A microphone, a laptop, a smartphone and some lighting, this presidential candidate’s campaign was not very expensive. Paul Rabary, Malagasy presidential candidate, answered questions from Internet users in a video broadcast live on facebook. But how important are social networks to presidential candidates and what is their communication strategy?
Malagasy presidential candidate, Paul Rabary, racing for Presidency on MIASA party ticket said, “I, as a candidate, don’t spend much money on campaigning, I don’t have a helicopter, I don’t distribute T-shirts. I’m a candidate, I don’t have a bodyguard. I’m a candidate, I’m campaigning on a motorcycle and not a 4×4.”
With a total budget of about 31 million CFA francs to campaign, this former Minister of Education is one of the most active candidates on social networks.
As a candidate, I don't spend much money on campaigning, I don't have a helicopter, I don't distribute T-shirts. I don't have a bodyguard. I'm campaigning on a motorcycle and not a 4x4.
According to Nadia Raonimanalina, candidate Marc Ravalomanana’s Communication Manager, they have opted to send reminder text messages for their supporters to vote for their candidate.
“We follow our media plan, we follow our communication plan as well as our communication strategy. For example, we have a team that sent SMS messages to make people aware to vote for candidate 25. We had verbal attacks from some supporters, then after the internet they moved to sending SMSs.”
Among them are about fifty volunteers specialized in communication, one part is responsible for following the daily news of each of the other 35 candidates on social networks.
In Madagascar, the Rajoelina machine controls the media space. While 5% of Malagasy people have access to the Internet and 75% live in extreme poverty, the presidential campaign is still in full swing.