While the party prepares to kickstart its pre-poll campaign in Karnataka, a team of 25 Congressmen and IT professionals are quietly creating a storm on social media in favour of the Congress. With a well-conceived four-layered structure, a target of 55,000 digitally empowered volunteers and a hierarchical process for information dissemination, the social media team of the Karnataka Congress is conquering the digital space with campaigns that have been quite successful in the recent past.
While the party is keen on engaging workers at booth level with micro committees, the social media team is parallelly building an army of digital ninjas for every booth across the state. “The idea is to have a digital youth for every booth. Our approach is four-layered with convenors at state, district, constituency and booth levels. The support we have been receiving from the party has added strength to the team,” said Srivatsa Y B, who heads the party’s social media cell in Karnataka. The party even has a fixed channel of communication that decides what leaders’ stance on issues should be and there is no room for confusion, those working with the social media cell said.
While the Congress’ state unit has an IT cell, the social media cell works as an independent entity. The content is locally created, relevant to state issues. The four-layered digital structure is mandated by the AICC to ensure a geographical spread of information. The party aims to enrol 55,000 digitally empowered volunteers who are capable of handling Whatsapp groups, Facebook pages and Twitter handles before the assembly elections in 2018. The well manned and managed team was non-existent until September this year but is here to stay for a long time, say Congress leaders.
Siddaramaiah’s son a key member of social media team
“The BJP used social media very well in 2014, not just for their propaganda but also to promote misinformation and misled the people. We had to change the narrative and ensure that truth was conveyed. Ours is an organic team that is made up of volunteers and they are here to stay. We have 2019 coming up too,” said Dinesh Gundu Rao, working President, KPCC.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s son Dr Yathindra too has been working with the social media team, said a Congress leader. While the party has hired professionals to create content, handle design and graphics, it is the volunteers, according to the party, who handle operations and take the campaigns forward. Starting December, the social media cell will begin highlighting the achievements of the Siddaramaiah government.
Its lackadaisical approach to social media campaigns in the 2014 general elections cost the Congress dearly and the party does not intend to make the same mistakes. “Today the party is revitalised, full of energy and younger leaders are emerging at state and national levels. Confidence levels are great in Karnataka thanks to the Chief Minister and the government’s performance. Our social media team, campaigns and their success is reflective of the same,” Dinesh Gundu Rao added.