Stewardship, credibility and political communications: A content analysis of the 2016 election
School of Fine Arts and Communication
Public participation in the democratic process and trust in elected leaders are both declining. Drawing on research from the fields of public relations and communications, this content analysis examines political communication through the lens of credibility and stewardship, both concepts central to predicting favorable relationship maintenance outcomes. In this analysis of all presidential, Senate and congressional candidates in the 2016 election, findings indicated that candidates more commonly communicate ways to provide support for the campaign (relationship nurturing), than demonstrating that they are worthy of being entrusted by the public. In addition, candidates’ communication primarily centered on the candidate being a credible source, neglecting other strategies for demonstrating credibility (digital and content). While there were no significant differences by party affiliation, incumbents and presidential candidates were more likely to communicate some forms of stewardship and credibility.
Communication in politics;
Public Relations Review
DOI of Published Version
Kim, Carolyn Mae, "Stewardship, credibility and political communications: A content analysis of the 2016 election" (2018). Faculty Articles & Research. 323.