5 Steps To Get You To The Polls!
There is no denying how impactful celebrity endorsements can be on the public, especially in today’s political landscape. As the 2018 midterm election approaches, more and more celebrities are attempting to mobilize people to get to the polls and vote! But are these endorsements actually affecting candidates’ numbers?
Many celebrities have been seen personally endorsing candidates from their home states. Recently, Taylor Swift posted on Instagram that she will be voting for Tennessee candidates Jim Cooper and Phil Bredesen. Will Ferrell was spotted knocking on doors in Georgia endorsing Stacey Abrams for governor. Jack Black and Meryl Streep made large donations to Senator Claire McCaskill’s reelection fund. Even the Houston native, Travis Scott, voiced his support for Beto O’Rourke.
It is obvious celebrities have an effect on the way people think. People are more likely to use a product if they see a celebrity using that product or endorsing it. Also, the more credible celebrities have a much higher impact on people’s opinions and decisions. However, this does not seem to apply to the political scene.
According to Gallup, Pew, and CBS News, celebrity-endorsed campaigns do not matter to the overwhelming majority of voters. CBS News polls revealed that 78% of people expected celebrity endorsements to have little to no effect on the election. Some experts say poll numbers may not accurately reflect the true impact that big-name celebrities have on campaigns.
So maybe, celebrities that endorse politicians aren’t doing the trick. One study found that an increase in young voter participation could be attributed to celebs that influence fans to “get out and vote”. Many celebrities are posting pictures of their “I Voted” stickers and tweeting to their fans the importance of having your voice heard by voting.
Overall, a voter who typically votes for one party is not going to turn around and become a supporter of another party because a celebrity told them to. But people who were undecided or weren’t planning on voting in the first place could be persuaded to get out to the polls. The link between celebrity power and politics has a long history and most studies claim it does not affect the way people vote. Perhaps the question we should ask is, “Do celebrity endorsements make you pay more attention?”
– Lizzy Regnery
Donald Trump as a citizen and as a presidential candidate was known to get himself into sticky situations on social media, more specifically Twitter.
@realDonaldTrump engaged heavily in Twitter communication during the course of the election cycle. His ‘twitter-happy’ personality often came across aggressive and disrespectful. However, this was the brand that Donald Trump created for himself, as he knew what I was getting himself into.
A little less than a month ago, on January 20th, Donald J. Trump was sworn into the Office. Also on that day, the now 45th President adopted the Twitter handle @POTUS. With this transition comes a bigger responsibility of how the President chooses to communicate using social media. President Trump must now reinvent his social media communication strategy, and re-brand himself as the President of the United States.
Former President Barack Obama was the first president to utilize Twitter to communicate with the nation; However, the 44th President was not nearly as dependent on this form of communication as is President Trump.
Ever since President Trump entered office, he has been utilizing Twitter and Facebook heavily. I have personally seen several events streaming live via Facebook. As many of us know, it can take up valuable time to generate a powerful message with only 140 characters. As students who are studying communication, we understand that a key skill to have in the process of “managing mutual responding” is to be able to generate effective and efficient messages to convey understanding to listening parties. It is not easy, especially with a limit of 140 characters. President Trump, however, seems to have no problems generating messages throughout the day among his Presidential duties. I can almost see the book on the shelf now…The Art of the Tweet by Donald Trump.
Regardless of anyone’s opinions of President Trump’s policies, decisions, and beliefs, he is still breaking through barriers by trying to cut out the middleman in bringing you important information. If he is able to maintain ‘presidential etiquette’, do you think it is appropriate for President Trump to continue his frequent tweeting? Can this help prevent news sources from misinterpreting his attitude towards something, or an event that occurred? Just a couple points to think about.
~ Ben Yerby
The race for our next presidential candidates has been nothing short of entertaining this year, to say the least. The Republican Party’s posterchild, Donald J. Trump, is currently the frontrunner in polls. When Trump announced his presidential campaign, our nation couldn’t help but look incredulously at the millionaire mogul who’s already built his successful brand through business, franchises and TV networks. Despite bluntness, controversial statements and even discrepancies in political speeches, Trump has garnered the support of thousands of Republicans and the praise of being one of the most candid, or “authentic” candidates—but how and why?
Perceptions of Authenticity
Can a political candidate, or anyone for the matter, be authentic? In short, no. Or at least this is what Andrew Potter argues, author of The Authenticity Hoax, a 2010 book that criticizes the modern individual’s search for an ultimately unattainable “authentic” self.
In his chapter titled “Vote for me, I’m Authentic” Potter delves into the issue of voter apathy in democratic societies and how political campaigning and the media affect this. Most of us are used to manufactured speeches and the all-talk-no-results perception of politicians—and there’s been a trend of voter apathy, or the choice to not vote, in developed countries.
Trumps political extremism manufactures a perception of authenticity which could motivate U.S. citizens to vote who may consider themselves apathetic. He delivers seemingly uncensored and extemporaneous speeches—however questionable they may be—that echo his results-oriented business background. Why does he have a larger following than, say, Carly Fiorina, former CEO of HP and businesswoman alike?
