Nationalist Congress Party

case study

Sharad Pawar

Political campaigns with elections round the corner in India is a high-decible, high-energy activity where each aspirant tries to outdo the other in terms of lung and limb power. Past achievements are tom-tommed with plenty of promises for the present and the future.

In this backdrop, BJP’s Lok Sabha win of 2014 brought a paradigm shift in the way elections campaigns were run. For the first time social media as we know it, was extensively used to bring forth the party’s views and plans for the future as also chest-thumping its existing achievements. Another trend that came about was that of creating a cult around one person and promoting him/ her as a panacea for all problems local or national- all this on the back of a shrill, high-decible campaign, a BJP election campaign hallmark!

For parties like the NCP , despite their share of achievements which included 2 successive terms at the helm of PMC, the response to BJP’s challenge seemed ambivalent with hardly any acknowledgement of these new trends, mediums and realities. In the backdrop of these eventualities came the Pune Municipal Corporation Elections of 2017 which finally concluded on the 19th of February 2017.

Edge Createch knew they had a Goliath to fight. Bracing up for the fight, teams were assigned and strategies formed. An aspect of this campaign was the regular interaction with the party on an almost daily basis. A line which became obvious was to promote the good work the party did in its decade in power.
An ensemble of these posts was uploaded on relevant social media sites at regular intervals resulting in sizable likes and following. Some of these posts found their way as out-door giant hoardings at strategic locations in the city which too helped spread the good word.
These social media posts in addition to informing also questioned the public to elicit right responses leading to increased engagement on the party’s SM page. It didn’t end here! On-line quizzes were also held which too lead to increased engagements online.
An interesting off-shoot to the campaign was the extensive creation and use of films and videos which brought before the people of Pune NCP’s achievement as also its stand on topical issues. These also gathered people’s responses to relevant questions as also their suggestions to various issues thus creating the right engagement in the minds of the viewers.

Success can sometimes be relative which it certainly was in the present case. BJP’s victory at the Centre gave it a sort of legitimacy which was hard to counter. Despite this, the NCP managed to stand its ground and was adjudged the 2nd largest party. As for Edge Createch’s efforts, its success can be judged by the likes the posts garnered online! Days after the elections concluded, people did remember and appreciate these on a purely objective basis!