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Opinions of Friday, 6 July 2018

Columnist: Kojo Ampah

'Time Aso' mantra, a reason for Ntim’s imminent defeat

As we all get ready for tomorrow’s very important decision as to the direction of our Great Party for the next four years, it is getting very obvious with each second passed that Mr. Steve Ntim ain’t gonna get elected as the National Chairman, truth be told.

Though a very fine gentleman and a loyal steward of our party, Ntim’s handlers made a colossal mistake with messaging and positioning. It is rather too late to attempt to resuscitate his dying campaign with this piece. In its stead, I will advice future candidates on the importance of Message and positioning in electioneering campaign.

1. Leadership

Voters look out for Leadership. After all this is all what it’s about. A clearly stated vision as to where the party will be headed to for the next four years is a key decision point for voters. The Ntim camp have woefully failed the candidate in its inability to clearly espouse how Chairman Ntim will deliver us victory in the 2020 elections. They have rather overly focused on pitching Chairman Blay as an outsider. They failed to realize that he’s been the “Chairman “ for the party for the past three years.

Chairman Blay has rather focused on the way forward for the party with his message.

2.Know the Swing, Appeal to them: In Research for electioneering campaign, there’s opposition research and self research. In opposition research, you look out for what the opposition has against him/her. In self research, you focus on what the opposition has over you. This will help any serious campaign to churn out apt slogan(s). Ntim’s camp failed woefully on this front. The question is; who will choose to accept to change a person/team that has just won us power with unprecedented margins? Who will accept the message or call to change such a person/team just because the contender perceives himself or herself to be the right candidate for this time? ]

In civilized democracies all over the world, meritocracy is the guiding principle. “Yenim wo fir tete “ is a call to endorse what is perceived to be royal or traditional, not what is necessarily the right or merits. In essence, the Ntim team killed the baby before it was born.

3.Appeal to the Middle/Undecided

Every serious candidate has a base. Elections are won by adding middle votes or the votes from conventionally undecided. Undecided voters are usually looking for competence. They care less about traditions and norms. They are best targeted by razor sharp messages bordering on efficiency. The Ntim campaign missed out on this. Very sad. Trumpeting long service as against competence is not one of the smartest things to do in campaigns, especially when trying to woo the undecided.

4. Make an emotional connection: Chairman Blay has managed to portray himself as the underdog, though he’s not. His Choice of campaign song ( Yesu Ka me ho) and seemingly “kneel down” approach to canvassing votes has very well resonated with delegates. He comes across as being ambushed by someone who feels entitled for the crown. Human psychology will always appreciate the effort of underdogs. A brother won a Regional 2nd Chairmanship position in Central Region with the slogan “ Aboa a onyi dua”
Team Ntim did a bad job. They allowed the incumbent to sell as the underdog.

5. Mobilize the base: Get your base angry. Get them hungry for your victory. Get them excited. Whilst Central and Western Region are together going for Chairman Blay and endorsing him openly, regardless of what the law says, Steve and his people are dealing with perceived issues with Chairman Wontumi, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions remains battleground for Steve as we go to the polls tomorrow. It’s a shame how a campaign team can fail like this. Better luck next time Steve, that’s if there will be a next time.