The main goal of political public relations is the use of media outlets to communicate specific political interpretations of issues in the hope of garnering public support for political policies. This study elaborates on the question how successful political PR is at bringing its specific perspectives into the media. It uses the ‘framing’ concept to analyse the meanings and contexts of media coverage and political PR during the national debate on immigration in Germany between May 2000 and March 2002. The results show a high level of correlation between the preferred thematic and position frames of the political players and those in the press coverage. Yet, the media examined clearly did not have a passive relationship to PR. The findings indicate that journalists tend to use their power to alter PR messages when the communications from political players do not have a distinct focus and/or when the PR focuses were not among the (mainstream) aspects dominating the general political debate.
Public Relations Review – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2006
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