Friday, April 18, 2014

Re: [prpoint] General Elections 2014 - Communication trends



It is interesting to note the arguments so far.

BJP ( read as Modi) seems to have very clearly focused their attention on MODI, first time in our elections, the PM nominee was in focus very early.

This resulted in all trying to tarnish, his image, fame, activity etc. while BJP exploits congress on their misdeeds like corruption, family dynasty etc.

Probably first time the media and advertising  has taken a strong role specially for BJP and others have to follow as they have no choice.

Looks like the image created by all parties against BJP as non secular, BJP seem in a hurry to create a better image within a short time, looks like to some extent they have succeeded(?), though I have no statistics to substantiate arguing in favor of development.

Role of media and PR on election results this time may be little crucial compared to earlier elections largely due to social media, TV and new young voters.

With best wishes and warm regards

Ph. 91-44-42122363
Mobile. 9884278542
On Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:26 PM, Ujjwal K Chowdhury <> wrote:
First, the wave is of anti-Congress on ground, for its holistic failures in last five years.

Second, the media blitzkrieg, through advertisements, advertorials and editorials, has been created to give an impression of pro-Modi rather than anti-Congress wave. And, as Madison Advertising, albeit unofficially, and they will tell the media buying 'officially' has crossed Rs.5000 crores!

Third, BJP has taken a conscious decision to relegate itself to the background and put Modi-centric campaign in front. Or, is it, that the funds were given through Modi to BJP by the 'parallel state' to make it Modi-centric?

Fourth, media interest initially in AAP was due to the novelty in campaign, call for transparency, and huge impact in Delhi elections. Later, it turned into plain anti-AAP virtual campaign to the extent of questioning whether Kejriwal puts belt while sitting in front of the car, pays toll in toll plaza, how does he get his train reservations in few hours, and why should he fly in an aircraft given by a media house for a lecture, et al, which has no bearing on polity.

Fifth, all media had given 4 to 18 seats to AAP in Delhi polls, reality is 28. All media have given 4 to 9 seats to AAP for Lok Sabha, reality will be on May 16.

Sixth, whoever wins, dumbing down of issues to an or two or three individuals is a great disservice major parties and media are doing today. That's the big story, NOT who wins how many seats, for the simple reason, all conventional logic says it will be a hung Parliament and the selection, fixation and reactions after the elections shall be the real ACTION!

Most of above are FACTS, and just the first point is my opinion, against another opinion on WAVE.

Keep watching.


On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 10:29 PM, Prime Point Srinivasan <> wrote:
Hi all

Yesterday and today some parts of the nation were/are celebrating New Year.  I wish a happy and prosperous New Year to all. Let the new year bring glory and prosperity to the entire nation.

Now, we are in the midst of General Elections 2014.  Out of 543 Lok Sabha constituencies, 110 constituencies have already gone to polls. The remaining constituencies will be voting in the next few days.  The results will be declared on 16th May 2014.

As communication professionals, it is highly interesting to observe the communication strategies of various parties to convey their messages.  I will be happy if the members share thier views also for the benefit of others.

Interesting 1971 elections

I have been closely watching the elections for the past four decades. Congress got split in 1969.   The faction led by Indira Gandhi was recognised as Indian National Congress (Ruling) (then popularly known as Indira Congress or Congress I).  The other faction led by Morarji Desai and other senior leaders of then Congress including Kamaraj was recognised as Indian National Congress (organisation).   This faction was known as Syndicate Congress or Congress O

In the elections held in March 1971, Indira Congress and an alliance of Syndicate Congress, Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJP's earlier version), Swatantra party contested.  During that election, Indira Congress formed an alliance with DMK in Tamil Nadu.  Probably for the first time in India, two major factions (with alliance formation) fought in Lok Sabha Elections.  In this election, Indira Congress won with 352 (vote share 43.7%)  seats.  Syndicate Congress with its alliance could win only 51 seats (vote share 24.3%).

During those time, the country was not bombarded with 24x7 channels.Print Media and All India Radio were the only sources of information.   There were no election surveys, opinion polls or exit polls.  The campaign was quite personal (meetings, posters, visits, etc.).  

Since syndicate congress and its ally  with very senior and respected  leaders could secure only 51 seats, many people got confused over Indira Gandhi getting 352 seats.  During those days, there were no EVMs.  The voters have to put a stamp on the symbol printed on a ballot paper and drop this in a ballot box.  At that time, opposition even suspected some 'magic ink' through which Indira Gandhi might have managed to get such massive victory.  

At that time, EVMs were not there.  First time, opposition parties were fighting forming an  alliance.  Trends were not known through media. Such a massive victory in spite of opposition was a new thing.  People could not believe this.  It took long time to understand the reality.  

Now we have gone a long way.  Through 24x7 media, the voters are bombarded with views, opinions, prejudices, etc.  Opinion polls also create some mindset.

