Measuring Strategy by Tracing Political Media Relations Tactics – A Conceptualization
Conceptualizing the strategic interplay of communication experts with political journalists is like being in the middle of so far conflicting approaches. The mostly economic science based literature on strategic communication management often implies a prescriptive and rational approach of decision making and behavior. From a social sciences perspective, however, the empirical transfer of mere economic rational choice models has been reasonably challenged. Although many rational choice theorists accept actor rationality to be limited rather than total and the metaphor of a “game” between the two groups is frequently used, only tentative efforts of social sciences to integrate rational choice models into the concept of strategy can be observed. This article seeks to make a case for network analysis to be applied in political media relations, as it enables the integration of approaches of strategy that have been kept separate so far. Doing so would allow strategic interactions to act as infrastructure for a descriptive analysis and environment for testing cost-benefits with the help of game theory. In this way, it allows for both a systematic integration of different strategy concepts and a comparative evaluation of their validity and explanatory power for empirical ex-post analysis in different social contexts. Developed in the German context, a possible comparative approach will be exemplified by the Russian Federation in accordance with the most different systems design.