A Quick PR Guide to US Presidential Elections 2024

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It’s both an exciting and stressful year ahead of us! With all the struggles and brick walls PR specialists need to face during the year of presidential elections, there are a few emerging trends to watch out for in order to have the perfect strategy in place.

From thinking about all the ways to manage a crisis (just in case) to researching the best ways to land coverage when journalists are interested in one thing only, it’s important to remember a few things to look out for.

The advancement of technology poses a threat to any political campaign with carefully made deepfakes that blur fact and fiction. In addition to the troubling state of local media, social media creators and brands are under pressure to disclose their political leanings. It’s a lot to take on for both PR specialists and their clients.

Watch out for fakes

New tech has flipped the political scene on its head, and let’s talk about deepfakes because, oh boy, they’re a game-changer. They’ve been messing with presidential elections for over ten years now, and they’re still causing a stir, crafting stories so slick they make you question what’s real and what’s not.

And here’s the kicker: these deepfakes have become so darn convincing that even the media has been duped into spreading fake news stories. But wait, it gets wilder. With AI in the mix now, anyone can whip up fake photos, videos, and even audio clips. There’s no need to be a wizard in Photoshop or anything. We’re seeing fakes so good, so lifelike, that they could fool just about anybody with barely any effort.

Here are some brief ways on how to spot deepfakes in the wild:

  • For video content, see if the audio follows the natural mouth movements at all times. If it’s even slightly disconnected, there’s a chance it might be a deepfake.
  • Trust your gut. Look for inconsistencies that are simply off, including weird facial expressions, odd emotions, and things that don’t fit with the context.
  • Coloring and environment mismatch happens often, too. If you see anything that’s blurry but the rest of the elements are in focus, double-check if you’re dealing with a fake.

Influencers and brands are pressured to take a stance

As the countdown to election day narrows, there’s mounting pressure on celebrities, influencers, and brands to declare their political allegiances publicly. It’s a delicate balance to maintain, given that any position they take is likely to alienate a portion of their audience.

You might be inclined to advise your clients to sidestep the online frenzy of “Who are you voting for?” Yet, what happens when their fanbase—or the broader online community—starts clamoring for a response? In today’s digital age, it’s increasingly common for social media users to expect public figures and businesses to disclose their political leanings, regardless of their industry. Whether they’re marketing wellness products, children’s apparel or swear they’re as neutral as Switzerland, the expectation to pick a side is inevitable.

Navigating this landscape requires a nuanced approach, blending caution with the understanding that, in some cases, silence might speak volumes. Ultimately, whether they’re in the spotlight for their lifestyle brand or their social media influence, the decision to engage in political discourse—or not—is a strategic one, fraught with both challenges and opportunities.

It’s also important to look at it from another perspective–have you considered reviewing the influencers and public figures who support the brand you work with? This is another strategic move to make to prevent a potential crisis, just in case their beliefs don’t align with brand beliefs at all.

The downfall of TV and local media

In 2023, local newspapers shut down at the rate of about 2.5 per week, leaving 20% of Americans in a news blackout. While there’s a bit of hope with around 550 digital-only news outlets, mostly in urban areas, the number of new digital ventures barely keeps pace with those that close down.

As the 2024 presidential election draws nearer, there’s a push to turn it all around and keep local journalism alive. However, this challenge is quite difficult since over 200 counties are at risk of becoming news deserts, particularly in areas already facing economic hardships and serving diverse communities. Despite the lack of access to local media, an overwhelming 83% of Americans still find their local TV and radio to be reliable sources of news, highlighting a trust in traditional media.

Interested in reading more about public relations trends? Check out our PR Trends 2024 report with answers from nearly 300 industry professionals.

Is putting out a crisis the new normal?

In politics, dodging PR nightmares has pretty much turned into the standard gig during elections. Getting ahead of the game means owning up fast, keeping things transparent, and having a sixth sense for when trouble’s brewing. Plus, winning over the crowd? That’s all about hitting them in the feels. Quick fixes? Forget about it. It’s all about keeping an eye on the pulse and rolling out a plan that hits all the right channels to put out fires. 

During an election year, there’s much more unpredictability than at other times. PR specialists need to arm themselves with detailed crisis communication plans that take into account all kinds of different situations, making sure that clients or brands maintain a stable and positive public image regardless of political sentiment. 

It’s times like these that make media monitoring really shine for what it is. It’s quite unimaginable for any client or brand to risk not knowing what’s going on in the media in the months preceding elections.

The political arena has shifted over the past decade, evolving from a relatively civil domain into one marked by hostility and polarization. Not to get all theoretical here, but social media, increasing economic disparities, and shifting cultural norms have all greatly contributed to a deepening divide in the beliefs and values of society as a whole.

Opportunities for PR during US presidential elections 2024

There are several effective public relations strategies you can implement to help your brand or client get more positive recognition in the media, especially if they’re keen on taking a particular political stance.

Social media is your oyster

With younger generations being increasingly aware of what’s happening in politics, social media is a powerful tool for any brand or client to connect with their followers. From establishing a stronger presence with subtle (or not-so-subtle) hints of who they will be voting for and what particular issues they’re sentimental about, to inspiring action and influencing others, PR specialists can help draft a plan on how to establish a stronger, positive image in the digital sphere using various social media channels.

Focus on authenticity for a cause

For the past few years, brands have taken a stance on the causes they’re passionate about. Whether it’s about being sustainable, to fighting climate change, or modern-day socioeconomic issues, it’s smart to use that history of support and highlight it a bit stronger in the months leading up to the presidential election.

Journalists will be on the lookout for politically relevant pitches and will focus on them more than on anything else. What’s important here, is knowing which media outlets and publications have a certain kind of reach, and which political side are they leaning towards. By carefully examining each journalist and personalizing your message, you’ll be able to tailor your strategy better to reach the people you are interested in the most.


With the US Presidential Elections 2024 approaching fast, keeping up to date with advanced technology, social media pressures, and industry trends is crucial to staying on top of your game. Managing these challenges requires skill, an eye for authenticity, and most importantly–a proactive attitude and approach.