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Controlling the MessageNew Media in American Political Campaigns$
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Victoria A. "Farrar-Myers and Justin S. Vaughn

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479886357

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479886357.001.0001

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Strategic Communication in a Networked Age

Strategic Communication in a Networked Age

(p.13) 1 Strategic Communication in a Networked Age
Controlling the Message

Daniel Kreiss

Creighton Welch

NYU Press

This chapter examines the use of data in presidential election campaigns to model voters and the new platforms available for targeting communication. Drawing on interviews with practitioners on Democratic presidential campaigns spanning the 2000 to the 2012 election cycles, as well as public accounts of the 2012 cycle, the chapter considers how data and modeling work in online advertising and strategic communications using social media. It first looks at the history of political data, with particular emphasis on the emergence of sophisticated forms of voter modeling that underpinned Barack Obama's successful campaign in 2012. It then explores how strategic communications are tailored in accordance with defined electoral goals and goes on to discuss Obama's social media targeting as part of his reelection bid. It shows that social media usage as a means of fully controlling a campaign's information context has its advantages and limitations.

Keywords:   presidential election, election campaigns, voter modeling, online advertising, strategic communications, social media, political data, Barack Obama, social media targeting

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