Social media will not replace traditional campaign methods – political analysts
from Bronte H. Lacsamana
Using social media during the new normal will not make traditional campaigning methods obsolete, political analysts and strategists said on Wednesday.
Experts exchanged views at a forum on campaign dynamics during the pandemic, which addressed issues of misinformation and disinformation and the diverse political involvement of Filipinos amid shifts in campaign strategies for the 2022 elections.
“The traditional methods still exist, but they will have to rely less on them for national candidates,” said Dennis C. Coronacion, president of the Philippine Political Science Association. “As for modern campaigning methods, they can get a good number of supporters, but the depth of engagement may not be as good.”
He attributed these shifts to campaign restrictions, including physical restrictions that prevented voters from attending events and travel restrictions that limited the number of public engagements for national candidates.
Angelito “Lito” T. Banayo, campaign strategist for presidential candidate Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso, agreed on the need to prepare for the pandemic but did not rely entirely on social media due to the lack of access for many.
“It’s true that the majority of young people are on social media, but seniors and people from rural areas are not yet on social media,” he said. “If you develop a campaign strategy, you have to distribute yourself evenly among the population.”
With regard to conducting online engagements, Mr. Coronacion added that the new normal is forcing candidates to “step out of their comfort zone and explore uncharted territory,” from using the services of vloggers, influencers and digital campaign staff Develop communication strategies for drawing that take advantage of the two-way nature of social media.
A pulse of Asia opinion poll The September study showed that nearly half (48%) of Filipino adults get their political news from the Internet.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Political science professor Maria Ela L. Atienza of the University of the Philippines Diliman pointed out that the media, academia and other stakeholders must be strict in fact-checking and educating voters.
Of all Filipino adults in the Pulse Asia poll who said they got their news from the internet, 44% said their source was Facebook, she recalled – where fake news and extreme polarization have drastically changed the information landscape.
She also warned of the challenges the pandemic itself poses for the elections: “There is a real risk of electoral reluctance and possible low turnout due to coronavirus fear and health protocol failure.”
A global one to learn by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), conducted in countries with national or sub-national elections in 2020 and 2021, found that voter turnout increased in 32 countries but decreased in 58 countries, with results from health protocols and depend on whether people felt safe.
Even so, pandemic-related issues could drive people to vote, according to Ms. Atienza, especially citizens dismayed by the management of the health crisis and being reached by creative local campaigns that sympathize with their struggles.
The spokesman for the Office of the Vice President (ÖVP) Ibarra “Barry” M. Gutierrez III shared the approach for the presidential campaign of Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo, who has found strength among youth online: own spheres. All we have to do now is provide them with the tools they need, such as online visuals and the right answers. ”
However, he also agreed with Mr Banayo’s opinion that age can be a misleading demographics, especially as socio-economic status plays an important role in accessing social media.
“The challenge is to identify segments within this broader segment that you can target your messages to,” he said.