19 November 2012

Uganda: State Can Benefit From the Obama Campaign Strategy


UGANDA'S last presidential campaigns could have run more smoothy if we had picked a leaf from the American- styled campaigns.

It is high time we changed strategy during campaigns, be it presidential, parliamentary or district.

The Barack Obama camp not only capitalised on Mitt Romney's flaws but also had one big weapon-data.

They realised the value of in-depth, research which they used to their advantage. The Obama team knew exactly which sex, ethnic and age-groups dominated in a particular state.

This information was used to tailor messages appealing to those particular people. During campaigns, leaders should offer insightful solutions.

The Ugandan youth would be delighted to hear about better education, health and job prospects in their respective districts.

Interest free start-up capital and assured markets for manufactured products are some of the things that would sound like music to their ears.

The use of money to woo voters at the last minute should be abandoned as this only sows seeds of restlessness once the elections are completed.

Those contesting for leadership positions should hire research team that will be field-based. The researchers' job will be to find out population concerns, which should be collated for sincere action.

This will ease the candidates work as promises made during campaigns will be in line with research findings.

The information collected by regions can then be used to coin regional campaigns and manifestos.

This is very effective as the messages will be closer to the people's hearts.

The Obama camp in Chicago was not only able to advise the president on which states to concentrate, but also predict which voters would have a change of heart on voting day.

A well-grounded research strategy should be the new approach to future campaigns.

Writer is a public health specialist

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