I wrote a post similar to this over two years ago when I essentially compared the DA to the ANC in their digital marketing strategies. With the rise of a new political party, Agang, to the South African political arena, I thought that maybe it was a good idea to have a cursory glance over their digital platforms to see what interest is being generated and what kinds of noises they are making.
Let’s look a little closer at their website
A few things immediately stand out on the site which sound really simple at first; but the impact and psychology behind it is very clever.
- The South African flag in the background subconsciously bring out feelings of patriotism and pride. The fact that the header image is not of a group of people also conveys the message that Agang is a party devoted to the country and not just to a single demographic group.
- The front facing head-shot of Mamphela Ramphele conveys the message that she is not trying to hide anything and she comes across as trustworthy, warm and approachable – all very important qualities for a political figure.
- The motivational quote receiving such a prominent place on the front page is also very smart – it captures in a phrase what the party is setting out to do. It is a humanised mission statement and vision that carries with it the full backing of the announcement speech by Dr Ramphele,
- Arguably the most compelling part of the site for me though is the highly visible call to action in the header – “Help build South Africa”. The message here has been very carefully thought out. They are not asking for cash first, but rather for your time. They are asking for the south African public to get involved in making South Africa better.
To me the entire website casts my mind back to the original Barack Obama style website design from his 2008 campaign. It is very carefully thought out and shows the visitor exactly what they need to see whilst still reinforcing the primary messages of the party.
Let’s look a little closer at the online chatter
For an account that has only been active since the 18th of February, 2013; @Agangsa has already moved past 12 000 followers in less than 10 days. So what has the online chatter and reception been like for Agang?
Well the reception according to Social Mention has been generally good. There has been a largely neutral sentiment with the positive sentiment overshadowing the negative 3:1.
The keywords associated with Agang have been around “official opposition”; “left” and obviously the party name and leader themselves.
With the account being so new; there is little additional insight that can be drawn from these stats. However if you are a believer in the Klout score of accounts; then The Agang Twitter account has a Klout score of 65; which can only be positive right?!
Rounding it up
Agang has been set up properly and initial indications show that this is going to be a well run; from a digital marketing point of view at least; political campaign. Here is hoping that the party itself can live up to the promises and hype created around it.
What I would be especially keen to see is some online reputation management strategy around a slick digital campaign!
Personally I am not sure whether this will be the party to rival the ANC in the 2014 national government elections; but it will certainly make them as well as the other political players sit up and take notice – and hopefully make some critical changes that will result in a sustainable positive change in South Africa.