Reputation management for organizations

Organizational reputation management is critical to keeping the entire target market informed and sustaining a positive public impression. The maintenance of a brand's reputation in order to preserve positive public opinion is equally applicable in politics, as the success of a politician's political career is primarily determined by their image and reputation, rather than the policies and manifestos they provide the electorate. In most circumstances, the electorate favors the political candidate with the most promising and convincing political image. The media plays a key role during the election period, as it offers insights to political campaign teams that could be used to measure and evaluate the perceptions of the public and the effectiveness of a campaign. The media informs the entire electorate informed about the different occurrences and happenings taking place around the globe. In addition, the content displayed in the media has a significant effect on the public opinion about a candidate because people believe what they see on television. Due to the impact of the media content on the opinion of the public, it is important for campaign teams to use communication teams to use media to their advantage. The coverage of the media on a number of issues could impact election campaigns as it affects the understanding of the electorate on political agendas and public opinions. The role of the media in public interest topics and agendas can thus be utilized to analyze the performance of a political campaign ahead of an election, and thus positively influencing public opinion through the utilization of communication strategies.

Content Analysis in Campaign Period

During election campaigns, the media and its coverage mainly serve the role of being a watchdog of the citizens to the opinions and actions of different political aspirants. In so doing, the media aids the public to identify the candidate with the most acceptable political image. During the campaign period, the content of the media mainly entails discussions and conversations on the performances of the candidates, governments and even the institutions put in place to manage the elections (Davis, 2007, p.184). The content also mainly entails scrutiny of these players and thus helps the general public to gauge the performance of these players as well as holding them accountable for their actions. The media could also aid in giving the candidates opportunities to communicate their agendas and their message to the public and through the various technology aided interactive avenues Another common trend is the avenue of contending parties to debate issues of TV and thus sell their visions and appeal to the electorate to come out and vote for their parties (Davis, 2007, p. 189). The transparency of the electoral process is also mainly depicted in the local broadcasts, including the vote counting process, as interviews are conducted to analyze the process and teach the public about the process and its legality.

In addition, because of the role that the media has in shaping public opinions and views, the media has the ability to make a leader’s political image acceptable to the electorate or otherwise (Lange and Ward, 2004, p.49). This however presents and ethical issues since the media are expected to maintain integrity through objective and neutral stand in the communication of events so that it continues to serve its purpose of enlightening the entire public. It is therefore the responsibility of campaign teams and media strategists to ensure that media content covers the electoral process through a neutral and objective standpoint to maintain the reputation of the candidate. Media content can also be manipulated during this time to improve the popularity of a given candidate when the media is used as a campaign platform and maintain a positive in the eyes of the electorate. The candidates can also take advantage of the media to identify the real issues being faced by the electorate, to ensure that the candidates are able to adjust their campaign strategy and improve the public opinion of these candidates (Prior, 2007, p.121). The education offered by the media could therefore either be a positive or negative contribution to the public opinion of the candidate and thus influence their probability of success in the elections.

Public Opinion Measurement

To gain access to public perceptions, campaign teams need to prioritize the measurement of public opinions because they provide insights on how the situation is on the ground. This evaluation also aids the campaign teams to devise ways which could improve the popularity rates of the candidates, so it suits their political ambition during the election. There are a number of methods that have been devised to measure the opinions of the individual, and they are classified as either formal or informal. The informal methods include those that do not incorporate any form of research and include methods like the reactions and responses of people to different incidents affecting the political image of candidates, protests, as well as the media’s involvement and coverage of incidents as it contributes to the shaping of public opinion (Swanson and Mancini, 1996, p.181). Formal methods, on the other hand, include statistical opinion polls or even social media surveys. Other formal methods include surveys, analyses of media content as well as the focus groups agendas.

Public opinions and views can be well understood by following the coverage of the media, as the actions of government agencies and the public, in general, are all explained by the involvement of the media (Hughes and Dann, 2009, p.243). The media specifically can be utilized as both a formal and an informal method of opinion measurement, since its impact on public opinion is dependent on the type of content that they broadcast. It is a formal public opinion measurement method because it has introduced surveys in social media. They are thus able to initiate political agendas and also measure that impact through surveys made possible by social media platforms. Considering print media like newspapers, the columnists achieve public opinion measurements through the way different columns are written and expressed and the responses an article gets via email or through letters sent to the newspaper (Kushin and Yamamoto, 2010, p.608).

