Organised by Jennifer Lees-Marshment, supported by the Department of Management, the City council and University of Aberdeen

The 2002 Political marketing conference took place at the University of Aberdeen from September 19 – 21, 2002. It was the 5th international annual conference on Political Marketing, although the PSA PMG’s first. The theme was Time to Deliver: Political Marketing Moves Beyond the Campaign and indeed it did. It included papers on health marketing, marketing universities, local government and the first ever panel on parliamentary marketing, as well as much discussion on low turnout and how to market politics or voting itself.

The Conference broadened the scope of political marketing and discussed many aspects of its use and implication for politics generally. Speakers and delegates came from all over the world – Canada, New Zealand, Peru – and also a wide variety of backgrounds. Academics were drawn from political science, management studies, history, economics and media studies. Furthermore, we had many practitioners presenting, sharing their experience of practising political marketing with those who study it. A significant number of delegates were also graduates, reflecting the youth of the field, whilst others were converted to start a PhD in the topic during the course of the conference! Many new links and networks were formed, new ideas generated, and delegates are already planning their future research on topics such as Spanish political marketing, Brazilian party marketing, brand marketing, entrepreneurship and small political party marketing for the next conference as well as the PSA political marketing panels.

All academic papers for the conference were subject to a strict double-blind refereeing system, and special issues of three different journals are being produced from the conference. The conference also attempted to reach out beyond the ivory tower and held two evening debates. They were open to politicians, political staff, academics and the public and discussed topical issues surrounding the growth of political marketing. Further details are below:

 Political Marketing and Democracy, Thursday 19 September, 8.30pm

The first one took place at the Town House in Aberdeen at 8.30pm. It was hosted by Aberdeen City Council, and was on Political Marketing and Democracy. The key speakers were David McLetchie, Leader of the Scottish Tories and Lord Murray Elder former Labour Party advisor. This debate discussed issues such as how political marketing might threaten ideology and political conviction and the place of leadership within political marketing.

 Marketing and the Scottish Parliament, Friday 20 September, 7.30pm

The second was held at King’s College, Main Auditorium, on Friday 20th September at 7.30pm, where the Scottish parliament sat when it resided in Aberdeen in May 2002. It was on Marketing and the Scottish Parliament and discussed the potential of marketing as well as the problems with marketing any parliament. Alex Salmond, MP; Brian Monteith MSP and Dr Peter Lynch gave varied and stimulating views on aspects such as whether the parliament has delivered what the public wanted, how it might become more responsive to public demands, what services it offers, how it might improve its performance and meet public expectations.

Delegates and presenter list

Paper titles and abstracts

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