The Media Controls It
Agenda-setting theory, anyone? This communication theory says that the media manipulates what the public thinks is important. Basically, whatever stories have the most coverage in the news become the “important” issues—the flavor of the week. Trump, for a variety of reasons, has been covered practically every day by some type of media outlet since he announced his participation in the race. You probably have read a story or two about Trump, even if you didn’t want to.
In a recent example of agenda setting not involving Trump—who won the first Democratic debate? Major media reports that Hillary Clinton was the clear winner when, according to online polls, Bernie Sanders was voted the winner by viewers. Is this a disparity of choice or opinion? Potter writes, “The media’s pundit class feeds this gladiatorial conception of political debates by treating them as a boxing match, with the post-debate analysis invariably focused on who scored what points, and whether any of the candidates was able to strike the mythical “knockout blow” (p. 172). While the media like to sensationalize, there are other factors involving what the media cover. In short, the media, across multiple outlets, can report that Hillary Clinton won when voters disagree. How do we evaluate the ways we receive our news?
Like all political candidates, Trump is a brand. Donald Trump is a symbol, a message and a vehicle for his message. Trump is a business icon and has built an empire over many years, but why is Trump running for president, too? Political IMC is integral to the success or failure of a candidate’s campaign—establishing ethos, effective marketing, political advertising, event planning and speech writing are just some components that go into the branding of a politician.
“‘’Some people think this will be good for my brand,’ Trump concluded, as deep as he probes. ‘I think it’s irrelevant for my brand.’” This blasé quote came from Trump himself in a feature written by Mark Leibovich in the New York Times Magazine.
I disagree with Mr. Trump. For public figures, every extension of oneself, every action, participation, speech, statement, declaration affects one’s brand. One’s brand is the essence and the story of who they are. While Trump will probably only gain revenue and face time with his campaign, to say that it doesn’t affect his brand is nonsense. Whether it’s good or bad is a value judgment, but it’s fair to say that is not now, Trump’s brand will see the effects of this year’s political campaign.
As the final four teams prepare to battle it out in March Madness, it’s a sure bet that sports fan are waiting to see what else the tournament has in store this season. With coverage, updates, and analysis, it’s also a pretty sure bet that these fans are tuning into ESPN – the station that has become the sports authority. But did you know that the testosterone filled station is owned by a company that producers princesses fairytales – Disney? Did you know Disney also owns ABC, Marvel, Pixar, and Touchstone. Part of what’s known as the “Big Six” – Comcast, News-Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS – account for 90% of media ownership across the states.
Many argue that media consolidation hurts competition by blocking out new media companies. According to Senator Wellstone, media give people access to a wide variety of opinions, analyses, and perspectives and it holds concentrated power accountable to people. With only a few companies controlling all the media the two functions of media (listed above) are compromised. Specifically related to advertising, a combination of media also leads to monopoly over audience and advertisers.
Today, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), an independent US government agency responsible for controlling media regulation, will vote to make TV station’s joint sales agreements (JSAs) subject to current ownership rules. The commission will also vote on a rule that prohibits two or more of the top four TV stations in a market from jointly negotiating agreements with pay TV providers.
Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman, cited that the considered changes were motivated by evidence that suggested the rules that protect competition diversity and localism have been circumvented.
JSAs are an arrangement many see as a loop hole around the limits on owning no more than two TV stations in a market. With endorsement from the Department of Justice, the FCC is now moving ahead with the rule “that if the owner of one station in a marketing sells 15 percent or more of the advertising time for another, then it will be deemed to have ownership interest in the station.”
Broadcasters are fighting back. Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, says, “The real loser will be local TV viewers. This proposal will kill jobs, chill investment in broadcasting, and reduce meaningful minority programming and ownership opportunities.”
Stations that do have JSAs will have two years to dismember deals. However, stations can apply for a waiver in which JSAs will be examined on a case by case basis to determine if public interest is served by keeping the agreement.
Additionally, as part of the 2014 review, the FCC will propose to keep the ban on owning more than two TV stations, but question whether the cross-ownership ban between TV, radio, broadcast, and newspapers should be lifted.
However, while the five commissioners of the FCC will all vote on the issue, the ultimate decision may be left in the hands of just one, Democratic commissioner Mignon Clyburn. The issue has split the five down party lines with the GOP commissioners, Ajit Pai and Mike O’Rielly speaking out against the proposal. In order to advance the ruling, Wheeler will need the favor of both democratic commissioners.
While the commissioners are deciding, we are left wondering to what degree will these rules affect our media markets? Will Clyburn’s decision trend toward more or less regulation?
Tell us what you think. Should the FCC approve the JSA rule? Are media conglomerates affecting the free flow of information to society? Or has the Internet made possible enough independent outlets?
Have Olympic advertising partnerships gotten too big? Have rules and restrictions protecting these “official sponsors” gone too far?
