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Tips for Communicating Internally and Externally in a Divided Country

From Nicole Schuman and Seth Arenstein writing for PR News:

There’s no question that the country is divided. That was so before the Nov. 2020 elections. Perhaps more so now. Last weekend (Jan. 9-10) pollster Frank Luntz surveyed 800 people who voted for the president in November. His findings illustrate the country’s political divisions.

Most, if not all, (91 percent) said they’d vote again for the president were an election held today. This was so despite the president’s conduct during the Jan. 6 violence on Capitol Hill. Luntz also found that 50 percent believe the president should continue to contest the election.

Perhaps the result of most concern for communicators was that 73 percent of those surveyed said the election system was rigged. Before asking that question, Luntz reminded participants that the president’s legal team lost more than 60 court cases challenging election results. Still, 61 percent said they would never trust election results going forward.

The questions for communicators: Do you craft messages differently, internally and externally, when you know the country is divided politically, and in other ways? In addition, do you change communication to adapt to the fact that a significant portion of the electorate believes the election was rigged, and, by extension, the true winner will not be inaugurated Jan. 20?

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