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Friday, November 22, 2013

Is Modi’s Campaign headed for a PR disaster?

Recent events have cast a shadow on the Modi juggernaut. First, repeated wrong quoting of facts and figures and then, the invasion of privacy of a Girl have all put a question mark on Modi campaign managers and his PR team.

I am a Modi supporter but that does not make me deaf and blind. Obvious repeated mistakes on first data and then history: looks like the Modi campaign is not very well prepared. It is true that Modi has great oratory skills and is able to connect to the people and ignite their imagination, but that does not mean that we turn a blind eye.

A cross section of his supporters would say that the mistakes are due to the fact that he does not orate prepared speeches but speaks extempore. But a man whom we see as our future PM cannot have a seemingly casual attitude and accept such lame excuses.

Besides this, the recent controversy of keeping tabs on a Girl using government machinery makes one queasy. The reaction of the BJP  is along expected lines. They have blunted the allegation by showing that the tabs were at the behest of the Father.

However the whole episode when linked to others like Godhara, intolerance towards other senior leaders, over the top self propaganda, etc. leaves one feeling and asking whether we are right in our equivocal support to Modi. One is forced to think if we are sure that we are not making a mistake in electing a person whose personality shows signs of being Machiavellian and who sometimes appears to show the traits of being a Narcissist.

Herein lies the challenge for the Campaign managers and the PR team of Modi. 

It might be true that the communication team may be aware of these issues but Modi might not be listening, but then again if they do not tackle these challenges they might appear to be winning the battle but will risk loosing the War. 

It is time Modi looked at his team of professionals and sought and followed their advise.

The Campaign Mangers must make sure that every speech the Modi makes from hereon must be thoroughly vetted allowing for no more Faux pas.  Modi must be careful that in his zeal for going extempore, he does not lose sight of the ground reality.

The PR managers have so far done a great job in capturing the mind space, but this advantage can easily turn into a disadvantage. With increased mind space, they must realize that every action and word of Modi is open to the greatest scrutiny. They have almost created a Demi God with an image in people's mind that Modi is infallible and he has a cure for every ill that plagues India. This is a highly risky proposition. 

It would be better for Modi and his supporters if the PR machinery toned down the Modi image to a more human level. Because if they manage that, then mistakes will be overlooked and forgotten by the people. If they succeed in this then Modi will become truly unstoppable.  They should remember that “God’s are not expected to make mistakes whereas to make mistakes is being Human”

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