- Which party is ahead in the word of mouth campaign?
- Which party getting more space in prime media?
- Is the sinking of Medigadda barrage pillars hitting the ruling party’s prospects?
- Is Social Media helping Congress to reach its six promises to the people?
- How Mahathma Gandhi’s messages reached the rural masses during the freedom movement?
“Mahathma Gandhi became famous because of his ways of fighting against British regime. His weapons of fighting are still popular in various aspects particularly in sending his messages to the rural masses when there was no electronic media and social media. Gandhiji’s call either the non-cooperation movement or civil disobedience or boycotting of foreign cloths and goods or Dandi Satyagraha reached the masses just by mouth of word. It took seven to fifteen days for Gandhi ji’s decision to reach the masses in those days. The literates, who read and understand the messages of Gandhi in the available news papers then, acted as messengers to take his message to the rural people through “word of mouth’, who in turn used to pass it on to the others.”
Such “Word of Mouth” option is being used by political parties in Telangana elections too. Word of Mouth is one of the strategies of Prasanth Kishor, who used to work on behalf of political parties during the elections. It is so powerful than campaigning in electronic and print media. Ruling BRS party ahead of all parties in Telangana in getting its lion share of space in major electronic channels and print media. Telangana Chief Minister KCR’s speeches at public meetings, three meetings in a day, occupied major space in both electronic and print media.
A Srinivas, an electronic media journalist, said, “One must view or hear KCR’s speeches immediately after switching on the Telugu news channels. You should wait some time to hear the voice of Congress and BJP in those channels. The BRS reserved its live slots in all prime channels, which are airing his lengthy speeches. It is a ‘paid-package coverage’. In print media also BRS is ahead of getting more space. Congress and BJP are getting some coverage during the tour of its top leaders. As a ruling party, BRS had all advantages against the remaining political parties, particularly Congress”
Interestingly, major electronic media channels are giving more space to the ruling party leaders and damaging the Congress and speeches of its leaders. Most of the Congress leaders’ speeches and statements are being either ridiculed or misconstrued by BRS leaders, which will get prominence in these channels and papers. Apart from running Telugu and English newspapers besides news channel, BRS had another 50 web channels and websites in Telugu and English.
Social media and ‘word of mouth’ are helping the opposition parties and containing the damage to these parties to a large extent. Auto and cab-drivers, building workers, artisans, barbers, carpenters, tea-sellers, vendors, commuters, painters and political activists were among the campaigners of the parties through ‘word of mouth’. Majority of this workforce are helping the opposition parties a lot by talking more about the corruption of BRS leaders. T Sudhakar, a teacher, said, “The sinking of pillars of Laxmi barrage is also spreading through the ‘word of mouth’ campaigners. I heard the words in favour of Congress from these workforce while I was travelling to my work place in auto and buses. The faulty design of Kaleswaram Lift Irrigation Project, which is not given priority ib electronic and print media is being discussed by these ‘word of mouth’ campaigners. Congress had some relief after G Vivek joined in Congress and the party will get some mileage through V-6 and Velugu newspaper”.
The statements and messages of opposition parties are being campaigned in social media. Prime Post found ‘word of mouth’ impact in rural areas and outskirts of cities and towns. The six promises of the Congress party are also reaching the people through this platform. (eom)