The Importance of effective political communications and how to build and managed country reputation through effective political communications. nd if the communication process is to be effective then the needs of the citizens to communicate on various issues in order to have them addressed must be fulfilled. This requires then a level of professionalism from both the political organisations and the journalist – the two institutions which are critical to the political communication system. McNamara (2010) definition of effective is worth mentioning here – ‘reaching the citizenry in such a way as to impact their views in a positive way.’
Numerous communication theories have been put forward in order to analyse communication in the political sphere. Grunig and Hunt (1984) has put forward four models of PR, three of which emphasise one way communication and a two-way symmetrical model which is the ideal situation for a democracy and thus for effective political communication,. This model employs communication for the purpose of negotiating with publics, resolving conflicts, and for the promotion of mutual understanding and respect between the organisation and its publics. Present day political communication seems to be lacking to a great extent in this regard.
This paper looks at the work of a number of writers/researchers who have done work in the area of political communication. Each of them has put forward their theory on political communication. The ones which are of interest are introduced and critiqued separately. The paper also provides a comparative analysis of their work.
Blumler and Gurevitch (1995) in their book ‘The Crisis of Public Communication’ looks at the issues affecting effective political communication. Blumler and Gurevitch (1995) attribute this crisis to four sources:
the drive by the two political communication institutions – politicians and journalists, to understand the strategies used by each other in order to make adjustments in response to each others actions.