Effective political media campaigns

Effective political media campaigns"Only 3 percent get their news from newspapers."


An effective political media campaign can help enlighten the public and restore confidence in information dissemination. This is my humble way of reminding the information management industry, particularly the PR and political handlers of political candidates in the upcoming May 2022 elections, to stay truthful and honest to the public.

With equal consideration to all channels, I believe that mainstream media—television, radio, internet and print are the purveyors of truthful information and play a vital role in our daily lives.  They are key sources of information about the government and politics.

Television remains the leading source of information about the country’s government and politics among 91 percent of Filipino adults, according to the September 2021 Pulse Asia survey made available to the media recently.

Nearly half (49 percent) of the respondents obtain their news about politics from radio and 48 percent from the internet.

Among television viewers, 82 percent cite national television as a source of political news and 25 percent mention local television.

Radio is the news source of 49 percent of Filipino adults, with a bigger percentage identifying local radio than national radio (32 percent versus 18 percent).

A near majority of adults (48 percent) get their news about the Philippine government and politics from the internet (48 percent), particularly Facebook (44 percent).

More than a third of adults (37 percent) consider friends and/or relatives as their news source while a quarter (25 percent) mention friends and/or acquaintances.  The same survey shows that newspapers are a source of political information for only 3 percent of Filipino adults.  It must be noted, however, that newspaper content is often shared on the Internet, including Facebook.

While television remains the top source of information among Filipinos because of its audio and video presentation of messages or platforms, it is also the most expensive. A 30-second TV spot in a primetime TV program would cost half a million pesos, which simply means that only highly-funded political campaigns can afford a high-impact, high-visibility television campaign.

Radio is a good source of news for most Visayans (67 percent), Mindanaoans  (65 percent) and those matured people in the E income group (55 percent). Local radio is cited by the majority of voters in the Visayas and Mindanao as the most accessible and reliable media tool.

Jean Danao, a media planner connected with a multinational ad agency, says radio is effective in remote areas with no internet connectivity. It is an inexpensive and reliable media tool which can be heard anywhere even while on the road.

The Pulse Asia survey shows that about 48 percent of adults obtain their news about Philippine politics from the internet, particularly facebook (44 percent).  In particular, the internet is mentioned as a new source by most Metro Manilans (72 percent), those in the rest of Luzon (55 percent), and income groups A,B,C (60 percent), with facebook identified as a source of news by (64 percent) of Metro Manila adults.

Newspapers are the source of political information of only 3 percent of Filipino adults.  Danao, however, says this number represents mostly the policy makers and business decision makers that aspire for more detailed and reliable content.

Content is king

While media channels are important, communication is still the key to effective political campaigning. For communications to be effective, the content must be regarded as the king, with media tools as the queen.

An effective media campaign should convey a clear message to the target audience.    Remember these three important points.

First, define your goal and target voters demographics, and decide on what to tell them to vote for you.

Second, messaging is stating your purpose.  Include who you are, what you stand for (advocacy) and what makes you different from other candidates.

Third, your message should convey a single-minded idea, which means there should be a theme or focus that will guide everything you say.  It should convey your values and depicts your personality and beliefs.

The message that you repeat over and over should be your main advocacy.  It should be short enough to be remembered by voters. Repetition of a concise message portrays sincerity.

It is also important to learn the art of persuasion, or how you connect with and convince voters.  Your ultimate pitch answers the question “why should I vote for you?”

Again, the answer to this question should be clear, focused and sincere—the elements of an effective political media campaign.

Dindo Danao is a public relations strategist. His email address is [email protected]

Topics: political media campaign , May 2022 elections , Pulse Asia survey
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