NC State alumnus discusses effective political communication

February 17, 2011
By Bill Krueger

Brad Crone ’85 has been involved in North Carolina politics for roughly three decades, so he has seen his share of politicians at work. When it comes to political communications, a subject Crone will speak about at NC State next week, Crone says two figures stand above the rest.

“Jesse Helms and Jim Hunt,” he says. “Both of them were absolute experts at political communications.”

Crone, a political consultant who founded Campaign Connections in 1991, is scheduled to speak at 1:30 p.m. Monday at Caldwell Lounge as part of Communications Week.

Crone says failing to communicate is one of the most common mistakes made by political figures. Good issues research and voter research, he says, are crucial to effective political communication.

“Anybody who’s in the political arena, in either party, has to have a set of core values,” he says. “Then you have to test your core values against the perceptions and expectations and values of the voters … Voter research is validating whether you can accomplish your core values. Will voters accept or reject your leadership?”

With the General Assembly in session to wrestle with a massive shortfall in the state budget, Republicans and Democrats have just begun to debate what the state’s priorities should be as they make spending cuts. Crone says it is important for members of both parties to be open about their deliberations.

“I think the people of North Carolina want their government to be open,” he says. “North Carolina has been relatively progressive when it comes to open government, and we need to continue that.”


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