If there’s one topic that can start a fire in a crowd, it’s politics. We’re living in a time where political divisions and strong, impenetrable opinions are common. In this type of environment, public relations can be tough for both businesses and organizations. One misstep can put you on everyone’s naughty list. So how do you navigate politically dangerous waters without causing too much disruption among the crowds? You need to adopt diplomatic tactics. 


Diplomacy is the ability to appeal to a wide audience, bridge what divides them and produce results. In the world of politics, diplomacy is difficult to come by, but if you’re involved in anything that’s even remotely political, a diplomatic approach to public affairs is essential.


To illustrate the power of diplomatic, politically-fueled public relations campaigns, here are three examples that show us how to get the job done.


Former President Obama’s Fundraising Strategy


Regardless of your political affiliation and your feeling about former President Obama, there’s a lot that can be said about the effectiveness of his public relations strategy, especially concerning his fundraising efforts leading up to his first election in 2008.


At the time, it was unheard of for a presidential candidate to forgo public financing, choosing instead to boost fundraising efforts. For former President Obama, this proved monstrously successful as he brought in more than $750 million for his campaign.


Why was this such a strategic and successful public relations move? Because at the time, the former president was looking to establish a relationship with the American public built on trust, transparency and the value of hard work – something that he and his public relations team worked to demonstrated through his fundraising campaign.


Big Corporations Tackle the Environment


The environment is among the most important, central issues for politicians today. We frequently see the political scope fiercely divided on issues such as climate change. We also know that major corporations are often deeply involved in political public affairs. That’s why it’s refreshing to see a corporate giant take a stance on a political issue while remaining politically diplomatic in their approach.


We see such an example in Apple’s public dedication to the environment. In the past, they launched an environmentally focused public relations campaign that included case studies and accessible annual reports. They also worked to establish transparency by communicating their efforts in environmental protections while reiterating their mission statement and long-term goals.


Making Light of a Serious Issue


Speaking of political issues that are hot talking points, let’s turn our attention to the border between the United States and Mexico. Again, this is a subject that has many Americans fiercely divided but Aeroméxico took the opportunity to make light of the situation and earned applause from both sides of the border wall debate.


Aeroméxico tapped into our current obsession with ancestry DNA tests and offered a discount based on a person’s percentage of Mexican ancestry. While it could be seen as trolling, it was all done in good fun and it provided a nice boost in visibility to the Aeroméxico brand.


The Importance of Effective Public Relations


If you’re working in an industry that’s known for political divisions, an approach to public affairs that is strong, purposeful and diplomatic is the strategy that wins. If you’d like to learn more, contact Hubbell Communications – an experienced PR agency in Portland. We’re here to build and protect your image. Contact us today.