Political competition analysis is a crucial aspect of understanding the battle for supremacy in the political arena.

💡Read Everything you Need to Know About Political PR

The strategies and tactics employed by PR managers of political parties and their leaders are those that shape reputation and the outcomes of elections.

With this knowledge, individuals and organizations can make informed decisions and engage in effective political activism.

So, let us explore the 5 strategies of competitive analysis in politics and unravel the complex dynamics of the battle for supremacy.

Identifying Competitors and Emerging Players

When it comes to PR in politics, it’s imperative to identify both traditional opponents and emerging challengers. While parties may have clear offline rivals, the digital space often harbors unexpected contenders. Political campaign managers must broaden their scope beyond direct adversaries and monitor newcomers who might disrupt the political landscape.

For example, in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, the Democratic Party identified Donald Trump as a key opponent. However, they also faced competition from independent candidates like Andrew Yang, who utilized digital platforms to garner significant attention and support.

Read Competitive Media Reporting Guide for PR and Marketing Professionals

Analyzing Branding and Campaign Strategies

Understanding competitors’ branding and campaign tactics provides invaluable insights for crafting effective messaging and outreach efforts. By closely examining competitors’ branding and campaign strategies, including ads, website content, and social media engagement, campaign managers can use this to enhance and refine their own digital strategies.

This type of competitor analysis in politics can identify areas where improvements can be made, ensuring that the campaign resonates with the target audience and differentiates itself in a cluttered market. It’s similar to the way branding works with products and businesses. Employing keywords relevant to the industry and the audience, campaign managers can use the power of competitor analysis to drive their campaigns towards success.

Read How to Run a Political Campaign with Media Monitoring

One way media monitoring tools can help in this situation is by examining a chart called the Word Cloud. A word cloud is generated by examining a query that was set up for tracking in the media monitoring tool and then highlighting words that are most commonly used alonside the main keyword.

Word cloud for most common issues in the USA

For example, The Trump campaign’s “Make America Great Again” slogan and focus on social media engagement served as a benchmark for many political campaigns. Conversely, Democratic candidates like Bernie Sanders capitalized on grassroots movements and social media activism to amplify their messages.

Former President Donald Trump announces he is running for president for the third time
Former President Donald Trump announces he is running for president for the third time; source: Sky News

Monitoring Campaigns and Dialogues

Real-time media monitoring of competitors’ campaigns and interactions with voters enables campaign teams to stay agile and responsive. By identifying successful strategies and emerging trends, managers can adapt their messaging to resonate with target audiences and counter rival narratives effectively.

What’s more, sometimes a political communication can not go in a way that they intend to. Voters can become more and more dissatisfied with political ideas and voice their dissatisfaction. Consequently, crisis communication becomes crucial. Their political competitors can then capitalize on the situation and sway the undecided voters towards their own party.

Read 6 Political PR Examples of Crisis Communication Done Right

Also, identifying trending topics and prevalent concerns among the population is another key benefit of data-driven analysis. By leveraging tools like Determ, politicians can track keywords and themes dominating public discourse, such as inflation, healthcare, violent crime, drug addiction, and the high cost of living, and tailor their messaging and strategy accordingly. 

Competitive analysis across topics that US citizens are discussing about span across number of mentions

Influencer marketing

Identifying and engaging with influential figures in the digital sphere amplifies campaign messaging and extends reach to broader audiences. Whether collaborating with celebrities, media personalities, or industry experts, leveraging influencer partnerships enhances brand visibility and credibility.

The logic with political leaders or candidates and influencers is the same as is with brands and influencers. When certain celebrities and influencers demonstrate their support towards a political figure, their followers (and not just in terms of social media followers) tend to trust their choice. Just a single post or mention from a celebrity or influencer can mean thousands of new voters for the mentioned politician or party. 

