Personalization Online: Effects of Online Campaigns by Party Leaders on Images of Party Leaders Held by Voters

Tom Carlson, Kim Strandberg, Göran Djupsund

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Research on the increasing importance of party leaders in elections has observed that party leaders maintainpersonal websites, blogs, and social networking sites in order to personalize the image of themselvesby mixing personal and professional matters. This chapter examines whether these efforts affect theparty leader character impressions by voters in a positive way. The chapter presents two experimentsthat examine the impact of exposure to authentic personal websites and, as a form of social media, blogs of party leaders on voters’ perceptions regarding various traits of party leaders during a Finnishelection campaign. The findings are mixed. The perception of one leader was significantly enhanced byexposure to his website as well as his blog. Moreover, exposure to the blog by this politician resulted inan enhanced assessment of his personality traits whereas exposure to his website had positive effect on theevaluation of his professional traits. In making sense of the findings, web and social media approaches,and participant expectancies are discussed.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Politics in the Computer Age
EditorsAshu M. G. Solo
PublisherIGI Global
Pages127–148
ISBN (Electronic)9781799803782
ISBN (Print)9781799803775
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Keywords

  • BLOGS -- Political aspects
  • Experimental research
  • FINLAND -- Politics & government -- 1981-
  • POLITICAL campaigns
  • Party Leaders
  • Political Communication
  • SOCIAL media -- Political aspects
  • party leader effects
  • political websites

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