Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Rally as a Political Public Relations Strategy for Public Acceptance of a Political Party: A Focus on APC Presidential Campaign in Lagos State

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Rally as a Political Public Relations Strategy for Public Acceptance of a Political Party: A Focus on APC Presidential Campaign in Lagos State

Article excerpt

Introduction

In the contemporary political process, public relations cum reputation management has been identified as a strong link between a better informed and enlightened society and those who hold or are aspiring to hold power in trust for the masses. Amalfi (1990) asserts that public relations strategies have long been an important part of the weaponry of a political party, therefore only the ignorant lack the knowledge on how to achieve success in politics. This in itself is called Political Public Relations.

Broadly speaking, political public relations can be defined as the management process by which an organization or individual actor for political purposes, through purposeful communication and action, seeks to influence and to establish, build, and maintain beneficial relationships and reputations with its key publics to help support its mission and achieve its goals (Strömbäck & Kiousis, 2011, p. 8). According to Moguluwa (2013), as a specialized function of public relations, Political Public Relations is concerned with creating and sustaining mutual understanding between political actors and the masses so that there will be enthronement of democratic order, rule of law, and respect for constituted authority. Its main function is to build credibility in the political system; build bridges of mutual understanding between governments, party, political leader and the voters.

Hence, Osuji (2001, p.13) defines political public relations as

The aspect of public relations that is used in furthermore of political process. It may cover many areas of political processes, party formation, political campaign, membership drive, public and private political communications, image building, influence, lobbying, legislative proceedings, executive relationship with various societal groups.... it is sustained efforts to enhance or advance the cause of political actors (politicians) or those involved in furtherance of political processes in a society whether elected or appointed .

What makes political public relations distinctive from public relations in general is that Political Public Relations is the organization or individual actor in question is engaging in public relations activities for political purposes. Thus, political public relations includes public relations activities by all organizations and individuals trying to influence politics, including political parties and candidates but also governmental and public sector agencies, think tanks, unions, commercial businesses, as well as various interest groups and non-profit organizations that are more or less engaged in efforts to influence political processes or outcomes (Strömbäck & Kiousis, 2011).

This study therefore sought to find out if the public are aware of political rally conducted during 2015 presidential elections in All Progressive Congress. The study further investigated if political rallies aid public acceptance of APC and also assess other sources that influence public acceptance of a political party. In addition to all these, this study also found out if political rallies are the basis of choosing who to vote for during elections.

Rally and elections

According to Oyesomi (2011), election is one of the most important pillars of democracy. Elections are about decisions and choices based on information and facts gotten during the course of the campaign from a political party. The media is expected to provide the basic information required for individuals to make the right choices during an election, this also aids the public to find out about the political party and individual they want to cast a vote for thus the attitude of electorates towards an election goes a long way in determining either the failure or success of an election. Since electorates do not have direct access to the candidates contesting in elections, several strategies have been employed and one of the most effective strategies used by political parties is political rallying. …

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