Angela Merkel and Peer Steinbrück mainly earned criticism in the past weeksin the comment sections of wide-reaching online media and influential blogs,according to the latest result of the "Social Media Chancellor Duel"conducted in the six months prior to the federal elections in Germany by theEuropean media information and research services provider UNICEPTA and"pr magazin". In the most recent edition, UNICEPTA also looked at theFacebook site of the chancellor and her challenger in a direct comparison.
Merkel and Steinbrück take criticismUnlike in round two, in which the challenger fared markedly worse than thechancellor, this time around sentiment was equally critical towards the twocontenders: 52 percent of entries about Steinbrück had a negative tone in the April/May period. For Merkel, the figure was 53 percent.Criticism towards the SPD candidate focused on his activities in the "digital world".For Merkel, on the other hand, this was the field in which she received the mostsupport, besides "transport policy". Steinbrück won by points in the field of "socialjustice". For the first time in the Chancellor Duel, he distinguished himself in thisfundamentally Social Democratic topic. Merkel received negative feedback for herpolitical statements on the labour market and financial regulation.
Twitter again goes to Merkel
Just like in the previous round, the chancellor was markedly stronger on Twitterthan her opponent, as illustrated by the "Twitter Barometer", which forms part ofthe Chancellor Duel. With a daily online update and a monthly summary, it showswhat people "say" about the two candidates.Merkel's disapproving comments on Uli Hoeneß, her surprise visit to the Troops inAfghanistan and her audience with the Pope prompted the strongest buzz.Steinbrück outperformed the chancellor only once: In the debate over Uli Hoeneß,he went on a crusade against tax fraud in the talk show "Günther Jauch" on 28April 2013.
Facebook as a weapon in electoral campaigns?
In round three of the Chancellor Duel, UNICEPTA and pr magazin also take a
closer look at Merkel and Steinbrück’s appearance on Facebook. Social networks
such as Facebook are, behind Twitter and blogs, the online forums with the most
buzz. What is more, the opinion research institute Forsa says that the platform’s
importance in German electoral campaigns is on the rise as well.
The candidates’ Facebook profiles do not really offer a personal approach to them,
but rather contain postings that link to classic information sites. The point buzz is
an interesting one. “When it comes to Facebook buzz, the proportions known from
Twitter are turned upside down,” Theres Essmann, Managing Director at
UNICEPTA, has noticed. What stands out is that although Merkel’s fan community
on Facebook is more than ten times bigger than that of Steinbrück (270,000 to
24,000), his buzz between the end of March and mid-May was almost always
considerably higher compared to that of the chancellor.
The graphics and details on the “Social Media Chancellor Duel” are available in the
June edition of pr magazin and at www.prmagazin.de/kanzlerduell
The topics of the June edition:
UNICEPTA is a leading global provider for monitoring, media analysis, research competence and communication consulting services. Around 550 specialists in Cologne, Berlin, Stuttgart, Shanghai, Krakow and Washington, D.C., structure the newsflow 24/7. UNICEPTA compiles and presents highly relevant information from print and online media, TV, radio and social media sources at short notice. This day-to-day work serves as a platform for the company to provide analysis and research-based advice for issues related to strategic communication.
UNICEPTA Gesellschaft für Medienanalyse mbH
Tel.: +49 (0)221 99 02-143