If you aren’t yet familiar with Rule40, it is a total ban on an athlete’s promotion of personal sponsors and their ability to acknowledge those who helped them get where they are today. It is especially focused on social media, where it has become a commonplace for athletes to thank sponsors with pictures and personal statements.
Harper isn’t the only athlete to voice her displeasure with the effective “gag order” on competitors, but with companies spending upwards of $100,000,000.00 to associate their brands with the Olympics Games, is it really that hard to see why #Rule40 is in effect?
Some have even gone as far to refer to the situation as a “battle”. Yet, despite the activism surrounding #rule40, without a doubt the biggest threat to the official Olympic sponsors is the ever-pervasive ambush marketers, silently stalking and waiting for their chance to steal some the Olympic brand name.
These controversial ambush marketing campaigns attempt to capitalize on high-visibility events and locations through brand association without having to pay for the high-cost of officially sponsoring an event. My favorite example of ambush marketing involved the Minnesota Timberwolves selling this advertisement on the side of their stadium, where it happens to only be viewable from inside the nearby Minnesota Twins baseball stadium (where the official sponsor is Target).
Ambush marketing may have been around in the advertising world for years, but the Olympics are seen as “the flagship event for ambush marketing”. Creative campaigns by infamous ambush advertisers like Nike often times attract more online buzz and conversation than the actual official sponsors.
During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa officially sponsored by Reebok, advertising juggernaut and infamous ambush marketer Nike, placed an eye-catching ad on the fourth tallest building in the entire city of Johannesburg. When paired with a lengthy viral video, many agreed that Nike had effectively hijacked the sponsorship from Reebok and gained closer brand association with the World Cup event.
Another ambush marketing giant, Subway, has already launched its attempt to steal some association from the upcoming Sochi games. Summer Olympian Michael Phelps and retired speed-skating icon Apollo Ohno both appear in TV commercials for Subway’s “$5 foot long campaign” due to some legal loopholes discovered by Subway.
So is it reasonable for the IOC to implement Rule 40 to help protect sponsors? Freeskiier David Wise recently commented that, “[he] understand[s] the Olympics are a moneymaking game, but it’s sad for [him] to have all these sponsors who have really taken care of [him]…[he’s] on the biggest stage [he] can possibly be on and [he] can’t give them the representation they deserve.”
Another athlete and social media enthusiast, Nick Goepper, has stated that he will be completely off of social media for the entirety of the Olympics. “I think it might be safer not to tweet anything,” said Nick, the 19-year-old favorite to win Ski Slopestyle gold. “All I know, it’s pretty much zero tolerance for branding.”
The Sochi games are only 3 days away, but the media blackout protecting the games’ sponsors has been in effect since January 26. When the final medal is awarded and the closing ceremonies complete, which brands will you associate with the games? Which advertisements and commercials will be the most talked about and discussed? Is $100,000,000 too much to pay for a loose association with the Olympic rings?
Will the “ambushers” steal the spotlight once again?
– Greg Rothman
Well, it wasn’t ready. The Affordable Care Act website, that is. Commonly known as Obamacare by critics, the program officially launched October 1, 2013 and attempts to allow each American the opportunity to have affordable health care. The program was signed into law in 2010, but only just now became part of daily American life. The website experienced technical errors last week, and again this past Tuesday. However, this was unrelated to the government shutdown. Instead, the system experienced a major overload due to mass traffic to the site, claimed those who run it. An estimated 8 million visitors forced the site to send a response of “Please Wait and Be Patient,” CNBC reports. Run by the Department of Health and Human Services, the process to acquire a health care quote is actually quite simple. I myself did it and, just shy of giving my contact information, I was inches from an affordable quote in less than two minutes.
Fox News said that the 93 million dollar website was the victim of poor Java Script coding, to the point where, simply put, the site freezes up. It doesn’t know where to go or in which direction to proceed. Yet MSNBC follows the path of the HHS, saying it was simply a matter of visitor overload to the site. MSNBC did not report, as of posting, that there were Java Script coding issues.
So. Which to believe? It is common knowledge that news stations lean differently towards their side, whether it be right or left. Even CNN, a major world news outlet, leans toward one side. This post is neither liberal nor conservative, and it neither promotes nor discourages the Affordable Care Act. However, it does encourage that American citizens not rely solely on one news outlet for information. Rather, gather your news from a multitude of sources. Otherwise a viewer faces the possibility of being a victim of “Spiral of Silence.” The Spiral of Silence is an instance where an individual, with one opinion differing from that of the majority, is unable to voice said opinion for fear of judgment. For instance, if I believe Theory X, but my neighborhood only watches one news channel that reports solely on Theory Y, the neighborhood will only be educated on Theory Y. If the entirety of the neighborhood, apart from myself, believes in Theory Y, I would be uncomfortable in expressing my opinions and differences. I am lost in the Spiral of Silence. If you support a cause that one news station does not, you are only educated on their belief. In the land of the free, is our free speech being suppressed by the media?