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From Street Dramatist to World’s Most Influential Personality’ 2014 – Arvind Kejriwal

Posted on: April 29, 2014

 

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Importance of social media in social & political reforms

The traditional ways to spread the word through TV, radio and newspaper advertisement for a social reform still exist; in fact they do a better job in many contexts. But with the advancement in social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – one can get the message out to the millions much quickly at cheaper rates to a well targeted audience.

Arvind Kejriwal is a prime example of success that can be achieved through a strategic, comprehensive and all round approach to stay in touch with fans, followers and media.  Utilizing social media channels such as Youtube channels, Facebook and Twitter, Aam Aadmi Party led by Arvind Kejriwal has been directly or indirectly able to reach 1.2 billion people of India with the message of ‘India Against Corruption’.

India Against Corruption Movement

In 2011, a group of social activist came together to launch a movement called India Against Corruption (IAC) to mobilize the masses in support of a strong anti-corruption bill that on passing will make India corruption free. Their proposal for creation of strong anti-corruption bill would have had the powers to arrest and charge government officials accused of corruption.

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In late 2012, there was a split in the IAC movement caused by differences of opinion among the central figures regarding its lack of practical success and how much this might have been due to its unwillingness to be directly engaged in the political system. These differences, leading to Arvind Kejriwal and some others splitting to form the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in order to clean the system from within.

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Ideology of Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)

Arvind Kejriwal believes that through Swaraj (self governance), the government will be directly accountable to the people instead of higher officials. The Swaraj model lays stress on self governance, community building and decentralization. Strong anti corruption law on the other hand will help sustain Swaraj model.

Role of social media in spreading the message of Arvind Kejriwal to masses

There were several challenges ahead of Arvind Kejriwal in fighting against the mighty opposition parties. Starting from scratch, without any resources, it seemed almost impossible to win the elections and make the necessary amendments in the constitution. Financial and human resources are usually very tight for a new-born party, who wants to fight elections with white money, so the low-cost social media platforms give an amazing opportunity to spread the word and stay in touch with fans, followers and media. In the past, the model was different: you had to cut a hefty check on an ad campaign. If one knows how to skillfully tackle it then it can be really effective.

Kejriwal pulled together a bunch of interns to form an IT cell, who will manage every aspect of social media communication. Based on the target audience engagement with social media, Kejriwal chose Youtube, Facebook and Twitter as the primary channels of communication. Most of the India’s vote bank falls under 18 – 35 years bracket.

IT cell found an opportunity to leverage YouTube channel as party’s Live TV channel. Party started to create and broadcast AAP related news, which mostly covered press conferences, speeches, political rallies, debates and party advertisement.

1000 Facebook pages were created for every state, constituency and AAP candidate to engage with the locals, post local political developments and publish tailor-made constituency-wise manifestos to create effective campaign. This allowed party to bridge the gap between the political party and the local voters. AAP quickly made changes to their strategy depending on the voices of the people. IT cell worked 24×7 to address the questions of voters on party’s vision, manifesto and stand on critical issues of the country.

Twitter was used mostly by the senior leaders of the party to connect with mainly fans and followers. It was mostly used to clarify stand on on-going issues.

In one year’s time, the whole movement turned into a crowdsourcing platform where every supporter of AAP started sharing videos, posts and images to build the momentum. Today there are billions of FB posts, blogs, tweets and videos about the vision, mission and working of Arvind Kejriwal.

Soon Arvind Kejriwal was able to gather support from sizeable share of voters in the election through social media, public rallies and TV debates. One year after the party’s formation, Arvind Kejriwal fought the election, won the elections and formed the government. He made a history by forming the government in the very first election of any party.

Until few years ago he was unknown to most of us but last week he won one of the most prestigious award, World’s Most Influential Personality’ 2014.

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1 Response to "From Street Dramatist to World’s Most Influential Personality’ 2014 – Arvind Kejriwal"

[…] From Street Dramatist to World’s Most Influential Personality’ 2014 – Arvind Kejriwal […]

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