How the UK general election will affect your PR Strategy

Jul 2, 2024
4 mins

The UK's upcoming general election is being talked about across almost every single national publication, and this will undoubtedly mean you’ll need to tweak your public relations strategy to navigate this media landscape. So, we’ve set out three key considerations for your public relations during the election period and its aftermath.

Timing is key

Irrespective of whether your brand directly touches the political landscape, almost all national press will be pulled off other stories to focus on the election. Therefore if you're launching a PR campaign which targets UK national publications in the weeks surrounding the election date, we'd recommend reviewing your timeline.

It's also worth considering whether your audience will be occupied with the political events in real time because this makes brand cut-through increasingly difficult. If you can move your campaign, we recommend doing so.

Media Bias

In a time of political change, it’s important to understand which media outlets may be more or less sympathetic to particular political parties.

Understand the biases of the media you're targeting, and their readership, to tailor your messaging effectively. For the 2024 election, the main newspapers’ endorsements sit with the Financial Times, Daily Mirror, The Economist, New Statesman and The Daily Record supporting Labour. The Sunday Times breaks its habit of endorsing Tories since 2005 with a shift to Labour this week whilst the Daily Telegraph continues its trend (since 1945) of supporting the Conservatives for every general election.

Official political endorsements aside, there are other political leanings to be aware of. The Times is traditionally conservative though it aims for a balanced editorial stance. Both The Sun and Daily Mail have a history of supporting the Conservative Party.

The Spectator reports that "The Daily Mail for instance is advocating tactical voting for the Tories to ensure it provides an effective opposition to a prospective Labour government, while conceding that the party is not realistically likely to win the election."

The Guardian is known for its left-leaning stance and support for the Labour Party whilst the Independent aims to be neutral but often leans towards progressive and liberal viewpoints, generally making it more favourable to the Labour Party.

Regulatory Changes and Reactive Commentary

Post election, it’s almost certain that there will be policy or regulation changes in key sectors such as healthcare, finance, or technology, which could impact how businesses in these industries approach their PR strategies. One way you could use this to your advantage is to utilise a PR tool called reactive commentary to provide expert insight from one of your business’ spokespeople. In doing so, you’ll position your business as a thought leader in your industry, and it's a great way to build your media relations.