- The Oxford Handbook of Political Communication
- Political Communication: Then, Now, and Beyond
- Creating the Hybrid Field of Political Communication: A Five-Decade-Long Evolution of the Concept of Effects
- The Shape of Political Communication
- A Typology of Media Effects
- The Power of Political Communication
- Nowhere to Go: Some Dilemmas of Deliberative Democracy
- How to Think Normatively About News and Democracy
- Not a Fourth Estate but a Second Legislature
- Presidential Address
- Political Messages and Partisanship
- Political Advertising
- Political Campaign Debates
- Niche Communication in Political Campaigns
- The Functional Theory of Political Campaign Communication
- The Political Uses and Abuses of Civility and Incivility
- The Politics of Memory
- Two-Step Flow, Diffusion, and the Role of Social Networks in Political Communication
- Taking Interdependence Seriously: Platforms for Understanding Political Communication
- Disagreement in Political Discussion
- The Internal Dynamics and Political Power of Small Group Political Deliberation
- Ethnography of Politics and Political Communication: Studies in Sociology and Political Science
- Self-censorship, the Spiral of Silence, and Contemporary Political Communication
- Collective Intelligence: The Wisdom and Foolishness of Deliberating Groups
- Broadcasting versus Narrowcasting: Do Mass Media Exist in the Twenty-First Century?
- Online News Consumption in the United States and Ideological Extremism
- New Media and Political Campaigns
- Political Discussion and Deliberation Online
- The Political Effects of Entertainment Media
- Theories and Effects of Political Humor: Discounting Cues, Gateways, and the Impact of Incongruities
- Music as Political Communication
- Conditions for Political Accountability in a High-Choice Media Environment
- Political Communication: Looking Ahead
Abstract and Keywords
Dramatic changes in communication technology and the information environment in recent years have changed not only our daily lives, but also campaign communications. With each new election cycle, candidates seem to add to the expanding list of communication technologies used—smartphones, Facebook, blogs, and the like—to get their message to intended recipients. In this essay, we review the limited, but growing, research that examines candidates’ use of niche campaign communications, conceptualized here as any communication medium candidates employ to directly and narrowly target a particular audience. There is a tendency to think of the use of new technologies as a supplemental communication tool for conducting politics as usual. The authors suggest, however, that new communication technologies have changed not only how candidates communicate, but also whom they contact and what they are willing to say. In this way, niche communications have fundamentally changed candidate strategy and campaign dynamics.
Laura Lazarus Frankel is a graduate student in the department of political science at Duke University.
D. Sunshine Hillygus (Ph.D., Stanford University) is an Associate Professor of political science and Director of the Initiative on Survey Methodology at Duke University. Her research and teaching specialties include public opinion, political behavior, survey research, campaigns and elections, and information technology and society. She is co-author of The Hard Count: The Social and Political Challenges of the 2000 Census (Russell Sage Foundation, 2006) and The Persuadable Voter: Wedge Issues in Political Campaigns (Princeton University Press, 2008).
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