Amith Prabhu: PR lessons for AAP, BJP & Congress for the general elections

09 Dec,2013

By Amith Prabhu

 

The election results in four of the five states that went to polls were shocking on two counts. First, the Modi wave was contained as two of the four states – MP and Chhattisgarh – had regional leaders who did not have a formidable opposition and were able to ride the incumbency factor. Rajasthan and Delhi faced the anti-Congress mood that is gripping the country thanks mainly to the bad handling of inflation, corruption and human safety. Second, the manner in which Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerged a close second thus has taken most including the AAP party by surprise.

 

There was a mini wave for this newly formed party which has turned into a mini tsunami. The party did the right things at the right time gauging public sentiment and the larger national parties have a lot to worry about in the days ahead as all eyes are now on the general elections slated for the summer of 2014. Some key Public Relations lessons for AAP and for the two large parties in the backdrop of the results we have just seen.

 

Firstly, three lessons for AAP:

a) To immediately begin the task of replicating the Delhi model of building a political movement nationally. There are less than six months to the general elections. Collaborating with Navbharat and Loksatta in the west and south would be a great option.

 

b) To not let this victory make one arrogant or complacent but rather deliver on promises and work towards an economic policy which is crucial at this juncture.

 

c) Thirdly, do not do anything that the common man will not forget and forgive easily especially those that are harmful from an ethical point of view

 

Four lessons for the BJP:

a) To not mistake this result to be a Modi wave and underestimate the power of a wounded opponent to bounce back

 

b) To respect the emergence of a new politics in the form of AAP and shun the politics of hate and communalism

 

c) To focus on the conversation of building a better India which is inclusive and all-encompassing and

 

d) To do the impossible – get the PM candidate to demonstrate a more humane side and if need be apologize for a past that still haunts

 

Five lessons for the one who needs it the most:

a) To stop introspecting and start acting. Every second is precious if one is serious about the upcoming elections

 

b) Actions have to include some drastic steps that connect with the people. Even if it means making a few heads roll, so be it

 

c) Announcing a PM candidate and if possible making that person take charge as soon as possible. The electorate will not take a Congress with Rahul or Manmohan leading UPA 3 seriously. That writing is on the wall and it is not rocket science.

 

d) Mobilise resources in terms of volunteers, technology and social communications at a rapid pace and not allow any more missteps like Telangana to come in the way of winnable states

 

e) Respect rivals – be it Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal or the M duo of Mulayam or Mayawati in UP.

 

Finally, 2014 will be an election that is fought on 5 Ps performance record, policies implemented, public sentiment, people’s perception and a perseverance that is undying for a cleaner, smarter governance that the young and old aspire for – it all boils down to some good public affairs and some excellent public relations for all parties concerned.

 

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  • SI

    Wrong lessons!!

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