How does Political PR Consultancy work?

Prashant Kishore became one of the most highlighted names as a political strategist or political PR professional and his organisation I-PAC found popularity and credibility after 2014 when his client Shree Narendra Modi ji became the honorable Prime Minister. He later worked with other political figures and parties too and till date in 2024 after his retirement as a political strategist, he is the most famous name in the niche. His views and opinions are taken seriously by the media and corporate and political stakeholders. He has gained a thought leader and industry leader status in the political consultancy niche and is one of the biggest opinion makers.

Many political consultancy are operating across the nation. Some have ideological alignment and some prefer to use their skill set neutrally and serve competing parties from time to time. Personal ethics may vary from each consultancy and founder and for a time influence the narratives and social fabric of the region.

Usually, the employees appointed or hired at such consultancies are seasonal and contractual part-time ones as it is a seasonal nature job. MLAs, aspiring MLAs, Members of Parliament, Cabinet Ministers, and aspiring Cabinet Ministers and MPs are usually the clients of these specialised consultancies. Many a time, the hired employees need to know a particular regional language due to the nature of the job. The number of employees in each department would vary due to budget constraints.

The consultancy would have a social media team that would work on graphic designing, social media posting, social media scripts, managing supportive pages, and everything else under the umbrella of Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing.  Additionally, at times there are photographers and video teams too who would click relevant content.

There is a tele-calling team that would understand the local or regional constituency. A questionnaire for the survey is prepared to understand the sentiments of the people. They operate similarly to a telemarketer job function. Based on the feedback and data gathered, an analysis can be made of the possible election outcomes. Mostly this helps in creating a primary research data.

PR Team gives plans on campaigns they can come up with, draft content (speeches, social media content, media content, etc.), plan media activities, handle media queries, solve misinformation issues, invite media to relevant events, connect with other stakeholders to align with events or plans and make a tactical approach. Media monitoring and providing suggestions is a daily task too. At times PR team also co-ordinates with the social media team and other teams to align the project plans.

The Field Associate team works at the ground level. They are involved in voter mapping, meeting the party workers or associates daily, and understanding the ground realities. FA team also participates in the events of the ground team to understand the scenario, note their observations, and coordinate with the relevant stakeholders. At times, the political candidate team provides IT and App support to make this function easy. Usually, the Field Associate team is provided with vehicles and fuel, mobile handsets, and sim cards to make the function easy.

There is at least one data analyst expert who compiles the data regularly and makes reports and analyses. There would also be an admin professional and HR professional to look after salaries, records, accounts, looking after food facilities, accommodation, and other relevant functions. Usually the HR and Admin professional acts like an internal communications team member.

A Project Manager overlooks the entire function of all the teams, monitors their daily activities, sets a direction for the project based on the client brief, keeps the team motivated and aligned, and is responsible for everything in front of the client and the consultancy owner.

Research is the basic task of all the departments and employees involved in the project.

The command room is meant for the Project Manager and Consultancy owners. There is a War Room meant for the social media team, PR team, and data analyst team. Tele Calling team is provided with a separate room or office setup.

All the members involved in the project have to abide by the code of conduct, rules and regulations, and legal compliance of the region and the nation during the entire course of the campaign.

The client team needs to coordinate and engage with the consultancy team too daily to keep the operations functioning smoothly, relevant, updated, and impactful. The flow of information from the client team and project team plays a crucial role in giving clarity, understanding the expectations, setting a tone, understanding the ground realities, and coming up with solutions.

With my limited knowledge, brief experience, and small conversations with domain experts, I have understood this.

The consultancy can’t guarantee a win in elections for the candidate or political party. One thing different from other general PR consultancies for political consultancies is that the client doesn’t need market share or sales but the trust of the voters. If the concerned political candidate or party wins, the credit doesn’t belong to the consultancy team alone but to the concerned personality as well because in the end it is a teamwork based on partnership.

Personal ethics should be given a high priority in this profession. It is the duty of all the people working on the project to make sure that it is a PR project and doesn’t turn into propaganda.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Devesh Purohit
Devesh Purohit is the proprietor of Legacy Matrix based out of India. Devesh is the researcher, developer and publisher of an intellectual property on Legacy Building for brands. His IP concept for Legacy Building approach distinguishes him from all the PR Consultancies in the world. Academically, Devesh is a Gold-medalist in MAPR from Hinduja College. For his IP, Devesh has drafted 4 original theories.

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