Friday, 23 Nov, 6.36 pm PenNews

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Cong ratchets up its digital strategy in Raj, C'garth; makes headway over BJP on social media

New Delhi, Nov 23 : Fighting a tough electoral battle with the BJP in the Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Mizoram, the Congress has ratcheted up its digital campaign and has been making a headway over its rival in the social media space.

In the state of Chhattisgarh, where it is pitted in a 'neck-and-neck battle with the BJP, and in Rajasthan , where it is looking to unseat the Vasundhara Raje government, the Congress has in recent weeks been scoring major strides over the BJP in its various social media campaigns.

For instance, in the Ambikapur constituency of Chhattisgarh,, the Congress has been making a mark on the social media with its campaigns like '15 Saal me sawaal', 'JeetBo Chhattisgarh', 'Badhte Chalo Ambikapur' and 'Sarguja with Rahul'. The run-up to the two phase elections in Chhattisgarh saw the Congress campaigns '15 Saal me sawaal', 'JeetBo Chhattisgarh' , 'Badhte Chalo Ambikapur' and 'Sarguja with Rahul' trending on social media in the

Congress bastion of Ambikapur, where CLP leader T S Singh Deo is looking for a hat-trick in these election.

In fact, those associated with the campaigns say that a relatively-lesser known place such as Ambikapur has gained national recognition, thanks largely to Mr Deo's social media prowess.

Speaking about the campaigns, Naresh Arora of Designboxed, the company which has been handling the social media strategy , told UNI, 'In Chhattisgarh, we initiated a unique public participation campaign for Congress Party called the 'Jan Ghoshna Patra', which aimed at amassing suggestions and inputs from the people of the state to frame the party's election manifesto. This was a 'never been done before' exercise in India, where a campaign defined the essence of democracy by making people the primary stakeholders in the representation of their aspirations. The figures of engagement for this campaign have been stellar with around 1.1 lakh followers on Facebook and have crossed 3.1 million ever since its launch.

This campaign was followed by the '15 Saal Kayi Sawaal' campaign, where issues from ground level were taken up and showcased in the form of videos and graphics and generated exceptional figures of engagement.

Interestingly, BJP could not counter even a single issue highlighted by us in this campaign, which was based upon extensive research work regarding 15 years of BJP's governance.'

'Apart from the Jan Ghoshna Patra campaign, we are also spearheading the 'JeetBo Chhattisgarh' campaign which highlights the pretty evident sentiment of the people of the state, who are on the path of victory with Congress Party's progressive vision, which is being copiously reflected both online as well as offline. Also post the launch of Congress Party's manifesto, we floated the 'Jan Ghoshna Patra Ke 36 Laksh' showcasing the 36 main points of the manifesto in the form of short videos, which have made a great impact with innumerable shares on social media from all quarters. We have also been heading campaigns for Chhattisgarh CLP leader and Ambikapur MLA Sh T S Singh Deo, such as his development campaigns on digital media under the banner 'Badhte Chalo Ambikapur'and youth oriented campaigns. We also run a talk show for Sh.Singh Deo called ' Chhattisgarh Ki Baat Baba Ke Saath' which has also seen consistent progression in engagements and has massive popularity for its ease of addressing public queries,'Arora said.

Considering social media has traditionally been BJP's expertise, consistent trending of Congress' hashtags is showing that party has amplified its digital media game.

In the state of Rajasthan too, the Congress has been making a headway over the BJP on social media with campaigns like 'Rajasthan Ka Report Card'

Launched amidst much fanfare in Jaipur recently, by PCC President Sachin Pilot, Congress Party's 'Rajasthan Ka Report Card' is showing noteworthy results.

Build upon the premise of highlighting the performance of BJP represented constituencies as well Vasundhara Raje Govt's work done in the past 5 years, this campaign has registered some truly remarkable engagement figures.

Known for its social media expertise, BJP Rajasthan has around 8 lakh followers as compared to 29000 followers of Rajasthan Ka Report Card campaign on Facebook, but in terms of engagement figures, Rajasthan Ka Report Card has 6.1lakh hits as compared to BJP's 1.2 lakh from 2 November to 11 November, clearly emerging as a sure shot winner!

Talking about the campaign, Mr Arora says,'In Rajasthan we launched two campaigns- Jan Ghoshna Patra and Rajasthan Ka Report Card, but the challenge here was to create an authentic platform for discussions in a small window of time, considering the approaching elections. Jan Ghoshna Patra Rajasthan again aimed at giving a platform to various voices of the state to express their expectations from Congress Party's manifesto, which went on to receive record breaking engagement hits within a few days of its launch.

With 49,000 followers in just 14 days, this campaign has registered 3.2 million hits which speak for the level of public participation. Rajasthan Ka Report Card on the other hand is a novel concept of showcasing the performance of BJP represented constituencies as well as the overall performance of Vasundhara Raje Government in Rajasthan. Backed by thorough research on ground level, this campaign highlights the issues persisting in each constituency put forth by the people themselves. This campaign has around 44k followers on Facebook, with a massive 3.9 million engagement hits in just a fortnight!'

One of the reasons for this campaign to do well and register with the public is the thorough amount of research and homework done by the Congress In bringing out local issues and concerns pertaining to particular constituencies, showcasing the depth of understanding of issues- something which Congress Party is not quite known for.

Mr Arora said the common denominator in all these campaigns has been the endeavour to provision spaces for maximum public participation for democracy to function as an authentic two way street.

Asked if he felt that the social media success of the various campaigns run by the Congress in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh reflect the public sentiments in these states, Mr Arora said his experience with running social media campaigns in Punjab and UP Assembly elections showed that trends in the social media generally reflect the situation on the ground. (UNI)

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