Another extremely reliable method of opinion measurement includes focus groups and content analysis. Focus groups can be used for opinion measurement when the media house asks open-ended questions to the general public and invites the public to give their commentaries and opinions through their interactive channels, mainly social media. This is mainly achieved through the use of social media hashtags (West, 1997, p.45). The information collected through this social media hashtags can thus be used as public opinion measurement data ahead of the state elections. In addition, content analysis can also be utilized based on the understanding of the role of media in forming public opinions and setting political agendas. This is achieved through conducting an analysis of the kind of information being shared by national media houses and coming up with strategies to identify the impact of the stories broadcasted in the media on the political image of the political aspirant.

Content analysis and focus group discussions, especially in the different forms of new media such as email groups, blog sites and also social media platforms, are very effective methods of opinion measurement. They involve the respondents directly and thus help in further sharing and empowerment of information to more and more people across borders to include more people because they are internet based. (Levenshus, 2010, p. 317).Focus groups and content analysis scrutinize engagement in public debates and civic education campaigns. This marries into the role of the media to promote democracy and also serve as national watchdogs of the political class.

Communication Strategies

Communication strategies in election campaigns make it possible for campaign teams to maintain the political image of the political aspirants, through helping to convince the public that the said individual is the best political choice (Fox and Ramos, 2012, p.112). By understanding how media could be used as a political platform, the correct communication strategies can be used to improve the political agendas and public opinion of the individual using the media. Communication strategies are important in campaigns because they allow political candidates to persuade voters about their vision and capability to help the challenges and opportunities that the electorate needs for their region (Esser, Reinermann, and Fan, 2000, p. 221).

To appeal to the electorate, the political parties and their aspirants ought to utilize different forms of communication media to pass a political message. For the bigger part of the public in the modern day, political messages need to be objective so that the recipients of the message clearly understand the goal of the sender in a manner that also appeals to them. One of the communication strategies that the political aspirants need to focus on include concepts of compassion, consistency, commitment, and credibility. They also ought to factor in the appeals of logos, ethos, and pathos, so that the political aspirant appears concerned about the interests of the public and competent to deliver the promises that he might make to the electorate during the campaign period (Esser and Strömbäck, 2012, p.289). They should also ensure that they inspire a sense of trust in the electorate as the office they are running for requires management of public funds. Thus, in all of their communication, they should clearly inform the public of their strengths in leadership and project positive aspects and downplay negative aspects.


Understanding the media’s role in shaping public opinion is also important as it helps the political aspirants to know the right things to say and thus maintain a positive reputation and public opinion at all times. Media coverage thus helps the political class by giving them a platform to interact with the electorate and influence their opinion of the public. This is achieved by utilizing communication strategies to turn the role of the media of being watchdogs for the actions and reactions of politicians into campaigning platforms where they continue to sell their agenda in a consistent and compassionate manner. In so doing, the electorate gets to feel valued by the individual and develop a positive reputation and an acceptable political image which ensures that they are successfully elected into office. It also directly shapes the public opinion of the electorate because it allows the politician to take advantage of the societal problems to bring attention to themselves and their brand for the sake of electoral success. As such, the role of the media in public interest topics and agendas can thus be utilized to analyze the performance of a political campaign ahead of an election, and thus positively influencing public opinion through the utilization of communication strategies.


Davis A. 2007. Investigating journalist influences on political issue agendas at Westminster.Political Communication, A24 pp. 181–199

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Kushin, M.J. and Yamamoto, M., 2010. Did social media really matter? College students' use of online media and political decision making in the 2008 election.Mass Communication and Society, 13(5), pp.608-630.

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Levenshus, A. 2010. Online relationship management in a presidential campaign: A casestudy of the Obama Campaign’s management of its internet-integrated grassroots effort.Journal of Public Relations Research 22: 313–335

Prior, M., 2007.Post-broadcast democracy: How media choice increases inequality in political involvement and polarizes elections. Cambridge University Press.

Swanson, D.L. and Mancini, P. eds., 1996.Politics, media, and modern democracy: An international study of innovations in electoral campaigning and their consequences. Greenwood Publishing Group.

West, D.M., 1997. Air wars: Television advertising in election campaigns, 1952-1996. Cq Press.

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