Branding, communication and public relations have never been Nasa’s strong areas. This was quite clear on Tuesday during the launch of their manifesto.
The previous day, several Nasa bloggers were castigating Jubilee for launching their manifesto at night. It was quite obvious the following day that they had not been informed that Nasa would too be launching theirs at night.
The reasoning behind this was quite sound actually. Most Kenyans are watching TV at night, and that guarantees maximum eyeballs. However, Nasa got it wrong again.
While Jubilee on Monday night paid every major TV station to show the event live, Nasa was not ready to part with any cash.
All stations had their OB vans ready at the venue, and once the monetary commitment was made, they would have swung into action. KBC even showed the first hour or so live, before going back to their normal broadcasting.
Eventually, only Citizen TV carried most of the event live. It’s unclear whether they paid for this service or it was a personal favour by SK Macharia who is backing Raila’s election.
While it can be argued that Nasa does not have as much money as Jubilee, I wouldn’t say they are broke. They can cut back on other expenses, but manifesto launch is supposed to be the most important day. And since they’ve been paying for other events, it makes no sense whey they did not pay for the main event.
And surely, these TV stations make most of their money during prime time. Nasa didn’t really expect them to sacrifice that for free coverage.
As if that was not enough, the launch itself was accused by many as being ‘colourless’ and ‘boring’. Of course this is everyone’s personal opinion. But no matter how much you may wish it away, hype and colour is very critical in campaigns especially when it comes to building momentum that leads to high turnout in your strongholds. Trump is in office because of this.
Away from the manifesto launch, there is more bad news for Nasa on social media.
Their graphics design department has been churning out beautiful posters which are in turn distributed by their bloggers. Some of these posters are accompanied by quotes apparently from Kenyans disappointed by Jubilee.
However, some keen people have now found out that the people and messages depicted in these posters may be non-existent.
At least 3 Nasa posters have been identified as using stock photos readily available on the internet. The persons in the pictures are then given Kenyan names and a quote attributed to them.
When such a thing is discovered, it will be very difficult to convince us that those quotes are also not cooked up.