PR firms and the presidential election in Egypt

As Egypt prepares for the first presidential election in the post-Mubarak era, candidates are seeking the advice of public relations firms to craft their campaigns and public images. Business Today Egypt reporter Randa El Tahawy interviewed me recently on the impact PR has had in U.S. elections and on the potential influence on Egypts political future.

The following are excerpts from the article in Business Today Egypt:

Marcus Messner, a social media and communications professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in the US, explains that this relationship is more than crucial for any political campaign, especially in the US. “There is no major election happening without PR being involved,” he says, adding that President Obama’s campaign was shaped by PR professionals who created the slogans that dominated his campaign. “There is no major politician in the US that doesn’t have image consultants, PR consultants and marketing consultants that help them frame the message and the image for the others.”

“Political consultancy is more on a [people-by-people] basis, it depends on the firms that have a reputation for doing this kind of work. But when you get down to it you will find individuals [working the] campaign,” he says. Messner adds that most of the time some political candidates might not want to be associated with PR firms who deal with other clients and products. “Some of the politicians might want to be careful because these PR firms have a lot of clients,” he says.

Messner says that tactics will be brand new in large part because there will be free elections for the first time, making room for competition.

Please read the complete story on the website of Business Today Egypt.

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