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İmamoğlu selling Istanbul's traffic data to a US company?

In recent times, there has been a term frequently used in the market: Political communication expert. There used to be a title of researcher-writer. Those who published articles or wrote columns in any newspaper often used this title, and it was quite common. However, as journalism became recognized as a profession in its own right, the title of researcher-writer fell out of use. Now, the term "political communication expert" has taken its place.


Every profession has its own difficulties. This profession requires knowledge, specialization, and experience. But ultimately, because there is a defined scope of work, people can demonstrate success and competence in these areas. However, the concept of "political communication" encompasses such a wide range that individuals who are not competent in many areas may not have much chance of success.


I teach Public Opinion Research at Medipol University's Faculty of Communication. From time to time, I discuss political communication topics with students. In one of the classes, we discussed the campaigns conducted by political parties up to this day.


The campaigns of the general elections highlighted the past campaigns of the AK Party.

There were almost no notable campaigns related to local elections.

Only the promises of the CHP to the youth in the 2019 local elections remained memorable.


I have witnessed in interviews with some political communicators and advertisers how they described winning elections for Erdogan. At its core, there is undoubtedly intelligence, effort, and labor put into campaigns and advertisements. But I believe it is Erdogan who contributes more to winning. When the slogan "Türkiye Century" emerged, I thoroughly analyzed it in the Kriter magazine. It was a slogan that defined exactly where Türkiye stood. However, when we received the text at the opening ceremony of the campaign, we realized that the text did not reflect the magic of "Türkiye Century" as much as we expected.


There was extraordinary excitement in the room as we read the text, and the participants were very excited about the association of 20 years of success of the AK Party with a Türkiye Century brand.


The text was actually long. Each headline alone did not fully define the grand goals of the Türkiye Century. When Erdogan took the stage to read the text, it gained a magic of its own, and each line and paragraph were reinterpreted as if they were new.


When evaluating the AK Party's politics, Mr. President, by believing in all the work, by getting excited, by putting his will and vision into it, he gives it an identity.

In this case, those who work for the AK Party in the campaign, advertisers, or those who run the political communication processes are somewhat lazy. Because whoever touches the product, regardless of what it is, makes it enchanting and narrates it to the Turkish society with belief instead of being enchanted by Türkiye and serving the community.

When you look at the previous election campaign, the campaign was basically about what Erdogan said in the rally squares and the wide influence he had on the people.

When it comes to local elections, of course, it requires different details. Each province has its own specific characteristics and accumulations. At the same time, there are political leaders of the province.


Those who are accustomed to preparing a campaign for Erdogan, a campaign that requires more one-on-one struggle, a campaign that requires total mobilization of possibilities and capabilities, are somewhat out of the process.


In weak areas of the AK Party, Mr. President's visit or a rally could reverse the balances. For this reason, the AK Party has adopted a tradition of leaving most of the burden to the President in local campaigns. AK Party advertisers and campaigners are more successful in the campaign they make within the party to gain influence rather than campaign against opponents…


The late Erol Olcok was quite successful in terms of his advertising and campaigning.

Regardless of how much knowledge and experience he had, he would take inspiration from hundreds of people by talking to them and feeling the weight of a campaign and concept. Sometimes we have exchanged ideas together before election campaigns.


Actually, a leading agency producing campaigns for the AK Party could have created dozens of small and large agencies behind them and trained them. Yesterday, there was no great effort in this regard, and today we do not see a similar effort. Leading agencies that take the AK Party campaign focus more on what they do, so there is not much culture around them. In a research on voter behavior, it was determined that 6.5% to 8.5% of the voter base is affected by campaigns during a campaign. When you distribute this spectrum to all parties, you actually see that campaigns do not lead to drastic changes.


Still, after switching to the presidential system in our country, in local administrations, in almost some provinces, elections are almost won with a dot. In this context, the contribution of firms that understand the concept of political communication properly and manage campaigns in this way to politics cannot be denied.

#Istanbul
#Ekrem İmamoğlu
#US
#AK Party
#Elections
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