It’s a campaign code named Izzat by Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), using digital platforms like SMS, WhatsApp, along with emails and YouTube to counter allegations by AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal against RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani.
The campaign, industry sources claimed is managed by a special team under the supervision of Manoj Modi, considered a confidant of Mukesh Ambani, who has played an active role in every large project and every major crisis, that Reliance has been involved in over the last decade.
Modi’s team consists of IT, social networking, cyber law and instant messaging specialists from its telecom arm Reliance Jio.
The emails, detailing the status on the oil and gas business, have been sent to all the major stakeholders of the company and the media. The YouTube messages highlight the status and explain the process of identifying gas reserves, its allocation by the government, discovering price, logistic of transporting and finer details of licencing norms.
In addition, documents with all details of discovering gas price are being uploaded and even read out by an anchor on YouTube. Cartoons and messages exchanged on WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook, relate to Kejriwal’s allegation and RIL’s responses.
Kejriwal had alleged that politicians in the UPA government colluded with RIL over raising of domestic natural gas prices.
RIL is going all out and extensively using social media sites and SMS in Hindi, Telugu and English language to counter the allegations.
SMSes are being sent to ordinary people, the media, and bureaucrats, besides all political party workers including those of AAP. “The AAP workers need to be educated the most,” said a source close to RIL.
Officially, RIL denies any such campaign. “We are not a political party that can hit out at each other...while YouTube uploads are part of our corporate communications strategy, the sms’s that are being sent across are what we receive from various people around.”
However, the use of digital media offers RIL a clear opportunity to ensure its side of the story is heard—loud and clear.