2014 Elections - Interesting shift

In all the previous 15 General elections and the other State Assembly elections, there used to be polarisation for and against the ruling party. The ruling party used to be the centre of debate.  Ruling party's performance and failures used to be debated. The votes opposing the ruling party used to get divided.  TV debates used to focus on 'unity of opposition index'.

Unusually, this time, the focus has been shifted for the first time to the opposition PM candidate Narendra Modi.  The debates are going on for and against Modi.  It is an interesting phenomenon.  The votes opposing Modi are getting divided.  

Interestingly, for the past one or two years, BJP and Narendra Modi have cleverly shifted the focus on Modi by generating negative and positive stories.  I feel, instead of shifting the focus on themselves, Congress has also fell into the trap of BJP.  Congress spokesersons started attacking Modi by bringing all stories like Tea vendor, 2002 riots, Modi's wife, development model, etc.   Congress has provided more media time and space to Modi, who cleverly used all the gauntlets to his advantage.  

In the past 10 years, UPA has done good job, like infrstaruture development, introduction of RTI Act, RTE Act, Right to food act, MG NREGA (Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Gurantee Act), etc. Interest subsidy scheme for education loan is one of the wonderful schemes.  Unfotunately, due to lack of good governance and corruption, many of the excellent schemes brought by them have not been yielding results.  The multiple scams in UPA I and II further added the worry of Congress.  Probably, because of this, Congress resorted to attacking Modi personally, without realising that it would bring him to the focus and centre stage.  

BJP has also succeeded in creating a bad image about Congress. Congress party's strategy of projecting Rahul Gandhi through 'Times Now' interview backfired and created further bad impression about Rahul.  Anna Hazare's  IAC movement has created an awareness about the need for good governance among the youth.  

Now both Congress and BJP have started polarising the votes on communal and caste  lines.  Some of the speeches of both the parties are unprecedented.  

Challenges before BJP

Though BJP has finalised alliance with few parties in South, NDA is only BJP centric alliance.  For the past six months, Modi has been continuously and tirelessly addressing various rallies.  BJP faced 2004 General Elections (after the successful Vajpayee regime), projecting Vajpayee as PM candidate.  BJP could not continue the Government and Dr Manmohan Singh became the PM under UPA I.  Again in 2009, BJP projected L K Advani as their PM candidate and the people voted UPA with more seats.  BJP got reduced in number.  

In spite of the internal challenges, Modi has now emerged as  the 'poster boy' of 2014 elections and he has been touring continuously for months addressing rallies.  His communication style coupled with his governance ability shown in Gujarat has raised hopes on him.  

'The super senior citizens' of BJP seem to be jealous of Modi.  What they could not achieve during their time, Modi has now achieved by gathering people around him.  He has given impression, as if it is going to be Modi Government.  The leaders like Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Sushma, Jawant Singh are creating more hurdles to Modi through their unwanted statements, in spite of the fact that individually they may not be able to gather such huge crowd now.

Realising that Rahul cannot individually take on Modi, now Congress is fielding Priyanka to fight against Modi.  

Synchronising PR and Marketing 

For any effective marketing, the PR strategies and Marketing strategies need to be synchronised properly.  In the case of Modi, both Public Relations and Marketing teams are working together.  For example, when Mani Shankar Iyer rediculed Modi as a Tea vendor, immediately, PR team made this as debatable item.  Marketing team gathered all the Tea sellers at Mumbai and other places in Modi meeting.  Team Modi converted this 'tea vendor' into their USP.

On the other hand,  The PR and Marketing team of Rahul have not been working together.  True example is that of Rahul's interview in Times Now.  Also many of the real achievements of Congress were not projected properly.

Even in the social media, Team Modi is scoring better than Team Rahul.  

Meanwhile AAP is also drawing attention of the people through their 'usual' style.  Though they may not be able to get large votes in many parts of the nation, they are always busy in running after cameras.  I also do not understand as to why the national media gives importance to AAP, more than Congress, as if Arvind Kejriwal is the direct competitor to Modi.  

Realising that NDA is a front runner in surveys, now BJP has started focussing on 'stability' for better governance.  If the country does not have the stable government, the new Govt.  may have to face more problems from the alliance parties like UPA I, leading to various scams.  
I request members to share their observations and views on the campaign aspect.

prime point

Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury
Senior Education & Media Consultant, Delhi, Kolkata & Kathmandu.
President, Advisory Board, Whistling Woods School of Communication, Mumbai. 
Former Director, Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication & Dean, SIU, Pune.
Former Media Adviser, Textiles Ministry, GOI; The Nippon Foundation; and WHO, India.

Reply via web post Reply to sender Reply to group Start a New Topic Messages in this topic (3)
Please visit (for useful PR resource materials) and (non profit trust for promotion of PR)and (about Image Audit)and (on India Vision)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Table of Contents