Kampanye Online dan Kandidat di Putaran Kedua

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Blog Pemilu 2004 ini masuk media massa lagi, kali ini di Jakarta Post, thanks to teman-teman yang baik hati disana :).

Aritkel yang berjudul HOW INTERNET-SAVVY ARE THE CANDIDATES? ini bercerita dan menyesalkan sedikit kenapa para tim sukses kampanye tidak mengoptimalkan kampanye mereka di Internet.

Di bagian akhir ada sedikit saran-saran tentang apa yang mereka bisa lakukan untuk menggalakan massa dan memenangkan opini publik di Internet.

Artikel diatas bisa diakses disini.

Sejauh pengamatan gue sampai sekarang, pendukung Amien Rais dan PKS adalah mereka yang paling internet friendly dan prominent kehadirannya di Internet. Untuk PKS misalnya terbukti dengan paling banyaknya website PKS dari masing-masing negara dan masing-masing cabang.

Untuk pemilu presiden putaran kedua nanti, ada baiknya calon yang bertanding nanti (SBY dan Mega mungkin?) mengoptimalkan usaha online-nya untuk mengcapture para pemilih Amien dan PKS ini.

Artikel lengkap dikopi dan bisa dibaca di bawah ini.

HOW INTERNET-SAVVY ARE THE CANDIDATES?
Enda Nasution, Bangkok

Little has been done by campaign teams of the presidential candidates to reach out to the large numbers of people, who don't have time to attend campaign rallies but do have easy access to the Internet.

It is true that most of the candidates' websites (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono: www.sby-oke.com; Wiranto: www.wiranto.com; Megawati Soekarnoputri: www.megahasyim.com; Hamzah Haz: www.hamzah-haz.com; Amien Rais: www.m-amienrais.com) have provided what have become standard interactive features such as a online forums, polling and candidate profiles.

Megawati's website is particularly flashy. The site, which is designed and maintained by Indo.com, the leading Indonesian travel website, allows visitors to send a Megawati-Hasyim e-card to friends and relatives or to a play game starring the presidential candidate where the objective of the game is to "catch" all of Indonesia's problems and avoid exploding bombs at the same time.

Unfortunately, these websites judging from their designs, are no more than online brochures -- campaign accessories if you will -- they have yet to be used for more strategic purposes.

Donny BU, coordinator of ICT Watch (www.ictwatch.com), a research and advocacy institution on information and communication technology, said many candidates had established their websites for trivial reasons.

A profile on the net is a relatively low-cost campaign option, so it's easy to keep up with the Joneses -- the competing candidates -- and they make candidates' look technologically adept and sophisticated.

However, after a survey of the current political websites one opinionated cyberwriter doubted whether most candidates had ever used Internet technology to find information online or even had their own email address.

Donny said there were about eight million Internet users in the archipelago. This number of votes would have placed a political party in third place in the recent legislative election.

The Association of Indonesian Internet Service Providers (APJII, www.apjii.or.id) has forecast internet users will increase to 12 million by the end of this year.

This, almost 10 percent of eligible voters, no doubt represents the crme de la crme of society, in terms of education and economic welfare. And these voters are far less likely to choose a president for simple emotional reasons or because of symbolic gestures -- they are much more interested in the detail of candidates' policies and programs.

Winning these votes is seen as crucial in the second round of elections in September as observers say it is unlikely any candidates will breach the 50 percent voter threshold in July.

Nowadays with the growth of the Internet, the use of one-way communication -- television, radio and print media -- when campaigning in a general election is becoming a less-effective way of securing voter support.

The candidates should focus on involving the people rather than broadcasting to them. This election calls for more head-to-head interaction between candidates and voters and the Internet is an ideal choice.

Someone who used the Internet well in campaigning is Howard Dean, a governor of a small state in the United States, who was a presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. He created a phenomenon last year when he started to organize and raise funds for his campaign through websites and weblogs.

His online strategy successfully reaped in some US$15 million for his campaign between July and September 2003 alone. It's an eye-opening achievement even by U.S. political standards.

Dean's website become the nerve system for his whole campaign, and when he failed in the nomination, it was turned into a grassroots political movement (www.blogforamerica.com), which successfully made people aware of the potential of the Internet to mobilize people.

I don't expect our candidates can achieve what Dean has. Although 70 percent of the US population are online, Dean would not have got all the attention without his well-managed and disciplined campaign organization.

Nevertheless, the following are some simple ways for campaigners to communicate online more effectively with the people:

1. Email campaign. Sending email is virtually free and its easily-forwarded nature is an additional value to disseminate messages. Building a database of journalists, supporters, and volunteers by providing easy sign-up site membership is a good way to encourage as many people as possible to participate in the campaign.

Create a campaign-endorsed moderated mailing list by sending out breaking news, polling results, what's new on the site, announcements, "inside" information and news about coming events. This campaign can even be used to counter smear campaigns.

2. Integrate the online campaign with the offline campaigning. Personalize the campaign message on the website and give the webmaster the authority to have access to the communications director or campaign manager. Use the site to distribute offline campaign materials such as pictures, speeches, press releases, print ads or TV commercials. These materials should be able to be downloaded. Only some of the existing websites provide what is only a small amount of campaign material. MegaHasyim.com provides a zip file of the candidates' economic plan, while M-AmienRais.com enables people to obtain high-resolution pictures of the pair.

3. Be responsive. The web team should be quick to respond to any issues published in the media. For example, when Megawati suggested voters vote for the prettiest candidate, the web team could have displayed all the candidates' pictures on the site and asked visitors who was the best-looking. People are likely to appreciate this light-hearted approach.

4. Engage the visitors. Create an interactive atmosphere by designing a user-friendly, accessible and usable website. Open up an opportunity for visitors to submit their comments and opinions. Such an example can be found on M-AmienRais.com, where visitors can comment about news on the site. Turn the audience into online campaigners. Sign up visitors as campaign volunteers.

5. With the right methods, site visitors could become part of army where supporters scour Internet forums, chat rooms or mailing lists to defend the candidates from negative news supported by campaign information without creating a backlash from other users.

If campaign teams still doubt the benefits of online media, they should keep in mind that once they do something different the press will notice their efforts and cover them, which will create plenty of earned publicity.

The writer, an online media observer and founder of Blog Pemilu 2004 (pemilu2004.goblogmedia.com), can be reached at enda@goblogmedia.com.

3 Comments

erly said:

Mungkin karena liat kultur orang indo juga yang blm terlalu melek internet, jadi effortnya gak terlalu gede buat kampanye di internet. Kan katanya cuma 10% pemilih yang buka internet, selebihnya tetep aja lebih suka denger kata tetangga dan obrolan warung kopi sambil nonton dangdutan kalau ada kampanye outdoor :)

enda said:

nah buat runoff sept nanti, 10% itu bisa jadi menentukan ly heheheh

basuki said:

apa bener sampe 10 % pemilih yg buka internet?? aku kok nggak yakin ama angka ini... aku pikir sebagian pengguna internet malahan belum punya hak pilih... tapi internet memang punya pengaruh besar ke masyarakat, secara tidak langsung, karena kecepatan informasinya mempengaruhi media massa lain yg punya akses langsung ke masyarakat tetapi kecepatan update informasinya lebih lambat. dan kemampuan mempengaruhi media lain itulah kelebihan internet, ditambah lagi pengguna internet cenderung punya social network yang lebih luas sehingga informasi maupun opini juga tersampaikan lebih luas, termasuk pada mereka yg tidak mengakses internet.

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This page contains a single entry by enda published on July 7, 2004 11:14 AM.

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