Republicans Get a Facelift

March 20th, 2013

As the Republican National Committee prepares for the next bout of elections, the Republican Party is getting a new face, metaphorically speaking. After performing a rigorous GOP analysis, the RNC discovered its perception was merely that of “stuffy, old guys” with no broad-based message. To save face, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has dedicated $10 million on communication and outreach, with the end goal of reshaping the party’s brand. This “facelift” is an example of what steps to take when your brand is in a rut:

  1. Do Research: The key to any successful brand or campaign is performing thorough research. Current audience attitudes, opinions and perceptions is a key indicator of the direction in which your message should shift. The GOP researched how voters felt about the Republican Party, only to discover the GOP needs a change.
  2. Be Open to Change: Even the party of conservative values knows that it must adapt to change if it is to continue to stay relevant. Part of evaluating successes and failures is knowing what strategies can stay and what strategies to kick to the curb. In the RNC’s case, these changes involve altering the election calendar surrounding primaries and debates so Republican leaders can spend more time promoting their messages, and engaging the minority demographics.
  3. Target a bigger audience: Through the GOP’s analysis, they discovered Obama was favored by minorities over Romney 71 percent to 27 percent. To boost its image among minorities, the RNC has decided to engage them through channels such as local events, swearing-in ceremonies and other community forums.

And it’s not just about reaching out to minority groups, it’s also about creating a message that resonates with human beings at their core. The ‘hope’ and ‘change’ that captivated voters ahead of Barack Obama’s election are ideals that capture the values of the Democratic party, that also reach people on a basic, apolitical scale. To compete, the GOP should identify its own set of buzzwords that not only represent its party, but also create that human sentiment.

From a public relations perspective, re-branding and re-marketing does not necessarily mean having to change your core values. It simply means improving your image and creating a messaging strategy that resonates with a broader and more diverse group of people. So the RNC is right to re-market and re-brand itself before the next election. The results will show if these cosmetic changes are enough to sustain the Grand Old Party.

Posted Under: Branding, Media Relations, Media Training, Public Relations, Storytelling
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