Marketing Secrets of USA Politics
An acquaintance and I were discussing an issue on why sensationalism and negativity seems to be so popular in USA politics, and is there a difference in reaching people of opposing political persuasions.
My friend sent a link to an article that reflects her opinion that I can summarize: Liberals are ruining America because they are answering conservative talk propaganda, which further enables conservatives by giving them even more attention.
The article used the example of Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh concerning the issue – Should insurance companies and employers who offer health insurance benefits be required to offer birth control to American women?
Sandra Fluke made an appearance that was nationally broadcasted. Thereafter Rush Limbaugh took aim trying to blast her out of the political waters of meaningful conversation.
The author of “Liberals Are Ruining America” commented, “Any hope of that conversation happening was dashed the moment Rush Limbaugh began his attacks on Sandra Fluke, the young contraceptive advocate. The left took enormous pleasure in seeing Limbaugh pilloried. To what end, though? Industry experts noted that his ratings actually went up during the flap. In effect, the firestorm helped Limbaugh do his job, at least in the short term.” (1)
And They All Fell Down
It’s true that Rush’s audience massively increased for a few weeks thereafter, but that increase was temporary. This time Limbaugh’s extreme comments were challenged by emotionally charged ads, designed by liberals across the USA. Rush’s audience gain collapsed, because this time, liberals marketed their message using emotion to challenge his shamefully, offensive comments.
Limbaugh received a huge financial blow due to liberals using emotion to confront his disparaging comments. Limbaugh is still experiencing long term effects from this fall out. “Cumulus Media, a radio company that carries Limbaugh’s show in 38 markets, reported millions of dollars in lost revenue and attributed the losses in part to the Limbaugh advertiser fallout. Dial Global, a radio syndication company, reported roughly $100 million in losses for 2012 and publicly cited Limbaugh as a significant contributing factor.” (2)
Conservatives have been using psychological sensationalism to market their political agenda, and this has proven to be a brilliant marketing scheme.
Ignoring messages packed with psychological sensationalism has resulted in slanders and sometimes outright lies going out over the airwaves unchallenged. When people don’t hear rebuttals, they believe what they are hearing because they do not verify anything.
In the year 2007, of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91% of talk radio shows was conservative, while only 9% was liberal. Why does that number remain unchanged in 2013? “Listeners of a conservative bent, who feel alienated and disenfranchised by big media, Hollywood and academia, represent “a perfect mind-set for radio, a niche medium, to target an audience that will be loyal,” Harrison says. “They’re seeking validation.” (3)
All this is key because it explains why sensationalism works. You get people worked up and then validate or confirm their emotions. This has been the secret of successful marketing and sales since the beginning of time.
Another big problem is the fact that our political system is corrupted by money. Both conservative and liberal Americans understand that it’s not about the people anymore. The people can vote, but for the most part, it doesn’t matter because of the way our political process works. Of course there are exceptions such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. However out of 545 politicians -2- seem to be doing the right thing, and that number is pathetic.
Once these politicians get into office, they must begin massive fund raising to ensure that they have enough cash to fund a successful reelection campaign. One way to raise big cash is for the politicians to accept monetary campaign donations from lobbyists and special interest groups.
The more money donated to a politician, the more attention that group receives. It should go without saying that the purpose of generous campaign donations is to buy persuasion and favors. Obviously this is the main root of numerous problems in the USA. What’s the solution? Campaign finance reform, but that’s another article!
How Does This Tie Into Politics & Marketing?
The corporations who hire lobbyists and special interest groups are in charge of the USA, and they want keep their power. Therefore they have employed clever marketing schemes stuffed full of psychological ploys to keep you coming back for more.