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Ins and Outs of Political Communications

With three decades of experience in North Carolina politics, CHASS alum Brad Crone (Poli Sci ’85) has seen his share of politicians at work. When it comes to political communications, Crone says two figures stand above the rest.

“Jesse Helms and Jim Hunt.” he says. “Both of them were absolute experts at political communications.”

Crone, a political consultant who founded Campaign Connections in 1991, was a keynote speaker during CHASS Communication Week in February.

Crone says failing to communicate is one of the most common mistakes made by political figures. Good issues research and voter research, he says, are crucial to effective political communication.

“Anybody who’s in the political arena, in either party, has to have a set of core values,” he says. “Then you have to test your core values against the perceptions and expectations and values of the voters … Voter research is validating whether you can accomplish your core values. Will voters accept or reject your leadership?”

With the General Assembly in session to wrestle with a massive shortfall in the state budget, Republicans and Democrats have just begun to debate what the state’s priorities should be as they make spending cuts. Crone says it is important for members of both parties to be open about their deliberations.

“I think the people of North Carolina want their government to be open,” he says. “North Carolina has been relatively progressive when it comes to open government, and we need to continue that.”

first posted on NC State’s Red and White for Life blog.