After promulgation of the exit poll results on the evening of March 31, I listened carefully to the speeches of the participants of the election race – those who occupy the first two places and those who are outsiders. I am not going to analyze their speeches. Let the candidates’ political technologists do this. I want to record some of the communication lessons I have learned from the electoral process.
Lesson number one. In the mix of TV and the Internet, a TV has won. And it proved the thesis that the world is getting virtual – what you say is often more important than what you do. The Internet is not just Facebook. This is Instagram, Youtube where there are the simple language, the understandable visual range, the feeling of ‘your’ audience, and the compliance with its expectations. The following formats were found to be in demand. Without talks about the economy and the vision of the future of the country.
Lesson number two. Experience and achievements don’t work. We were shown this. The answers to the questions – here and now. The electorate is tired of promises to wait a bit more. The voters were talked about this from the point of view of the former “criminal power” and promises of the future “beautiful life”. That’s all, this rhetorics must be forgotten. Preferably, forever.
Lesson number three. Young voters go to elections. It suddenly turned out. They vote and stand in a queue. But all, except for one candidate Zelensky, ignored the communication with the youth in the format of communication with the youth from the point of the youth’s view and with the language of the youth. At the briefing, after the promulgation of the exit poll results, Petro Poroshenko, addressing the young people, warned them against the choice of domestic “Petrosian”. Seriously? Is it what the youth wanted to hear? To scare the young voters with Petrosian? They simply don’t know who he is!
Lesson number four. If you unite the think tanks with the hope that they will definitely take responsibility for communication with their supporters on their communication platforms, then don’t be happy with the illusion that you have already conquered the world. Rallying among the one owns, mocking at the potential supporters who suddenly commented something “out of track”, the happiness from that they are called to the president’s administration and are not allowed to take pictures, and self-indulgence with a sight for parliamentary elections – these all ended up with a big zilch. I believe, the think tanks who actively went to a pleasant communication with the incumbent president of Ukraine cared more about their own promotion than about anything else. It should be admitted. And the conclusions must be made.
Lesson number five. People need to be talked to. People feel and understand honest talk. Zelensky demonstrated this by his detached jocularity. No matter how it hurt to admit. “Yes, here I am, and I am not embarrassed for it”. People turned out to be ready to gather around the absence of meanings. Just at the peak of what was happening and what they didn’t perceive and didn’t understand.
Lesson number six. All failures and mistakes should be communicated immediately. Not in the next morning. Not after the medium temperature is settled down in the country. Not after all investigation into all topics is released. Not after the rubber pigs are scattered around the squares of the country. And yes, I am talking about communication, not about action. The police take care of the actions. If you are late with an explanation for an hour – you are late forever.
Lesson number seven. Unfortunately, the talks about danger and war no longer work. Our restaurants were overcrowded in 2014 when the volunteers were dying in Illovaisk. People get used to everything. This human nature. The fatigue and the will not to hear this annoying topic – prevail. And I have no answer to what to do about it.
Lesson number eight. The technology of supporting the incumbent power by the mayors of the big cities is no longer working. The mayors don’t risk anything, declaring texts on the support of the “president’s course”. The electorate of the mayors understands that this is just a game – so that Kyiv doesn’t bother and interfere. The mayors understand that in the frames of decentralization and the elective office, they don’t risk at all. Yes, and public rhetoric on one topic, and non-public communication with their teams on the other – two big differences, as they say, in Odesa.
Lesson number nine. The “hangouts for comrades”, prepared for the public, the calls to come to the debate and tell about the development of the country, mocking at the candidates are no longer working. The more the pressure, the more the resistance. Many candidates with their staff worked in the direction of leveling the rivals. And, as it turned out, with little success.
Lesson number ten. The voters seek for simple and clear solutions. And Zelensky meets expectation, hanging the billboards about that “it’s time to plant in the spring”. People want not money but justice.
Lesson – summary. Voters, like children, ran away to a safe distance and flipped the collective bird.