Theory of Political and Government Communication

Topic: Political Communication
Words: 2013 Pages: 7

Background

Citizens in present-day society deep into the government and political communication; this ranges from how campaigns are done, how activists communicate about anti-smoking initiatives and promotions for road safety. This concern discovers the assumptions, ethics, and practices supporting political and government communication while establishing the differences between the two concepts. This subject examines the role of communication in independent citizenship and involvement; this involves looking at the emergence of alternative public domains, especially those existing online. Students investigate these contemporary issues, ow they are understood and characterized by different stakeholders. A communication product is then produced depending on their investigations. Stakeholders should be chosen and evaluated based on their communication campaign’s effectiveness regarding their objectives and political context.

This paper will be examining the Australian government as a stakeholder in Jared’s Labor Refugee Policy and then evaluate their communication campaign’s effectiveness. This means that there will be reflections on their ways of expressing their political nature. Political communication refers to the methods and motives of those sending messages to impact the political atmosphere. This involves making public discussions that reflect on who has the power to allocate public resources, give approvals and make decisions (Macnamara, 2017).

The critical factor considered in making communications political is the content and goal of the message. Government communication refers to all activities done by public institutions and firms to convey and share information that explains what the government is up to. This paper will explain the plans of the government to address the issue of indigenous Australians who have suggested amendments in the taxation system and coal seam gas mining.

Effectiveness

The Australian government used government communication and noted that the content matters a lot and requires attention for delivering a successful and impactful message. The Australian government applied government communication to address the issue of changing tax systems and coal seam mining. Careful attention has to be taken during the process of creating content. It is essential to understand that effective communication and leadership are the keys to addressing the issue. Proofs of the communication strategies employed back the empirical evidence from how Australia responded to the proposal.

When the people raise a concern, the governments have a role in mobilizing cooperation and public trust; these two have to be included as part of the solutions. Preferably, the process of developing a message should be transparent and contain pieces of evidence. Their culture and social identity greatly influence the way people engage and respond to health information. These two factors influenced the ideal methods of communication of the people, what they consider as a trustworthy authority, and their magnitude to act and respond to the message.

The Australian government applied identity leadership that promotes a shared sense of belonging and the drive behind a mission. Thus, the shared goal for the people of Australia became to find out how the proposal for change can be addressed. The Australian government had an understanding that for addressing the concern to be successful, they had to consider the mode of delivery of that message.

They understood that delivering and formulating critical information has to be sensitive and modified to suit the social groups in the country. For example, when dealing with refugee issues, the Australian government realized that it was vital for them to first understand community viewpoints and requirements. The government then had to put this strategy in place; they then worked with people who had influenced in the refugees and used the advice relevant to the culture of the people. This communication strategy helped the government manage risks in homes; the government used increased interaction and shared identity as vital communication tools.

The Australian government has also been considering societal factors as a communication strategy. They became sensitive to the troubles and values of the asylum seekers; they used different modes to convey information, which served as a strategy in earning maximum support and involvement from the people. The current spread of information available online provides an extra layer of difficulties (Shah et al., 2017). Print media and television that were an important channel to circulate information are now forced to compete with various online news sources and social media. Since social media has become an influential source and the public actively participates there, the Australian government decided to use it.

Even though social media is prone to misinformation that can increase anxiety among people, it also gives openings for effective communication (Howard, 2010). It allows critical messages to be spread quickly and be correctly customized to different audiences. Social media also provides the community with an opportunity to share relevant messages actively.

The government of Australia applied effective government communication by facilitating the refugees’ participation in processes and burdens. This helped them as communicators to avoid tension, and so they controlled the outcome of the communication. Research reveals that the Australian government has been playing the role of effective communication by developing strategies to overcome the public’s negative perception (Van et al., 2017). The government has employed qualitative approaches to help them understand the people, and they have applied the idea of soft governance to facilitate participation and learning from the community. This has enabled them to earn better public relations with the community.

The government of Australia understood that public trust is a crucial resource in winning cooperation from the public and controlling how people behave. Effective communication relies upon high levels of trust based on the shared values between the government and the people and requires confidence that future developments will happen as expected. The government also applied the strategy of transparent information as this is a tool that makes people act. The government prioritized transparency in its communication, and this enabled them to succeed in handling health emergencies (Mills, 2015). This transparency helped them earn public trust; they disclosed all the pieces of evidence they used in making recommendations to the public.

The Australian government also used the civic engagement strategy; this is essential in identifying shared values and empowering the community to participate in decision making. Even though this strategy can be challenging, especially during an emergency, since fast lifesaving decisions are needed from the government, the Australian government employed the technique. They assumed that this strategy could be life-changing as well, so they went forward and engaged the immigrants. These practical ways of communication have enabled the government to address the issue of concern.

Differences and Similarities

There are differences between government communication and political communication as applied by different governments globally. Government communication operates in an environment with many layers and in one that is organizationally diverse. It can be defined from a functional and theoretical level depending on what it does and the reason for its existence. Government communication seeks to impact the opinions of the public. Government communication may seek to influence public opinion but always for the better. In contrast, political communication aims to impact public opinion through descriptions and consistency in the party’s interest. Government communication is viewed as neutral, realistic. It is in the public’s interest, whereas political communication is biased and works for the welfare of the party and everything connected to the party, including the members and associated organizations.