Barbra Streisand threatens to leave the USA if Trump wins 2024 elections
Tweet from Chuck Callesto saying Barbra Streisand threatens to leave the USA if Trump wins 2024 elections, source: Determ

Consequently, examining the success or failure of these competitor campaign strategies is essential for refining and optimizing one’s own approach. Through thorough analysis of competitor campaigns, political teams can glean valuable insights into what resonates with voters and what does not. This insight allows for the refinement of messaging and strategy, ensuring that political campaigns remain relevant and responsive to the evolving needs and preferences of the electorate.

Assessing Social Media Presence

Staying relevant with the times in politics means embracing new digital platforms and technologies to innovate campaign strategies and engage with evolving voter demographics effectively. Campaign managers explore emerging platforms and analytics tools to refine targeting and optimize engagement metrics.

Read 5 Political PR Metrics to Monitor During a Campaign

Given the centrality of social media in modern political discourse, campaign managers must meticulously track competitors’ social media activities. Understanding where rivals are most active, the frequency and content of their posts, and audience engagement metrics informs strategic decision-making and optimization of digital outreach efforts.

There are few questions you need to ask:

On which platforms are your competitors present? What are they doing to expand their presence on those platforms?

What type of content is enticing your voters and audience? Are there any particular areas that your competitors haven’t ventured into that you should explore?

And one of the best ways to assess social media presence is by using social media monitoring tools

Republican competitor analysis Trump vs Haley
Competitive analysis Trump vs Haley earned channels, source: Determ

Moreover, these tools delve deeper into regional dynamics by analyzing the frequency of mentions of political parties or leaders in different states or counties. For instance, analyzing the mentions of a candidate like Biden across states such as Nebraska, Indiana, Alabama, California, and Florida reveals potential growth opportunities and areas where competitors may hold sway. 

Competitive analysis in politics span across states for Joe Biden

Leveraging Public Opinion and Feedback

Actively soliciting feedback from constituents and monitoring public sentiment enables campaign teams to gauge the effectiveness of messaging and campaign initiatives. And analyzing sentiment can help discover the main drivers behind negative or positive conversations. And this becomes an even more efficient strategy when employing AI for competitive analysis to help summarize entire conversations and feeds, such as Determ’s AI assistant Synthia.

Leveraging real-time feedback enhances responsiveness and fosters meaningful dialogue between candidates and voters. Imagine this, a huge candidate posts something on their Twitter/X account that poses a huge opportunity for you because the opinion they posted is controversial and not loved. Even before the media picks it up, the opponent candidate responds and states their own opinion. The topic is then picked up by the media but then covering both sides of the story, thus generating media coverage for both sides.

Conclusion

Mastering competitive analysis in politics is indispensable for digital campaign managers navigating the intricacies of political arenas. By leveraging strategic insights gleaned from competitor analysis, campaign teams can optimize their digital strategies, amplify their messaging, and mobilize support to secure electoral victories in the digital age.

With a holistic approach to political competitive analysis, individuals and organizations can navigate political landscapes with confidence and efficacy, driving meaningful change and shaping the course of history. Want to know more how media monitoring tools can help you with political competitor analysis? Book a call with Determ’s experts.

Q&A

What is competitive analysis in politics? 

Competitive analysis in politics involves a comprehensive examination of the strategies, tactics, and messaging employed by political opponents, with the goal of evaluating their strengths, weaknesses, and overall effectiveness in engaging voters and achieving electoral success.

What are key components of political competition analysis?

Political competitive analysis involves evaluating strategies, messaging, digital presence, voter sentiment, issue alignment, influencer mapping, and competitive benchmarking to optimize campaign outcomes and navigate the complexities of electoral contests effectively.

How do you write a competitive analysis in politics? 

One effective way to write a competitive analysis in politics is by utilizing media monitoring tools to export reports that comprehensively showcase the entire online presence of political opponents within a single dashboard. These tools gather data from various media sources, including news articles, social media platforms, and online forums, allowing analysts to assess competitors’ messaging, engagement strategies, sentiment trends, and overall digital footprint.

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