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PR Tricks & Tips During Election Season

Credit: Caleb Fisher on Unsplash

Political season is upon us and the campaign trail is a blaze. Unfortunately, up in smoke with it is any chance consumers had to enjoy their media. While in no way are we advocating for people to ignore politics, the truth is you couldn’t even if you tried.

With that being said, just because every aspect of day-to-day life is being bombarded with candidates and campaigns doesn’t mean that everything else has ceased to exist. It does, however, become exponentially easier for it to get lost in the hoopla.

Local stations are talking politics. Digital media is talking politics. Print media is talking politics. So how can your company possibly stay relevant when it doesn’t have anything to do with politics?

While primal instincts might have you searching for the nearest rock to hide under until the election is over, don’t throw in the towel on your company’s media relations efforts just yet. Face the hot and heavy political climate head on and implement some of these tips instead.

Utilize specialty reporters

Leveraging existing relationships is commonplace in PR. The best PR pros know the media and the media knows them. With that being said, simply having a relationship with a reporter is not enough, especially during busy seasons. Times like this are a great opportunity to utilize specialty reporters.

It may feel like politics have infiltrated all aspects of everyday life, but regardless of season, there are reporters assigned to specific topics. Just like most outlets have political and general assignment reporters, they will also likely have other specialty reporters like sports, entertainment, gaming, community and a variety of other topics depending on the area. Instead of blasting off pitches to anyone and everyone take advantage of specialty reporters that will continue to provide content that doesn’t involve politics.

Own the message

Playing to the political narrative and associating your business with the hottest topic may seem productive except it can actually backfire. By catering to the narrative it becomes easier for your business message to get drowned out.

The current media landscape has created an environment where there are so many stories competing for both the reporters and readers attention at any given time. PR is more important than ever because there must be a story being told in order to retain the attention of the audience. In other words, what makes this story more important to cover over politics?

Experts are already predicting the 2020 elections to set ad spending records. In some instances, you may not even attempt to compete with them at their game. And if you do, you’ll need to be super-strategic.

To rise above the clutter, part of that strategy can be paying a premium for sponsored content. After securing a paid placement, your trusted PR team can conceptualize a piece and craft a narrative that addresses your priorities and ultimately resonates with audiences. Additionally, hits in print or on television may have an online link to complement it, which can be shared across online platforms and reach even more folks. In a busy election season, you’ll want to get moving on booking these opportunities well in advance.

Schedule around politics

Sure, every time you turn on the television there’s some candidate being strutted out on a talk show or debate. It probably seems like this is happening 24/7 but there is a structured schedule to the madness. While some details aren’t decided until closer, many events have listed dates and areas available online.

For example, Sept. 29, 2020 is already the established date for the first presidential debate and it will be held at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Granted it’s months from now, but it’s probably safe to just go ahead and cross this date off the list for major media announcements (unless you have a serious strategy in place). As mentioned, don’t attempt to compete with politics head-on and on its own turf. You’ll need quite the plan and campaign to ultimately come out on top.

Eager to earn the publics’ vote? For more information on how to stand out in a hectic news cycle this election season contact The Firm Public Relations & Marketing today at or 702.739.9933.

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I’ve had the opportunity to work with The Firm for more than a decade, and throughout that time, they have been an indispensable part of the Boyd Gaming PR team. Their guidance and counsel has been invaluable in helping Boyd Gaming and our local properties raise our profile in a highly competitive local media market. This is a creative team of outside-the-box thinkers that knows the Las Vegas media inside and out – and they are all genuinely great people to work with! I cannot recommend them highly enough.

David StrowVice President, Corporate CommunicationsBoyd Gaming Corporation