Communication Consultants in Political Campaigns: Ballot Box Warriors

By Robert V. Friedenberg | Go to book overview

our on-site RST (Record Send Terminal) and had it transmitted to DG Systems. . . . With DG Systems, when there's a problem or a change in approach, or when a quick update is needed to respond to the opposition we can pull an ad and have a new one running within a day. 59

Thus, in recent years political consultants such as Keith Horowitz are finding that new technology facilitates more efficient use of radio.

In 1968, Richard Nixon won a very close presidential election, defeating Hubert Humphrey. When asked what changes he would make if he could have run the election again, John Mitchell, Nixon's campaign manager, claimed that the only significant thing he would do differently would be to utilize more radio. 60 Like Mitchell in 1968, many contemporary political consultants still find radio to be an exceptionally useful campaign medium.


CONCLUSIONS

It is unlikely that newspapers and radio will ever enjoy the preeminence in political communication which they held prior to the early 1950s. The ultimate medium of choice will likely remain television. But, as this chapter has attempted to illustrate, professionals in both newspapers and radio are sensitive to having lost much of the political advertising dollar to television and are offering a variety of innovative techniques to make themselves more attractive to political advertisers. Political consultants, always seeking an edge over their opponents, remain mindful of these two older, but nevertheless still viable, mass media. Consultants continue to develop a wide variety of practices and draw upon ever-increasingly sophisticated technology to maximize the effectiveness of their usage of these still highly significant media.


NOTES
1.
Murphine is quoted in Shaun O'L. Higgins and James P. Healy, Get Ready for '96 ( Reston, Va.: Newspaper Association of America, 1995), p. 2.
2.
This information was provided by Jack Connolly of the Cincinnati Enquirer advertising sales department. Phone interview with the author, May 21, 1996.
3.
Higgins and Healy, Get Ready for '96, p. 11.
4.
James P. Healy, interview with the author, Washington, D.C., January 17, 1997.
5.
Eugene Uehling, Western Regional Sales Manager, The Lee Group, interview with the author, Washington, D.C., January 17, 1997.
6.
The sample political "post-it" notes quoted here were given to the author by Uehling, interview with the author, January 17, 1997.
7.
The Randy Bishop "post-it" served this purpose as well as alerting the

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