From Polis to Agora: The Marketing of Political Consultants

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The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics




Political campaigns have borrowed from the latest in advertising, public relations, and marketing, especially since the 1952 Eisenhower campaign. There has been a tendency for those who have honed their expertise in the trenches of campaigning for elected office to offer their services on behalf of clients in the business world. Firms accustomed to working on campaigns now provide a range of services to businesses, including polling, television production, and the buying of advertisement time. Consultants assist corporations in writing op-ed columns, scheduling television interviews with business spokespeople, and placing advertisements in local markets to target the desired audience. This article addresses the shift in political consultants' working with businesses and corporations, considers specific cases of their involvement with private clients, and offers some thoughts on the blurred distinctions between private businesses, corporations, public relations, the campaigns of elected officials, and political consultants.


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