Reaching Inward Not Outward: Marketing via the Internet at the UK 2010 General Election

This source preferred by Darren Lilleker

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Authors: Lilleker, D.G. and Jackson, N.A.

Journal: Journal of Political Marketing

Volume: 12

Issue: 2-3

Pages: 244-261

eISSN: 1537-7865

ISSN: 1537-7857

DOI: 10.1080/15377857.2013.781475

The Internet has been to date used as a space for simple promotion by political parties; websites present an opportunity for the delivery of non-mediated communication directly to the online audience and nothing more. However, new patterns in usage during campaigns, particularly that of Barack Obama, aided by the technological innovations that fall under the umbrella of Web 2.0, offer new models of online political communication. Through an analysis of the websites and linked online presences of six parties that stood across the UK at the 2010 General Election, we find a dual strategy for Internet campaigning emerging. The persuasive traditions of electioneering remain a feature; however, the key emergent function is one of internal marketing to party supporters and activists. Large sections of party websites are being dedicated to harnessing supporters and converting them to being donators, promoters, and campaigners both online and offline. This suggests that the Internet is increasingly embedded within election communication and online communication strategies are becoming a feature of most of the parties' marketing communication mix. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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