2013-05-06

I Wish for Smarter Campaigns in Malaysian Politics

Well, the approach PR and BN (I'll just talk about both together) have taken in the past is really old fashioned... it's really populist in many places, and that's just weak and reactionary.

When you do proper psy-ops whether it's for business or war, you really want to have your target audience cornered... your arguments have to be that good. In order to get that to happen, you need to anticipate every strategic move that your competition is making (come on, is it that hard to figure out how they're going to slander each of your main facemen/women?) and then to spin it appropriately, or if you can't, to move the unspinnable slander out of the limelight. This is just one example.

In general, the idea is that human beings like to pride themselves on "choice" - but your job as a mover of crowds is to provide them with an experience (technically, a sequence of information) that facilitates their "choice" to arrive at your intended destination. You have to be at least 3-steps ahead, so that when you present the audience with Situation 1, you know their options, and then you place Situation 2 after that, so that they arrive where you want them to in Situation 2... the layering just increases depending on how smartass your audience is, but everybody, ultimately, has limits on how smart they think they are, before they decide that they are either

a) confused (you didn't execute this well) or

b) decided (you executed this well if they're decided the way you wanted them to be decided).

Ah, the study of rhetoric.

Come on guys - your campaigns should last years, not just have two or three acts that go into motion a year before elections... also, I'm expecting Obama-esque stats-ops too, next time.

Message I sent to one kid who was calling for a greater focus on PR quantitative strategies: "I can't comment on your post... but STATA?! Dafuq, you can do everything you need and more in Excel, or on a desktop calculator for that matter... lol. Have fun leading the PR data charge with OKM; expect BN to put a little effort into this too. Also, your post focused on quantitative strategies... you have to admit, for the non-quant nerds, there's plenty of non-quant communications strat that could be done much better too. Keep it up. Your beliefs matter to your work. Abaci? Chinchillas calculators might work too. Have fun anyway. Don't imbalance the quant and non-quant components of strategy, since the latter ultimately determines the former if you have a mass of non-quantitatively literate voters."

I think it's important for each coalition / party to have a single-point of contact for data liberation (to the extent that each institution is willing to open up its data). This will make it easier to route researchers to the right sources for data and collaboration. This is a very basic fact of building research ecosystems. I must mention this to the relevant people if and when I next meet them.

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