Professionals in government communication are experts employed by the public service and are assigned to communicate messages that are neutral and factual with no bias whatsoever for the people’s interest (Sengul, 2019). Their communication is intended to show a sense of equality with no intention of prejudice and favoritism; the professionals are devoted to serving the citizens. On the other hand, professionals from political communication may be officially employed by the public service only if they work as members of parliament. They are expected to be biased, so they aim to serve their interests and that of their parties; it does not matter whether they are in government or opposition; in this case, the general public does not benefit from their work.

The intents of political communication are manipulative as they tend to use different techniques, including the media, to understand how people behave and what motivates them. They then use this information to develop communication strategies that will be used to manipulate the public.

They get enlightened on what communication can influence public opinion and use it to formulate calculated alliances. On the other hand, government communication studies how people behave in the community and use this information to engage them in serving the interests of society (DePaula et al., 2018). Government communication is not manipulative, and so the public opinion gained is genuine. The public opinion earned helps the government collaborate with the community to achieve different goals; it is mainly made after delivering messages transparently.

There is a similarity between political and government communication; the target audience is the general public. Both aim at public opinion; they strive to use different mechanisms to ensure that the public develops a sense of trust in what they communicate. The end goal of both public and government communication is to convey a message to the public. The public sector employs the officials in both forms of communication; they cannot employ themselves, and they both serve a specific set of people (Figenschou and Thorbjørnsrud, 2018). Both public and government communication strive to convey messages to their target audience in an effective manner.

Contribution of The Australian Government’s Communication to The Public Sphere

The effectiveness of the communication of the government of Australia influenced the public interest of the people. It enabled the refugees to understand that the government cares about their interests and is committed to serving them (Laenens et al., 2018).

This made the people develop a positive attitude towards any communications made by the public since they understood that the end goal of that communication was for their good. The government took into consideration the cultural needs of the society and other requirements, which made the public always heed the instructions offered by the government. In the long run, the people cooperated with the government, adhered to laid down strategies, and waited for the government to act (Cameron, 2010). They also understood that their well-being meant a lot to the government and that the government was willing to offer help and support without any form of discrimination.

Government communication in Australia proved the reality of democracy to the public. Many nations worldwide consider themselves democratic country yet they do not engage the public in making important decisions. The government in Australia decided to use a communication strategy that reminded the immigrants of their democratic rights (Guo and Wei, 2019). They communicated what the government needs to achieve and left them to voice their opinions concerning the matter. It was their opinions that were then used in making final decisions concerning different affairs; this issue was considered to be life-changing (McKnight, 2015).

The public sphere was made to understand the importance of their opinions to the public, which made the people cooperative. They changed their perceptions about government officials and had to perceive them as democratic and that they have respect for the opinion of others.

Governments should employ effective means of communication so that their messages may cause an influence the public. They should understand that culture means a lot to individuals, and respecting one’s cultural needs that will avert resentment. Engaging the public in decision-making is an essential tool in gaining cooperation from the public since collaboration leads to achieving goals. Governments should realize that social media is a crucial tool that can be used to convey important information to the people in the contemporary world. Therefore, they should use it to reach a large number of people within a short time.

Governments also need to understand the role transparency plays in winning public trust. Finally, governments should always keep in mind that it is the effectiveness of their communication that will cause an impact on the public. The reflections of students in this matter have enabled people to gain an understanding of the concepts of government and public communication and then the differences and the similarities that exist between them.

Reference List

Cameron, D. (2010). Big society speech. London, UK: UK Government. Web.

DePaula, N., Dincelli, E. and Harrison, T.M. (2018). Toward a typology of government social media communication: Democratic goals, symbolic acts and self-presentation. Government Information Quarterly, 35(1), pp.98-108.

Figenschou, T.U. and Thorbjørnsrud, K. (2018). Mediated agency, blame avoidance and institutional responsibility: Government communication in a personalised media landscape. Scandinavian Political Studies, 41(2), pp.210-232.

Guo, Y. and Wei, Y. (2019). Government communication effectiveness on local acceptance of nuclear power: Evidence from China. Journal of Cleaner Production, 218, pp.38-50.

Howard, J (2010). ‘Seizing the Day on Guns’, in Lazarus Rising: A personal and political autobiography, (chapter 22, pp. 247-254), Harper Collins, Pymble, NSW. Web.

Laenens, W., Mariën, I. and Broeck, W.V.D. (2018). Channel choice determinants of (digital) government communication: A case study of spatial planning in Flanders. Media and Communication, 6(4), pp.140-152.

Macnamara, J. (2017). Creating a ‘Democracy for everyone’: Strategies for increasing listening and engagement by government, University of Technology Sydney and London School of Economics and Political Science. Web.

McKnight, D. (2015). ‘Shaping the news: Media Advisers under Howard and Rudd Governments’, Australian Journalism Review, vol 37, no. 1, pp. 21-31. Web.

Mills, S. (2015). ‘What Julia Gillard couldn’t give us. Inside Story. Web.

Sengul, K. (2019). Critical discourse analysis in political communication research: A case study of right-wing populist discourse in Australia. Communication Research and Practice, 5(4), pp.376-392.

Shah, D.V., McLeod, D.M., Rojas, H., Cho, J., Wagner, M.W. and Friedland, L.A. (2017). Revising the communication mediation model for a new political communication ecology. Human Communication Research, 43(4), pp. 491-504.

Van Aelst, P., Strömbäck, J., Aalberg, T., Esser, F., De Vreese, C., Matthes, J., Hopmann, D., Salgado, S., Hubé, N., Stępińska, A. and Papathanassopoulos, S. (2017). Political communication in a high-choice media environment: a challenge for democracy?. Annals of the International Communication Association, 41(1), pp. 3-27.

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