Getting the Message Across: Perceived Effectiveness of Political Campaign Communication

Joost Van Spanje*, Hajo G. Boomgaarden, Matthijs Elenbaas, Rens Vliegenthart, Rachid Azrout, Andreas R.T. Schuck, Claes H. de Vreese

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Do political actors communicate effectively during electoral campaigns? We introduce a novel concept in electoral research, the "perceived effectiveness of political parties' election campaigns." This evaluation concentrates on the extent to which a party is seen as getting its message across to the voter. Empirical analyses using survey data and a media content analysis during the 2009 European Parliamentary elections show that the more exposed to news about a particular party, the more a voter feels that this party gets its message across. A party's perceived campaign effectiveness is greater when one or two other parties are also mentioned in a particular news item, which may make the party's profile more pronounced. Furthermore, the greater a voter's interest in the campaign, the larger the effect of exposure on party evaluations. The article concludes by discussing party evaluations and campaign effectiveness in the light of our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-120
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Political Marketing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • election campaigns
  • Europe
  • political parties


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