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Political Marketing


IMC 632

Explore political marketing from its roots to its current state and provides the necessary knowledge for strategizing and applying a political marketing plan within the context of today’s elections and political climate.

Course Learning Outcomes 

Upon successful completion of IMC 632, students will be able to:

  • Define the basic foundation of political marketing from a historical perspective and theoretical influences.
  • Organize a staff and develop a message and image based on a strategic plan.
  • Maximize voter outreach, using print, electronic and digital tools for message dissemination.
  • Build a positive working relationship with the media.
  • Maintain and enhance continued relationships with multiple audiences.

Course Topics

  • Political Marketing Foundations – History, Theories and Definitions
  • Political Campaign Management – Structure, Staffing and Funding
  • Message Development – Messaging, Strategies and Analysis
  • Image – Candidate, Campaign Themes and Emotions
  • The Use of Traditional and Digital/Social Media in Voter Outreach
  • Earned Media and Paid Media Advertising Tools
  • Post-Election – Fostering and Maintaining Trust 

What students say about IMC 632:

  • "The most exciting part of this elective is students get to explore every aspect of political marketing – messaging, polling, advertising, social media, etc. – and use it to design a permanent campaign strategy for a candidate or organization. Students research, critique and discuss current political campaigns and issues through the context of current political affairs. This approach enables students to understand the need for a permanent campaign strategy and the process required to develop one."
  • "Political marketing equips students with the skills to formulate clear and concise messages, develop personal images and relationships, initiate fundraisers, prepare for debates, implement voter outreach methods, create media strategies, analyze poll and new media data, and foster trust."
  • "Since politics affects everyone’s daily lives, there is an abundance of career opportunities on all levels – local, state and national. For example, students might find employment in a local public relations firm, state government office or national campaign headquarters. Job titles include campaign manager, press secretary, fundraising director, donor relations representative, and social media specialist, to name a few. Many of the jobs are located in and near Washington, D.C. and state capitals."