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Database and Fox partner

Business school and LexisNexis form partnership to track election campaigns.

( STEVEN REITZ | TTN )LexisNexis and the Fox School of Business have formed a new partnership in order to support the university’s newly released media index to track and score the presidential, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and gubernatorial campaigns throughout the country, across social, broadcast and print media.

David Schuff, one of three professors from Fox who is working on the research project, said the partnership between LexisNexis and the university could have a larger benefit to society.

“In 2008, we did a similar project on the election on the presidential primaries,” Schuff said. “So this is a follow up to that study that’s more comprehensive.”

The goal of the project is to look at how candidates’ use of social media and how their exposure in using it would result in campaign outcomes.

The index, Translating the Effectiveness of Media into Performance, analyzes media-related data from more than 900 candidates nationwide by using customized software designed by Schuff and the other Fox professors, and direct access to the extensive content resources of LexisNexis.

“Part of what we wanted to do was to also integrate broadcast and print media into that too,” Schuff said. “First of all for a comparison, so we could compare social media to broadcast and print media, and also because we know [it is an] influence to poll numbers and fundraising.”

One of the main reasons that the university entered into the agreement with LexisNexis, Schuff said, is because it contains a vast pool of data that includes television transcripts, news stories and both broadcast and print media data.

“What we’re looking to do is a couple of things. We’re looking to better understand how media can influence success in campaigns and this can also help people who are running these campaigns and are looking where to invest,” Schuff said.

Each candidate’s TEMPO score is drawn from data points derived from blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, web analytics from Alexa — a web information site — and print and broadcast media mentions compiled by LexisNexis, which includes more than 20,000 news sources, as well as campaign websites.

“The reason why we stuck to the election was because it was actually something that was interesting to us,” Schuff said. “It also seemed very timely to do this because it’s campaign season. There’s been a lot of buzz about social media being used in campaigns, so we were looking at this and saying, ‘You know in 2008 and now, those were the things campaigns used heavily.’”

Schuff said that campaigns could have an overall approach when delving into the realm of social media, but sometimes don’t necessarily understand the benefits of having it.

In addition to regularly updating the TEMPO index for the presidential race until Election Day, Schuff and his team plan to draw conclusions on the relative influence of social and mainstream media on each other, as well as their combined effects on donations, poll results and election wins or losses.

Schuff added there is always potential to go beyond just the political campaigns.

“Beyond political campaigns, if you replace campaign outcomes with brand outcomes or financial success of sports team you could look at their social media presence or their print or broadcast presence,” Schuff said. “One of the things we could potentially do is apply this to things like sports or entertainment, other areas where you have, I think any area where you have a brand the project has potential implications.”

No financial transactions are involved with the program. Instead, Schuff said there is a joint cooperation where the university helps the company with press releases in return for the use of its data.

Dominique Johnson can be reached at dominique.johnson@temple.edu.

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