Political Party Comms representatives at the DDP political parties workshop at Elangeni Hotel 26 Feb 2021.
New digital technologies, including social media, create a new paradigm in political campaigns. Movements powered by social media have toppled governments and helped others to win elections, giving it a role in the new generation of political marketing campaigns (Ayakonya, Cullen, Cullitz, 2013).
The Democracy Development Program, funded by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung hosted a workshop on communication for effective political campaigning. The workshop targeted Political Parties – their communications and social media personnel and was held at Elangening Hotel on 26 February 2021.
The objectives of the workshop were as follows:
Increase capacity of political parties to understand effective political communication
Utilize different social media platforms to understand the demographics, language, and related-targeting
How to influence and change narratives in online platforms
Improve the quality of political communication
ABC creating online events
The place and role of social media as a strategic marketing tool in politics is becoming increasingly important and inevitable. More specifically, it is becoming the tool of choice in political communication and has notably been used successfully to drive collective action in social movements with unprecedented goals.
Social media has been used in the political context in the following ways:
Building relationships – Social media allows for the building of such relationships and provides the opportunity to leverage existing networks in establishing credible and trust-based relationships (Harfoush 2009), hence increasing political participation and collective actions.
Campaign organization and communication – The building of communities on social media has become a norm for almost all political organizations and figures.
Political engagement – political engagement refers to the level at which a person or constituency is mobilized and inspired to participate in political processes (Dahlgren 2009).
Political crowdsourcing – crowdsourcing allows for the participation and contribution of the public in solving problems or achieving a task that would have required the services of a few highly trained professionals or employees of an organization only (Garrigos-Simon et al. 2012).