and families. Faulkner did utilize some time for a fairly lively and informative question and answer session at the end of the session.