Hashim Muhammad Suleiman, PhD
The number one thing politicians underate in Nigeria is communication. They assume communication is all about political noise making and media boisterous banter.
They think and act as if communication is peripheral activity in their campaign affairs.
That’s why you find major political parties having their communication package headed by non communication experts.
That’s why both the parties and those heading their communication strategy assume and act as publicists instead of communicators. Publicists that more often than not miscommunicate.
In developed democracies, communication is a major component of politicking that they don’t toy with it by appointing non-professionals to head it. Political communication is a complete package of which publicity is just an infinitesimal part of.
For instance, the APC Presidential Campaign Deputy Spokesperson is currently jittery over some little Negative Campaign Advertising about a video of her principal that she willingly released. Well, a trained mass communicator, not a publicist, knows what will lead to negative publicity against his/her principal and would not partake in popularising it and then rush a follow-up image restoration.
A political communicator doesn’t do debates that people clap and forget in a jiffy. A communicator gives voters easily believable and acceptable soundbytes and relatable visuals that inch up to the desires and dreams of electorates
In same rhetorics, the PDP Presidential Campaign Spokesman has also become a media talking head that equates debates and needless arguments in front of camera to communication. He’s become an unprepared talking head in front of cameras.
At the expense of blowing our trumpets, only a trained communicator knows the place of message integration, message synergy, message impact, research based messaging, message ownership, positive branding, persuasive message techniques, media relations, mind-engineering, positive reinforcement, and message coherence as needs of political communication.
In fact, a trained and expert communicator knows subtle routes that make boisterous banters unnecessary. A communicator not only put pictures in voters’ heads but also colour such pictures in pleasing motifs that bring voters closer to his principal.
A political communicator doesn’t do debates that people clap and forget in a jiffy. A communicator gives voters easily believable and acceptable soundbytes and relatable visuals that inch up to the desires and dreams of electorates.
Indeed, as of now, what the two major contenders have as spokespersons are robbed debators that specialise in using non- political registers to populate our airwaves with angry banters that leave voters bewildered, angry and gasping for air as to who’s a better political choice between the political gladiators.
This shouldn’t be so. A political communicator should help voters navigate their ways towards voting his principal. He shouldn’t be doing banters that become clogs on the wheels of his principal’s progression towards political victory.
Conclusively, anyone tasked with heading political communication package should be a communication expert, not one that miscommunicate with voters and should not politically miscommunicate about his principal.
. Hashim Muhammad Suleiman, PhD, can be reached at email@example.com