On Covid, why the Centre needs a communication strategy

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The government underestimates the big part of the Indian mainstream media, which some of the ruling party leaders are seen as related to the old “ecosystem” congress and referring to “Lutyens’ Media”, famous

PM Narendra Modi.
PM Narendra Modi.

The Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi is universally recognized as a Communicator of Par-Excellence. But since he was in power in 2014, the government’s communication strategy has become a subject of intense discussion and withdrawn polarized response.

The government underestimated the large part of India’s mainstream media, which some of the ruling party leaders were seen as related to the “ecosystem” of the old Congress and referred to as “media Lutyens”, famous. This is, further, manifest in expenses with a conventional post from media advisors at the Prime Minister’s office and stopped the practice of bringing journalists as part of the PM group on official foreign visits. PM Modi also did not hold a single press conference, so far, in terms of seven years.

The impression that was delivered was that Mr Modi believed that he had been chosen as PM despite the mainstream media, which he saw had conducted a sustainable campaign against him for 12 years since Gujarat Riots in 2002 (incidentally, the opposition did not agree and blame the same media to allow the increase in mod to , in the classic example of how the same situation can be considered so different from the opposite side). PM Modi prefers to communicate directly with citizens, discuss the heads of mainstream journalists through social media, radio or digital vehicles such as my Indian Gov and Narendra Modi application. Most of the messaging is also intended for political speech, which remembers our eternal election system, offers many opportunities.

If the results of the selection and polls of popularity are indexes, PM Modi’s media strategy has worked well. Although there may be disappointment between several prosperous parts of the community, businessmen, intelligence – the essential constituency swells when the 2019 general election is proven. There is a loss of sheen in its international image, because a series of domestic initiatives that are not understood outside, and because of the tendency to put all right-wing leaders with the same brush as Donald Trump, especially during Covid management. But Indian stature has risen substantially at the global stage for PM Modi to worry about this. With international institutions and economists who project two-digit economic growth, India seems to have passed the Covid-19 storm better than the estimated many people. So, everything looks Hunky-Dory until the second tidal wave Covid-19 arrives and in a short time swallowing the nation.

Even though no one can prophesy on the second wave scale and malignancy, the government captured is completely not ready. In 2020, the virus arrived in India slower than in the West. It gave us time to unite our actions, even though it was far from something close to what was needed. However, India has been better than many other countries on the one hand – it is communication.

PM led this effort from the front – handling the nation’s moral and built through various creative ways (although ridiculed by the critics) such as Janata’s curfew and praised Corona Warriors’ work. There is a daily briefing by the government. Arogoa Setu application, although not stupid, launched to track infection. Transparent dashes are made to track the spread of disease, recovery and death and resource mobilized – hospital beds, doctors and health care workers. The National Disaster Management Law was called and the National Kuncian was applied.

Although dislocations and severe disorders, there are monitoring and central advisers continuously removed from the home ministry based on real time feedback about situations throughout the country. The nation goes into war mode even when it deals with a serious face with China in the north.

Cut to 2021, and it is a different world at all. There is a real massacre in all cities and rural areas that cannot stand reps. Scene of death and continuous competitive destruction in national and international media. No family has not been touched by a virus in one form or another. Almost every Indian loses someone in their circle. Along with the smell of burial funading, public anxiety blew the wind. The government is at the end of the recipient of the most Mordan criticism faced since its formation. Some have called this worst year in Indian Independent History.

Rumors fly thick and fast in any crisis. Often it is difficult to filter facts from fiction. If the problem is localized, it is possible to isolate the flow of information. However, when the country caught fire, quietly not a choice, especially in this digital era when news runs at the speed of light. No one understands this is better than PM Modi. Therefore, the relative silence at this point is a mystory.

PM has interacted with the ministers and main officials, with the latest to be conferences with district judges on Thursday, and their interactions with frontline workers in Varanasi on Friday, where he expressed his deep sadness for this wave disadvantage. But this does not have a direct connection with very skilled residents of PM. His de-facto command as Minister of Home Amit Shah is almost not visible or heard in public, at least not since the West Bengal campaign when both of them are at the forefront.

However, it was not as if the government was immune to criticism. His sensitivity was reflected in the reaction of barbed bureaucrats and Haruguing party spokesman. There are several government defenses put out by a peripheral spin doctor and those who still have faith in the leadership of Narendra Modi. But, they are not cogent or effective. By all accounts, the mode government seems to lose the narrative war.

In every crisis – small or large, both in the family, organization or government – there will be a down to fish in troubled waters. Some of them might be pure mercenaries, while others are only opportunist. In the corporate crisis, agents are often planted by competitors or may come from internal and external stakeholders who are not happy with management. In the same way, when it comes to the government, there may be opposition or external force that works to weaken its efforts. This is part of the game and must be handled professionally. There is little point in raising conspiracy theories and living in rejection.

The main responsibility of the leaders during the crisis is to instill trust among people. Bridges between two cs – from the crisis and confidence – are third c, communication. Effective communication is built in a set of 3 cs – must be continuous, consistent and credible. This is a full time job and cannot be submitted to the amateur motley circuit. Being reactive and the petulant is half of the game that is missing. It may be difficult to modify public opinion but it is possible to moderate it.

Thus, instead of writing editor editors of foreign newspapers to the editor of our foreign newspaper, embassies and consulates we will succeed to reach important media members and influencers to place official positions in perspective. This can be done by press officers on our foreign mission or even with the help of an expert media relations agent.

A similar approach needs to be followed at home. It will be naive to believe that everyone will come to support the government holder. But even if someone manages to cross point to the side, it can make bandwidth to overcome real problems. Bureaucrat media training and ministers are a good place to start – but not if it creates the impression that something dangerous is being done publicly. Influence must be obtained, not demanded.

The government needs to have a communication strategy not for its own survival but for the protection of its citizens of unwanted disorders and sabotages in national disasters. There is no reason to apologize about “perception management”. The wrong perception can not only reduce the organization and the government but also endanger citizens, whose fate is intrinsically related to the tragedy, by agreeing to rescue efforts.

Therefore, the Prime Minister must speak for the interests of the 1.4 billion Indians who have recognized their faith in Him, and gives them a realistic view of how we get here, where we are now and what is there in front of. This will serve the regime and residents well.

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