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5 Ways of Having Successful Political Campaign Through Modern Technology

I have witnessed several elections in Nigeria and the one I still can't forget is the 1993 Election of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (SDP) and Bashir Othman Tofa (NRC). Though I was not in the age bracket that could vote, I can still recite the "M.K.O, is our Man o..." lyrics so well, even till now. The campaign reached everyone; both old and young, poor and rich, people in cities and rural villages. Available technology was utilised but we cannot compare what was achievable back then with what is achievable now. We are now in the age of internet technology. Grassroots politics which is the primary way of getting populace acceptance can only achieve 20% of what Technology can achieve in terms of networking, measuring campaign impact, acceptance and viral campaign within a short time.

Today's major political movements tend to ignore the grassroots and focus almost exclusively on the use of media to gather winning support at the polls. This works fine as long as the media are susceptible to being courted. But a cause that seriously challenges the media's inherent or conventional tendencies cannot afford to rely alone on media exposure — including paid advertising. Positive gains by unconventional movements can easily be undone by the media through its powerful domination of the public mind. Freedom-minded Nigerians must therefore find ways to MOBILIZE THE GRASSROOTS if they are to have any hope of making enduring improvements to Nigeria politics.

Technology can give that gliding campaign effect if well used and implemented. I have listed five tools you must have to achieve a successful campaign below:

1. Customise what search engines show the world about you

Everything starts from your name. If anyone wants to know things about you, search engines are the first point of call. You can arrange the order in which you want the search result to come out and also remove what you don't like your audience to see (all in 6 to 8 weeks). I hope you heard me right; it is very possible. Your image and brand speak volume about you. Won't it be so nice if you can arrange those awards, good deeds, your blogs and social platform as search results then remove those results where your name is tainted or tarnished by your political opponents? The first impression a fellow gets while searching your name is an important factor to effective campaign management.

2. You need a Robo Call and SMS campaign application

You need more than just a bulk SMS platform. You need a two way communication platform. You just don't want to send an SMS and expect someone to read it but you want to send out a message that someone would respond to, so you can know how your campaign is faring. There must be a call to action on every campaign channel; this would let you measure your progress and people's reaction to your campaign. Imagine what you can do with the phone numbers of the people who love you and are loyal to you. Imagine the multiplicity effect that a loyalist can give you. There is no better deal than having the database of direct phone numbers of people who want you.

3. Develop a game around your story.

I have always imagined how interesting a game around President Goodluck Jonathan's "I had no shoes" story would have been or a game on BRT lane in Lagos. The first thing is to create a story about yourself, your principles, your vision, mission or your political agenda, then develop a game on it. Yes, it is as easy as that! Watch how it trends as people keep playing it. Let them catch their fun and pass your message imperceptibly. Youths love interesting games; if they love you and believe in your dreams, you will definitely earn their full support.

4. Have a Video Conference with your people.

Have a one on one discussion with your people via video conferencing. Don’t just use any platform, you are advised to choose a special application for this so it won't flop. Make your people laugh; tell them your plans and how you plan to achieve them. With this application you don’t need any middle man between you and your people. You can see them, talk to them, then get feedback from them (all at once) while just facing your laptop. 

5. Run a contest or raffle.

You need a transparent platform to run your giveaways, contests and raffles with the help of an application that everyone can use to monitor his/her progress on the platform. This same application will help to attract a lot of people to your social media platform during the contest, raffle or giveaway. Research has shown that a huge number of people are usually attracted to freebies that are offered online. Why not utilise this platform to attract a lot of people to yourself, then ensure that they do not go elsewhere.

If grassroots politics is getting close to the people and knowing their needs and giving a listening hear to their needs, then there is no better way this can be expressed than what I have been able to highlight above with the help of internet technology. With it, you will have better control of your people, you will know your people and your people will know you. These are proven ways to increase your list of loyalists geometrically if well implemented. The 21st century political campaign strategy is when technology is used beyond just creating websites, blogs and social media pages. Now, there is a special need for what I call the active media!

In order not to bore you with facts and details, these are just few out of many ways you can use technology to run an effective political campaign. There are many other vital tools which can be used for effective political campaign but I have decided to save the best for the sake of the best. Please, don’t ask why.

If you want to know when your campaign should start, I would say NOW! Yes, right NOW!

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