Political communication(s) is a subfield of communication and political science that is concerned with how information spreads and influences politics and policy makers, the news media and citizens. Since the advent of the World Wide Web, the amount of data to analyze has exploded, and researchers are shifting to computational methods to study the dynamics of political communication. In recent years, machine learning, natural language processing, and network analysis have become key tools in the subfield. It deals with the production, dissemination, procession and effects of information, both through mass media and interpersonally, within a political context. This includes the study of the media, the analysis of speeches by politicians and those that are trying to influence the political process, and formal and informal conversations among members of the public, among other aspects. The media acts as bridge between government and public. Political communication can be defined as the connection concerning politics and citizens and the interaction modes that connect these groups to each other. Whether the relationship is formed by the modes of persuasion, Pathos, Ethos or Logos.
The study and practice of communication focuses on the ways and means of expression of a political nature. Robert E. Denton and Gary C. Woodward, two important contributors to the field, in Political Communication in America characterize it as the ways and intentions of message senders to influence the political environment. This includes public discussion (e.g. political speeches, news media coverage, and ordinary citizens' talk) that considers who has authority to sanction, the allocation of public resources, who has authority to make decision, as well as social meaning like what makes someone American. In their words "the crucial factor that makes communication 'political' is not the source of a message, but its content and purpose."  David L. Swanson and Dan Nimmo, also key members of this sub-discipline, define political communication as "the strategic use of communication to influence public knowledge, beliefs, and action on political matters."  They emphasize the strategic nature of political communication, highlighting the role of persuasion in political discourse. Brian McNair provides a similar definition when he writes that political communication is "purposeful communication about politics." For McNair this means that this not only covers verbal or written statements, but also visual representations such as dress, make-up, hairstyle or logo design. With other words, it also includes all those aspects that develop a "political identity" or "image". Reflecting on the relationship between political communication and contemporary agenda-building, Vian Bakir defines Strategic Political Communication (SPC) as comprising 'political communication that is manipulative in intent, that utilises social scientific techniques and heuristic devices to understand human motivation, human behavior and the media environment, to inform effectively what should be communicated - encompassing its detail and overall direction - and what should be withheld, with the aim of taking into account and influencing public opinion, and creating strategic alliances and an enabling environment for government policies - both at home and abroad'.
There are many academic departments and schools around the world that specialize in political communication. These programs are housed in programs of communication, journalism and political science, among others. The study of political communication is clearly interdisciplinary.
The Bush Administration's torture-for-intelligence policy, initiated soon after 9/11, was kept secret for several years, as remains the level of complicity of many other nation-states' governments. While this secret policy was gradually revealed from 2004 onwards, initiated by the Abu Ghraib torture photos, the Bush administration engaged in SPC to publicly reframe and protect its secret policy. SPC included silencing and persuasive discursive activity.
The field of political communication is focused on 4 main areas:
According to James Chesebro, there are five critical approaches to contemporary Political communications:
Social media has dramatically changed the way in which modern political campaigns are run. With more digital native citizens coming into the voting population, social media have become important platforms on which politicians establish themselves and engage with the voters. In the digital age, evidence across the world has showcased the increasing importance of social media in electoral politics.
Taking Australia as an example below: 86% of Australians access the Internet, and with a 17,048,864 voting age population, around 14,662,023 voting population has access to Internet, and 65% of them use social media, which means 9,530,314 Australian voters use social media. (The 2013 Yellow(TM) Social Media Report found that among internet users 65% of Australians use social media, up from 62% last year).
With almost half of Australian voting population active on social media, political parties are adapting quickly to influence and connect with their voters. Studies have found that journalists in Australia widely use social media in a professional context and that it has become a viable method of communication between the mainstream media and wider audiences. 
Social media experience relies heavily on the user themselves due to the platforms' algorithms which tailor consumer experience for each user. This results in each person seeing more like-minded news due to the increase in digital social behavior. Additionally, social media has changed politics because it has given politicians a direct medium to give their constituents information and the people to speak directly to the politicians. This informal nature can lead to informational mistakes because it is not being subjected to the same "fact-checking processes as institutional journalism." 
Social media creates greater opportunity for political persuasion due to the high number of citizens that regularly engage and build followings on social media. The more that a person engages on social media, the more influential they believe themselves to be, resulting in more people considering themselves to be politically persuasive.