president aquino’s drop in ratings – malacanang itself is to blame
a lot of press in the last few days on the performance satisfaction rating survey conducted by SWS (read here : http://wp.me/pnw03-1qs). the press is mostly on malacanang thinking about the ratings drop and what it means.
on one side, it’s refreshing to see that the occupants of malacanang are sensitive to the survey results. it means they are sensitive to the sentiments of the people. and that can only be good as a sensitive malacanang to the sentiments of the people can mean better action at truly serving the people’s needs. even a marketing or political newbie will tell you that the way to improve the ratings is to serve the people better.
we did not see this kind of reaction from the previous administration of gloria macapagal arroyo. arroyo’s malacanang would have ignored the survey results or attack the results and question the results. arroyo’s administration have always thought everyone else is wrong while they are the only ones right.
the other side of the reaction of the current malacanang occupants is this never ending search for who is to blame for the drop in the ratings. the spokesperson has said previously, media was to blame as it tended to publicize only what is wrong and the bad news while ignoring what is good and the good news.
recent pronouncements puts the blame on “shyness” of malacanang in publicizing its good deeds. with this thinking, malacanang has resolved to be “more aggressive” in putting in the good news out to the press. that means they will need to learn to be more “kapal moks” , if we are to use their thinking on them being too “shy” to publicize their good deeds.
Valte said the Palace communicators would “maximize the use of all our resources, not only government television and radio … We will be maximizing all resources available to us.”
She disagreed with suggestions that the Palace communication group was to blame for the low ratings, but she said the communicators were taking the survey “as a sign to be really more aggressive in promoting the President” and his programs.
She said this was not for the President’s spokespersons alone to do and that Cabinetsecretaries and their public information offices could also lend a hand.
“It cannot be just a job of three but everybody has to pitch in to make sure the good news [reaches] the people,” she said.
The other day, Valte also said on state radio: “We have a very Filipino trait of being too shy to boast.”
who is to blame for the drop in satisfaction ratings on the president’s performance? let us get a run down.
is media to blame? all communication practitioners should know this – media will put what they think will attract their audience, those that their audience will find interesting or those that they think their audience want. the news being “good news” or “bad news” practically has nothing to do with it. you can have bad news but if it is not something the audience want, it will not get any exposure. same thing with good news. good news does not guarantee and audience, it can on the other hand pull in boredom. the only barometer media uses in deciding what is printed out there is its saleability or interest value to its audience.
it is this nature of media that makes it necessary for public and private figures and groups to engage communication practitioners to deal with media. their job is to make something interesting enough for media to see it’s value and put it out for the people to read and see.
we have been involved in the past with projects where the topic was seen as boring by media practitioners and the public when we started. after some careful planning and strategizing, we set out to make the topic “sexy” for media to publish and the public to take interest in. to make the topic “sexy” was the exact word used to describe what we intended to do with the topic. after a few months, the topic thyat was previously boring and usually out of media became a hot topic of discourse and attention both by media and the public.
malacanang does not have 1 but 3 groups under its employ to make the topic of “president aquino’s achievement” to be seen as “sexy” enough to pay attention to. that says they have no excuse for not being able to put across the messagtes in behalf of the aquino administration.
if they blame the poor and weak message release to the public as the reason for the significant drop in aquino’s performance rating, then it is the fault of these three communication gr0ups. in simple terms, these 3 communication groups have failed in doing their jobs.
The EO effectively reorganizes the Office of the Press Secretary and is aimed at modernizing the Palace’s communications strategy to better deliver President Aquino’s message to the people.
the primary task of the 3 communications group is to “better deliver president aquino’s message to the people” – the ratings drop due to shyness in delivering aquino’s message to the people means they have failed in their mandate.
aquino’s mandate reorganizing the office of the press secretary does not include “shyness” as an acceptable reason to fail in their mandate.
there is a dedicated press corp that covers malacanang. media covers the president’s activity 24/7. many of these media people, specially the major media outlets assign permanent reporters to the malacanang beat at all times and are exclusive to the office of the president. these reporters are ever present in malacanang. all that malacanang needs to do is hand over to them a press release or call a press conference and the news is out.
of course that does not guarantee publication. the job of the 3 communications group is to make the news interesting enough for media to publish them. if the topic is boring and the write-up is boring, it will not be published. you can have a boring topic but if the write up is interesting, it can get published.
since malacanang seem to be blaming aquino’s drop in rating on the lack or weak message delivery, we wonder if the re-organization that they did, dividing it into 3 parts is the one that is causing the problem. is it possible that when they divided the function into 3 distinct functions, some fell through the cracks.