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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

Cong eyes revamp of communications, publicty mechanism

Saubhadra Chatterji , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 27, 2013
First Published: 20:21 IST(27/6/2013) | Last Updated: 20:22 IST(27/6/2013)

 The Congress has not just brought in a new face of its newly-created communications department, but there is an ambitious plan to revamp the entire communications and publicity system.

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With the party brass craving for more aggressive campaign machinery, the communications wing, for the first time, will be given dedicated space in the party’s ‘war room’ at 15, Gurdwara Rakabganj Road. The idea, according to a section of the Congress, is that a better coordination with the party’s think tank can be achieved through this move.

During the recent organizational reshuffle of the Congress, Delhi MP and former union minister Ajay Maken was made the head of the communications department, replacing Janardan Dwivedi who was earlier the chairman of the media committee of the party. The party is also mulling the option of bringing in some more fresh and young faces in its communications team.

In another major move in the campaign front, the Congress is set to hire at least eight professional agencies to prepare its campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In the last two elections, two top advertisement agencies, Percept and JWT had handled the lion’s share of the job. This time a plan is afoot to involve more agencies through a competitive process and each of them will be given the responsibility of some states.

With barely nine months left for the next general election, the party is also trying to streamline its campaign strategy. “by 5 o’clock, the party appointed spokespersons inform the communications department in which TV channel they will appear in the evening and the topic of their discussion. Accordingly, background notes are prepared and sent to them. This ensures an uniformity in tackling issues,” said a top leader.

For this process, the party has also set up an informal research team to assist the spokespersons.


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