Towards shaping and communicating a political brand:
In the end of 2015, FNF Malaysia managed to engage two of our partners in Malaysia to participate IAF Seminar, entitled Towards shaping and communicating a political brand: the marketing of and campaigning with political ideas.
KUASA was represented by chief executive Praba Ganesan. The other Malaysian reprsentative was Dr Azlie from PKR. Asia had 2 reps from Indonesia, 1 rep each from Thailand, Tibet, Hong Kong and Pakistan. There were 26 persons in total. The session was between Nov 29 until December 11. Below is the origin report from Praba Ganesan.
This was a pilot programme and therefore what transpired would be used for future trainings.
The programme was very well constructed despite being first time run, under the facilitation of Wulf Pabst and Marike Groeneweld.
The Free Democratic Party was keenly connected to the content as the party went through a rebranding process after the 2013 elections. Therefore there was plenty of discussion about the branding of the party and also the various state wings.
We had guest speakers, the leaders of two states, the key election organiser for one state along with the main branding experts for the party as a whole after 2013. There was the addition of the liberal party`s overtures in Austria too.
The sessions went through the various steps in defining values, goals and outcomes with branding connected to the what, when and how of the party/product.
Three organisations from the 26 participants were selected to be presented on day 2 of the training as interesting case studies for the branding exercise. KUASA was one of the three organisations and we had already prepared our material for the presentation more than a week before the training started.
Almost all of the participants were interested in the unique nature of Malaysian politics but more so of the very different approach KUASA was undertaking voter engagement, assessing politicians/majority parties and keeping them alerted. What KUASA benefitted was the scrutiny and discussions around our organisation by the whole group and facilitators in the days after that. Therefore I was exposed to both key branding ideas, and more so expressly KUASA-related branding advisory.
It can help us in streamlining some of our efforts in the future to secure a better brand proposition to our stakeholders.
I was involved in developing an activism programme to increase home ownership in Hong Kong as final assignment. This had a huge social media component which is some of my core expertise.
In terms of field activities, we were taken for a day trip to Dusseldorf to meet the state leadership, followed by a Christmas Market visit in Cologne. During our first weekend we had an excursion to Stuttgart, which included a visit to the state office which was preparing for the March 2016 elections, a presentation from the new liberal party in Austria parading their new and fresh approach to showing change in their branding, followed by the presentation for the state campaign and also the 2013 branding exercise for the whole FDP party, plus a morning tour of the city and a visit to the Mercedes Museum. The whole visit took four days.
The end of the programme was on Dec 10, with a certificate presentation session.
The programme was good overall and is likely to have a strong impression on how we will conduct our business in 2016 and beyond.