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Political Marketing: PDP explores marketing communication strategy

Princewill Ekwujuru

Before now, political parties had not realised the importance of marketing Communication in the dissemination of political messages.
But like a new dawn in the political landscape of Nigeria, Dr. Okwesili Nwodo, National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), flagged off a campaign to reform the party with the aim of repositioning the party for positive values.

The chairman, at a media briefing, alongside some members of the National Executive Council of the party, unveiled to a cross section of Nigerian and foreign media, a new campaign theme, tagged: Restoring True Values.

The campaign, according to the chairman, aims among others to Improve Political brand awareness, brand acceptance pan_Nigeria. He implored party members to embrace this new positioning statement that would engender equal opportunity for all.

In this regard, the  vision of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to punctuate the vicious circle in the 2011 electioneering campaign which  may have come to terms with the words of Sen David Iornem, Guest speaker at the 16th Advertising day celebration organised by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).

The Senator had posited that Nigerian politicians require marketing research  in order to use it to get to where they want to be. While he noted that the role of Advertising  in the context of the Nigerian politician cannot be ruled out when viewed within the comprehensive political marketing map.

Conversely, this emphasizes the importance of the role  marketing research plays as a handy tool to show the political candidate marketer the direction to follow.

The re-branding of the Nigerian politician may appear better focused to achieve the desired result if located in the context of the political marketing map as developed by Kotler and
improved by the author, Iornem pointed out.

Continuing, he  said, “this is so because it is the combined effect of the totality of marketing activities, including research and  advertising  that are capable of giving effect to any attempt to brand or re-brand a product, service, social cause or politicians, which manifests in opinion polling,” he noted..

Apart from deployment of marketing research to reposition Nigerian politicians, Iornem pointed out that advertising and badvertising  play significant role in re-branding the  Nigerian politician whom he described as unpatriotism, lazy, greed y and corrupt.

He explained that  re-branding the Nigerian politician can be done by several stakeholders, Iornem said such initiative begins with politician himself. “Rebranding the Nigerian politician can be done by several stakeholder actors: It can be by the Nigerian politician himself/her self. It can be by the candidate handlers. It can be by the political parties. It can be by the civil society organisations or specific relevant government agencies such as National Orientation Agency, Federal and State Ministries of information, EFCC, ICPC.”

Drawing alienation between product re-branding and the politician, he said, ‘the products or services are lifeless and marketing experts do whatever they want, but Politicians are living humans. Products do not talk, while politicians talk. Products do not have feelings, while politicians have feelings. Products do not behave or act while politicians behave.”

Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali, National Publicity Secretary of the party, said the new reform programme would run as an integrated marketing communications campaign that would exploit all medium of mass communications and social media.

“The essence is to pass the message across to our members all over the world and to change the wrong perception people have of the party. The world socio political environment is changing for good and we can’t afford to continue in our primordial ways of doing things.
The time for change is now.


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