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The human brain has a tendency to remember insults and attacks. Right? Most of us agree. It explains the reason why political campaigns go negative to find a bright side. Negative campaigning is not a new phenomenon. It has been in existence since the first opposition railed, spreading information and attacking their policies. 

It's not yet outdated and still very much relevant due to:

  • Highlight the faults and weaknesses of the opposition.

  • It is able to draw positive attention to the critique.

  • And mainly, it WORKS! 

So, to ensure that your negative political campaign works without inviting flak, campaign consultants should follow some healthy techniques. But, first, make sure it doesn't backfire on you. 

What is negative campaigning? 

Negative campaigning is a type of messaging that finds and targets or attacks the opponent. The criticism and attacks are created in a way:

  • Bring notice to the failures or deficiencies of the opponent.

  • Stop swaying voters from the influence the other way. 

  • Create oneself as a better applicant. 

Approach for effective negative campaign 

In a political campaign, intelligent negative advertising will put a sharp contrast between you and your opponent. When you use it strategically, this difference will put you in a better light than your counterparts. Some of the techniques to run a political campaign effortlessly that you can use:

Run attack advertisements 

  • Move onto A/B tests to decide the success of negative vs. positive campaigning. 

  • Find ordinary pain points for a central theme for your attack advertisement.

  • Address people's fears, emotions, and insecurities that highlight risks that are associated with supporting your targeted opponent.

  • Keep the positive aspects for other campaigns. Attack ads are made to be precise and understanding. Negative emotions stay longer than positive ones. 

Plan contrast advertisement 

When we oppose an attack advertisement, the contrast ads will compare the opponent's weaknesses with your strength. Thus, they not only show why your opponent must be criticized but also states why it's a great option to go for.

These ads are less damaging than attack ads. If you decide to highlight your competency rather than bring down your opponent, these ads work great. What messaging to use with contrast advertisement.

Opponent: Failures, Weaknesses, Policy Shortcomings, Expert criticism 

Your candidate: Achievements, Strengths, Future plans, Testimonials

Leverage lobby groups

A negative campaign involves partnering with campaign management firms and lobby groups that push your message. Political lobby groups often are free and effective than political parties that lead to negative campaigns. Because it doesn't seem to have a direct place interested in the outcome of elections. They already have credibility and support levels that can add to your advantage. 

Some tips for approaching lobby groups:

  • Identify lobby groups that fight against causes that your opponent supports or those fighting for reasons that you support.

  • Crafted material that requests media attention and not just the support of current stakeholders. 

  • Know about your role in the political campaign strategies, spin-doctoring, and other information towards voters. 

Techniques to avoid negative campaigning 

Negative campaigning is proven to be effective and has downsides. First, it creates a pessimistic habitat about elections and candidates. Second, it can lead to radicalization, polarization, and demotivate constituents from voting. So to avoid outcomes that also engage in negative campaigning, you need to avoid techniques:

Dirty tricks: It includes photo leaking, videos, or any other evidence secretly and smearing opponent's lives. 

Fake news and disinformation: Fake news is a falsehood spread to create a streak campaign. Inaccurate information spreads unintentionally and also makes the sure healthy negative movement to get your message verified. 

Push Polls: Push polls are actual surveys that involve asking questions that mislead supporters. It is in such a way that they feel about a candidate being a criminal. These questions have no evidence, but it sticks in the opponent's favor.

How to fight negative campaigning?

Your opponents plan a negative campaign as you are against them, and it's unavoidable. So how will you fight against such a campaign?

Rename, Refresh, Relaunch

It holds a lot of power that can instantly dissuade a person from supporting that if your policies are harmful or not. If you become the target of such a political campaign, one way to fight off is to rename the campaign, refresh the message, and relaunch it.

Show that the campaign holds no water

If you sense a false opposition campaign, your best bet is to lift the curtain by proving it wrong. The main thing is to stay dignified rather than making it feel reactive. A hurried reaction can make you look defensive and result in guilt.

Negativity embraces the positive frame! 

Barack Obama had to endure negative campaigns against time. Opponents and voters criticize him often, and it has fresh political change with a message of “Hope and Change” and ties all his policies together. The constant re-establishing with a wave of change and proper approach of campaign consultants help to fight off campaigns. It is here to stay, so choose not to indulge and make the most of it. You must have your research and targets if you plan to do much campaigning.

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