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Why are political parties and election candidates interested in the political consulting agencies ?

Why are political parties and election candidates interested in the political consulting agencies ?

Politics is the lifeline by which elected representatives carry out functions of the people through governance. An election can make or break a party’s destiny. In India, every five years, there is a general election and even states have their representatives elected to public life. Any election requires a cohesive strategy for victory. Large budgets are allocated by political parties for election campaigning. Every year in India, there is an increase in the budget amount which is allocated for an election. National and regional parties have their objectives chalked out way before election season.

 However, what entails a successful political campaign strategy that brings voters to the table is the big question? Do political organizations have the wherewithal to strategize effectively to win? Sometimes, there can be a hit or a miss too! That is why political parties rely on political consulting agencies for better reach and success.

Political parties, individual candidates and even independents seek the help of an established organization to carry out their objectives. The reason why political campaigning is so complex in a country like India is because of the vast repertoire of strategies, which requires implementation in every region as the political narrative unfolds. The execution has to be done simultaneously across geographies in all constituencies. Political parties do have limitations in terms of reach and effect, that they can carry out in this regard. Hence, specialists who are experienced in the electoral process carry out the planning and execution on behalf of the clients brief and objectives.

         There are a number of advantages working with political consulting agencies-

  • Political parties do have specific objectives: In targeting a particular vote-bank, influencing and swing factors, caste and demographic analysis, public opinion and narrative strategy. These factors are all ad-hoc and require specialized targeting through planning and implementation. The advantages that political parties have in working with agencies is great. There are specialists who carry out these strategies in every region while a political party does have limitations when approaching a voter since there might be chances of backfiring.
  • National elections do have a thumping enthusiasm in India among youth. In India, where there are first-time voters, agencies can target youth specific messages at these new voters. Well crafted messages aimed at millennials by psychographic segmentation of citizens along traditional and social media can definitely boost campaign effectiveness. This speciality lies predominantly with political consulting firms and political parties can leverage out of these organizations.
  • There are new technologies combined with traditional media which can deliver an impact to the overall marketing mix. Traditional media has its advantages but it also has its limits. Combining traditional media along with new technologies can have a better target setting rates towards others. This is another advantage of working with a political consulting firm, as they are ahead of the game in using new technologies which can definitely deliver results.
  • Public relations and crisis communication are not everyone’s cup of tea. A full-blown mishap in the media can create havoc in various constituencies. A political consulting firm would have PR specialists along with crisis communicators who would diffuse the negative situation and produce a counter-narrative to the false information being spread. This has a big impact on vote-banks in various constituencies. Specialized political consulting agencies have PR managers and crisis handlers on their team.
  •  Marketing initiatives on the ground require a different approach altogether. There needs to be a relay on the ground in tandem with the team that is strategizing. Political parties cannot completely achieve this on their own. Hence, Political consulting firms have an advantage in this regard. Setting up events, talking to voters, help in conducting rallies, diffusion of messages etc., are the objectives usually carried out by political consulting agencies.
  • Back end market research of voter-behaviour and constituency specific research in every region is also not the forte of many independents. Hence, they rely on consulting firms. Political consulting firms usually have an edge in terms of market research as they deal with various clients throughout the year. An insider’s eye on things can definitely help independent candidates, by bringing voters into their fold.

           There are many reasons, as to why political parties rely on specialized firms. These specialized agencies have expertise in terms of marketing strategy and reach. They carry out a multipronged approach to campaigning and elections. With different people having expertise in their team, they definitely bring a new outlook to the campaign life-cycle. Many a time, political parties have limitations while approaching the voter directly, but specialized agencies create an environment for voters to swing things in favour of the candidate. This specialized field is largely in the domain of political consulting firms.

          India has so many political parties, and every party has a competitor. A weak party would definitely require support and help from these agencies to stand out ahead. In our country, voter behaviour is a complex phenomenon. Voters say one thing and do another while voting for a candidate. Hence, political parties usually seek the help of an agency to carry out their mission towards election campaigning. A right plan and execution strategy can do wonders, and why shouldn’t political parties use the help of these agencies in spreading their messages? After all, a better understanding of our political leaders by the voters only builds trust, and agencies can definitely bridge the existing gap that exists today.

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