Professionalization of Political Communication in Lithuania: 2016 Lithuanian Parliament Election Case Study
Keywords:political communication, professionalization, political campaigning, 2016 Lithuanian Parliament election
Political campaigns are becoming more and more sophisticated with every round of elections. Every year increases the number of people outside the world of politics who get involved in process of conducting electoral campaigns – communication and public relations professionals. They prepare strategies of persuasion basing on various electoral messages research which are conducted during but also before election campaigns. Thus, we may say that campaigns become permanent as the preparations to new elections start just after the end of the last ones. Those changes are part of the phenomena called political communication professionalization. The aim of this article is to analyze Lithuanian political parties professionalization exposure during the 2016 Lithuanian Parliament election campaign. The first part of the article is dedicated to the concept and characteristics of political communication professionalization and to clarification of the differences between the terms of personalization, americanization and modernization used in political communication. Later the results of in-depth interviews with heads of Lithuanian election campaign are presented. The main topics of the discussion were the process of electoral headquarters formation, preparation and conduction of campaigns and the reasons why parties decided to involve or not involve in the campaigns external public relation professionals or communication agencies.