Politics, marketing and social media in the 2018 local elections in Iceland

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The importance of marketing techniques in political campaigning has increased
as communicating politics has become more complex in a highly fragmented
media environment. With different media logics interacting in a hybrid
media system, political marketing methods through social media have drawn
considerable attention and even been seen to pose a threat to democratic
processes. This paper looks at the extent and nature of the use of marketing
techniques in the 2018 municipal elections in Iceland, by using a mixed
methods approach. The findings of a candidate survey and interviews with
campaign managers suggest that the methods used are by and large a technical
extension of previous methods and not qualitatively different from traditional
electioneering. Both social media and traditional media are important marketing
vehicles, but the importance of social media clearly on the rise. However, in
larger communities in the capital region there tends to be a higher degree of
professionalism than in other parts of the country and the size of municipality
is important, while the type of party or age of candidates is not.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-182
Number of pages22
JournalStjórnmál og stjórnsýsla
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2019

Other keywords

  • Political marketing
  • Micro targeting
  • Social media
  • Traditional media
  • Hybrid media system

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