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Stagecraft and Statecraft

Advance and Media Events in Political Communication

Dan Schill

Media events are a central communication tactic used by political communicators in political campaigns and in governmental affairs. Each president has an advance staff that creates mediagenic events to influence the news media, generate coverage and excitement, construct favorable political images, and persuade voters. Advance men and women are visual speechwriters who focus not only on what the politician says, but also on how the candidate looks and the visual message communicated by the event.

This timely and groundbreaking work examines media events and advance in political communication by exploring: (1) how media events are conceived and staged, (2) the role of advance in an overall communication strategy, (3) how media events holistically function to generate a rhetorical impact, and (4) the implications of politically communicating by media event. This book gives readers the tools and background necessary to both analyze and understand media events and to create their own.

Media events and advance are a significant element of political communication that has not been systematically or comprehensively studied, and Schill's innovative work ably fills this major gap in the literature.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 128Size: 6 3/8 x 9 3/4
978-0-7391-2861-9 • Hardback • May 2009 • $84.00 • (£54.95)
978-0-7391-2862-6 • Paperback • May 2009 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
978-1-4616-3421-8 • eBook • May 2009 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
Dan Schill is an assistant professor in Corporate Communication and Public Affairs at Southern Methodist University.
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Mass-Mediated Politics and Constructed Candidates
Chapter 3 Media Events
Chapter 4 Advance
Chapter 5 The Rhetorical Impact of Media Events
Chapter 6 Implications for Communicating by Media Event
While grounded in theories of political communication, this insightful book provides a very useful "insiders" look at the practice of staging and scripting political events. For those students and scholars of political communication with little practical experience in the craft of doing politics, Stagecraft and Statecraft is a must read.
Mitchell S. McKinney, University of Missouri

A timely text....Valuable and worth reading....This book is informative and warrants investigation by professionals and students of media, political science, and public relations. Recommended.
CHOICE, January 2010

Political events occur in a context, and Shill's book looks beyond the words spoken at such events to visual images, their creators and the motives behind the events. The book is richly informed by primary source documents, interviews with advance planners, and descriptions of the visuals that augment the words. Stagecraft and Statecraft challenges political communication scholars to think differently about how they research and teach about mediated political messages. Shill's analysis and the directions it provides for future study will better prepare students of political communication to think and watch critically.
Diana B. Carlin, University of Kansas