© 2015 LCB - Political Consulting

Crisis management during an election

campaign.

Handling a crisis during a campaign generally means two things. One is that our candidate is doing terribly badly and we are short of time. Something similar to a world championship boxer who reaches the last round punch-drunk and reeling under his opponents blows.  In this kind of situation, we have no time to carry out detailed studies of the electorate in order to plan campaign stages in which a whole spectrum of different voters are brought on board step by step. We have to play against time and against the negative impression our candidate has built up for himself. In this event, we have to engage in fancy tactics, because the time for elaborate strategies is over.  How do we carry out these fancy tactics? We try to do the following: Knock over the playing board, that is, upsetting the positions taken up until then by our candidate and our opponent and which have led us to the verge of defeat. Make a sudden, shocking change in our candidate’s image, to make everyone sit up and take notice. Bring about a negative change in the opponent’s image, trying to make him make mistakes. In a crisis situation, our opponent’s mistakes are much more powerful vehicles for raising our candidate’s standing than his own positive actions. By no means does this involve mud- slinging as this would, on the contrary, strengthen our opponent’s position. Count on extreme social groups: public opinion leaders, the politically uninformed and the uncommitted. Either for personal motives on the one hand or lack of interest or information on the other,  these are the easiest groups to recruit in the heat of the campaign. We must have access to the press, to be able to reach those who dictate public opinion. Set in motion a day-by-day, tactical “war-room”. We must also have enough television air-time, to reach the uninformed. Bear in mind that, just two to three weeks before the elections there will still be at least a quarter of the electoral roll which has not decided how it is going to vote. These votes, belonging to uninformed people, are generally enough to turn an election, but they have a problem, they normally vote for the one who looks like he is going to win and that is not our particular case. That is why in an election crisis management situation, we have to create a fifth effect. We should create a sensation of power; we should, by various means, create the effect of having turned events upside down; that what people took for granted a week before is no longer certain. All of these effects are common practice in election campaign crisis management. For things to work there must be perfect harmony between the client and the consultant because, when the election is all but lost, there is no time to argue the specialist’s tactical options. Besides, crisis management is far more costly, because it generates much higher levels of stress and because the consultant’s professional reputation can suffer collateral damage along with the candidate who is in dire straits  Why do we perform crisis management then?  Because for a consultant they are, by far, the campaigns which offer the greatest incentives to win.

Crisis Management...

Crisis handling is a skill that every administration should bear in mind. A government faces a political scandal, an unpopular privatization or a sudden fall in the President’s popularity. In any one of these cases the government cannot sit around doing nothing, watching the foundations of its legitimate position being eroded. In these circumstances we work by offering services for governments. However, we wish to present a specific crisis handling situation here, one which should be undertaken when canvassing data tells the candidate, in the final run-down to the elections, that he is heading for an unavoidable defeat. It is often at that moment, when there is little to be done, that the candidate decides to call in an expert.

Time on your side or against you.

Winning election campaigns is easy as long as time has been used wisely. In those electoral systems where re-election exists, the President has several years to handle the way he issues communications, to get on good terms with voters, to wear down the distrust of those who did not vote for him, and to guarantee the vote of those who did vote for him.  When this happens, the second election is merely a question of flag-waving and cheering.  Things are not nearly as simple in the majority of cases, however, because incumbent presidents forget about communicating, they forget about the strategic importance of keeping the voters happy. Often they forget the path that leads back to victory, too. When the elections draw near, the forgotten voters become of interest again, once more they are the object of attention and benefits, but frequently it is already too late.  On other occasions there are little known candidates, who have received scant support from their party, who have been through difficult internal elections and who, just weeks before the election, are barely known to anyone and as such, muster few people willing to vote for them.  The most common scenario, however, is one in which the candidate listens to the praise of his entourage ringing sweetly in his ears. They convince him that everything is going smoothly and that everyone will vote for him; that he does not need the help of any campaign specialist. And all goes well until the polls reveal the ugly truth. At that time it is only a few weeks to the election day and it seems that nothing can save him from a thundering defeat.  Whatever the case, candidates are often overwhelmed by a lack of time and it does not occur to them to create a campaign that might allow them to win or at least to put on a decent performance. When this happens, a catastrophic election is a threat that terrifies not only the candidate but his party more so. An all too resounding defeat not only brings the curtain down on an individual, temporary project, but it often leaves a party out of the running for many years.   It is to clear away these storm clouds that a specialist in crisis management is called in.
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Contact us: lcb@costabonino.com

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Your victory starts here... Welcome to the
leading political consulting firm...
© 2015 LCB - Political Consulting

Crisis

management

during an

election

campaign.

