Opposition Research

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Objectives of opposition research
The goal is to integrate and organise opposition research as part of the election campaign to enable the systematic collection of relevant information. Specific objectives are to:

  • Understand the strategic direction of the opponents in order to improve the way we can respond or react. Who is the opponent attempting to reach, and with what message? Which target groups do they communicate with?
  • Identify attacks on the Greens as early as possible, and provide interfaces for rapid response measures
  • Identify and demonstrate your opponents’ weaknesses, such as substantive contradictions, dissent within opposition ranks, weaknesses, etc. Obtain information for mobilisation and de-mobilisation strategies
  • Select, document and archive relevant information
  • Collect relevant information for direct conflicts with opponents (street campaign), media (candidate discussions), online, etc.

Instruments of opposition research
Media monitoring

  • National news agencies
  • Determine the selection criteria: what is important (attacks on the Greens, thematic priorities, strategic announcements)
  • Clarify who is responsible for rebuttals, and prepare arguments to refute attacks on the Greens
  • Relevant local newspapers and other local media (TV, radio, etc.)
  • Online media
  • Ongoing monitoring of the other parties on the internet, including party organisations and initiatives
  • Watch forums and provide internet activists with information
  • Monitor discussions: what is discussed intensely?

– Preparation of discussion points (for candidates) and direct communication

  • Content for confrontation with political opponents
  • Not only the media but also ‘on the road’
  • Goal: to maintain direct contacts
  • ‘Food’ for training of activists, officials, candidates
  • Know the opponents’ arguments

Regular support – strategic evaluation

  • How did the opponents communicate? How do they position themselves?
  • Regular updates with essential information

– Timetable of opponents

– Regional information

  • Establish a network between the federal and state governments for opposition research
  • How to communicate with the opponent in countries and communities? Are there any differences compared to the federal line? Are there targeted attacks on the Greens?
  • Media, events, advertisements, campaign material

Target groups and network monitoring

  • How do our opponents communicate in our major networks and with target groups?
  • Observation of direct mails, events for target groups
  • Organisation of feedback loops with Green supporters in Green networks
  • How effective is the opponent’s communication strategy?

– Advertising and campaign events

  • Monitoring and collection of the most important advertising campaigns of other parties, especially those with the ‘wrong’ content and/or strategically relevant messages

– Archiving

  • Database with selected information
  • No excessive claims: the point is not to collect all the substantial details of the opponents, but specific information which could be used against the opponent in a political context
  • Also provide information that could be used at the local level
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