You may have seen #DNCinPhilly or #RNCinCLE while scrolling through your Twitter feed in the last few weeks and wondered, “What are the national conventions event about?” A national convention is an event where each political party nominates a presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate. Delegates from each state attend the convention and cast a vote for the candidates and policies they would like to see their party carry out.
The 2016 national conventions have been recognized as the most watched and shared conventions of all time. So what can public relations professionals learn from the national conventions? Here are some key takeaways from this year’s conventions:
1. An extra set of eyes can make a difference.
With Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech in mind, it is important to always take time to proofread your work. A fresh set of eyes on your writing can help detect errors, and in this case could have helped prevent plagiarism.
2. Always have a crisis plan in place.
Ted Cruz’s speech urging people to vote against Donald Trump was unexpected, but Trump’s campaign team managed the situation quickly and efficiently. Although you cannot control every event and some things might be unavoidable, it is important to have a crisis plan in place to minimize impact. A crisis plan will help with damage control and lay out the next steps so you and your team can be prepared.
3. Digital media training is a must.
Young people became part of the conversation during this convention because of the election’s lively presence on Twitter. Both parties’ candidates have taken their thoughts to Twitter, sharing content regularly. Public relations professional must train their representative to think about what they share on major social media and traditional platforms in order to maintain consistent messaging and tone.
4. Keep things concise.
Hillary’s consistent “I’m with Her” campaign has been successful partly because of the short and concise messaging it brings. Always focus on getting your message across in a concise and simple way to avoid misinterpretation and controversy.
5. Get to know your representative.
The Hillary Clinton email scandal taught us all a lesson: always get to know your representative’s present and past to predict possible conflicts and create an effective plan to handle such conflicts. Getting to know your representative will also help uncover positive character qualities that you may want to to emphasize and focus on.
Yara Ismail is a junior studying public relations and advertising at DePaul University in Chicago. She is a member of the PRSSA Industry News Subcommittee and the vice president of professional development for DePaul’s Chapter. Follow her on twitter @YaraIsmail_ or on LinkedIn.