Handling a crisis during a campaign generally means two things. One is that our candidate is doing terribly badly and we are short of time. Something similar to a world championship boxer who reaches the last round punch-drunk and reeling under his opponents blows.  In this kind of situation, we have no time to carry out detailed studies of the electorate in order to plan campaign stages in which a whole spectrum of different voters are brought on board step by step. We have to play against time and against the negative impression our candidate has built up for himself. In this event, we have to engage in fancy tactics, because the time for elaborate strategies is over.  How do we carry out these fancy tactics? We try to do the following: Knock over the playing board, that is, upsetting the positions taken up until then by our candidate and our opponent and which have led us to the verge of defeat. Make a sudden, shocking change in our candidate’s image, to make everyone sit up and take notice. Bring about a negative change in the opponent’s image, trying to make him make mistakes. In a crisis situation, our opponent’s mistakes are much more powerful vehicles for raising our candidate’s standing than his own positive actions. By no means does this involve mud- slinging as this would, on the contrary, strengthen our opponent’s position. Count on extreme social groups: public opinion leaders, the politically uninformed and the uncommitted. Either for personal motives on the one hand or lack of interest or information on the other,  these are the easiest groups to recruit in the heat of the campaign. We must have access to the press, to be able to reach those who dictate public opinion. Set in motion a day-by-day, tactical “war- room”. We must also have enough television air- time, to reach the uninformed. Bear in mind that, just two to three weeks before the elections there will still be at least a quarter of the electoral roll which has not decided how it is going to vote. These votes, belonging to uninformed people, are generally enough to turn an election, but they have a problem, they normally vote for the one who looks like he is going to win and that is not our particular case. That is why in an election crisis management situation, we have to create a fifth effect. We should create a sensation of power; we should, by various means, create the effect of having turned events upside down; that what people took for granted a week before is no longer certain. All of these effects are common practice in election campaign crisis management. For things to work there must be perfect harmony between the client and the consultant because, when the election is all but lost, there is no time to argue the specialist’s tactical options. Besides, crisis management is far more costly, because it generates much higher levels of stress and because the consultant’s professional reputation can suffer collateral damage along with the candidate who is in dire straits  Why do we perform crisis management then?  Because for a consultant they are, by far, the campaigns which offer the greatest incentives to win.

Crisis

Management..

.

Crisis handling is a skill that every administration should bear in mind. A government faces a political scandal, an unpopular privatization or a sudden fall in the President’s popularity. In any one of these cases the government cannot sit around doing nothing, watching the foundations of its legitimate position being eroded. In these circumstances we work by offering services for governments. However, we wish to present a specific crisis handling situation here, one which should be undertaken when canvassing data tells the candidate, in the final run- down to the elections, that he is heading for an unavoidable defeat. It is often at that moment, when there is little to be done, that the candidate decides to call in an expert.

Time on your side

or against you.

Winning election campaigns is easy as long as time has been used wisely. In those electoral systems where re- election exists, the President has several years to handle the way he issues communications, to get on good terms with voters, to wear down the distrust of those who did not vote for him, and to guarantee the vote of those who did vote for him.  When this happens, the second election is merely a question of flag-waving and cheering.  Things are not nearly as simple in the majority of cases, however, because incumbent presidents forget about communicating, they forget about the strategic importance of keeping the voters happy. Often they forget the path that leads back to victory, too. When the elections draw near, the forgotten voters become of interest again, once more they are the object of attention and benefits, but frequently it is already too late.  On other occasions there are little known candidates, who have received scant support from their party, who have been through difficult internal elections and who, just weeks before the election, are barely known to anyone and as such, muster few people willing to vote for them.  The most common scenario, however, is one in which the candidate listens to the praise of his entourage ringing sweetly in his ears. They convince him that everything is going smoothly and that everyone will vote for him; that he does not need the help of any campaign specialist. And all goes well until the polls reveal the ugly truth. At that time it is only a few weeks to the election day and it seems that nothing can save him from a thundering defeat.  Whatever the case, candidates are often overwhelmed by a lack of time and it does not occur to them to create a campaign that might allow them to win or at least to put on a decent performance. When this happens, a catastrophic election is a threat that terrifies not only the candidate but his party more so. An all too resounding defeat not only brings the curtain down on an individual, temporary project, but it often leaves a party out of the running for many years.   It is to clear away these storm clouds that a specialist in crisis management is called in.

Contact us: lcb@costabonino.com