the good and the bad have affected manny villar’s run for the presidency.
the good, his advertising and marketing campaigns that he started ahead of everyone else, way before the official campaign period have pushed him from nowhere to catch up and tie noynoy aquino at the polls who entered the campaign as the dominant run away front runner in this election.
villar’s rise to within a shot of winning the presidency was a nurtured one, built around savvy ads, well-planned and well-thought out strategies behind billions of campaign funds.
until the bad hit his campaign and quickly pulled his ratings to a spiralling downward trend to now tied at 2nd or 3rd behind erap estrada, the convicted criminal who is again running for president.
unfortunately, the bad was his own doing. this bad is “backlash”, things that you do intended to hurt your opponent but recoils back and returns to you and hurts you instead. the villar campaign launched a string of these moves which unfortunately were all done towards the last part of the campaign where there might not be enough time to recover from their mistakes.
this is founded on what we think is a very unfortunate strategic choice that the campaign has chosen on how to handle negative developments to the villar campaign.
the first indication of this unfortunate strategic choice was on the C-5 corruption scandal. villar chose the strategy of not confronting the issue at the stage where it began. villar chose not to attend the senate hearings and instead on his own and separate from the senate hearings went on a media campaign answering questions on the controversy that were lodged at him at the senate floor in other venues and press briefings outside of the senate floor.
they must have thought that what is more important is public perception in general over what is happening at the senate floor. villar is running for president, answering the questions raised at the senate are best re-shaped and handled as the messages go out to the public.
there are two problems with that strategy. first, not tackling the issue at the senate itself will mean allowing it to continue to progress at the senate floor and reach it’s conclusion on it’s own unhampered. second, and this is the fatal one – while they are doing their counter attacks and defence at the public opinion stage, it does not necessarily mean they are being erased in the minds of the public. they may be able to answer all the points raised in the senate but all of these are deposited in the consciousness of the public as data points. they can be deposited in their minds as neutral points as they are able to answer them but they are nevertheless there and latent.
what came next was the Villarroyo charge that mar roxas first said in a press conference. the C-5 corruption scandal plus Villarroyo we think was the beginning of the end of the villar presidential bid.
villarroyo is more than a play in names, it is we think one of the most powerful words used in the 2010 election. the word crystallized in the minds of the voters their greatest fear and greatest dislike not only in this election but in the country in general – arroyo. (read here: Villarroyo – the most powerful word of the 2010 election)
at the start, this election has been called an election of “good vs. evil”. we think the villar campaign forgot that as it is really an election of “good vs evil” until now.
the name “arroyo” has become to mean to the people everything that is wrong, bad, immoral and not right about the country and where it is going. romulo neri, one of arroyo’s eco guru was right when he said “arroyo is evil”.
one of the most enduring definition of “evil” is corruption. a large percentage of the people think arroyo is corrupt or has been involved in corruption. surveys also say arroyo as seen by the people is one of the most corrupt president of the country, next to ferdinand marcos.
when mar roxas introduced villarroyo to the public mind, something simply clicked in the minds of voters – villar is just like arroyo, evil itself.
the handling and approach taken by villar of the C-5 corruption scandal reminded us villar may not only be the candidate that arroyo supports but he can be as corrupt as arroyo is. the charge on villar on the C-5 controversy was that he used his position and power for personal gain, something the people have always suspected of doing all the time.
more than that, villar was not facing the issue at the senate. he did everything and anything to find an excuse not to face his accusers at the senate.
that is also an arroyo tactic. she did that during the NBN-ZTE scandal where she prevented neri from testifying at the senate on the matter by hiding under the skirt of immunity from testifying. more than that event, arroyo had used the numbers she owned in congress to prevent the congressional hearings on the impeachment cases lodged on hr for some years.
with the villarroyo name solid in the minds of voters, villar’s ratings started to decline.
unfortunately, the villar campaign seemed to have taken another blunder in their strategic choices from that point on. the campaign decided to get into a black propaganda binge against its opponents and their prime target was noynoy aquino who is the front runner in this election.
noynoy aquino as the target of their black propaganda is a sensible choice. he is the front runner and it makes sense to do so. we do not completely discredit the value of black propaganda in elections because it has some use and value but it is totally wrong to do black propaganda that is not founded on the truth and one that is traceable back to the originator of the black propaganda.
the double psyche reports which were quickly proven as false and fabricated are prime examples of black propaganda gone bad and giving a backlash to the originator.
both were traced to members of the nationalista party as originators. the two sources of the first bogus psyche report according to abs-cbn were from members of the nationalista party and the second most recent one is guido delgado, former National Power Corporation president and villar supporter.
why in the world delgado called a press conference on a psyche he was not sure was real is something we cannot comprehend. delgado called the press conference to release it to the media and asked them to verify its authenticity. it does not take rocket science to figure out that if his psyche report was proven to be bogus, it will for sure backfire on the villar campaign, not to mention blotch his name as the idiot who released the bogus psyche report.
we assume that being a supporter, he intends to help manny villar get elected. but because of what he did, he actually hurt the villar campaign rather than help it. he did not hurt noynoy aquino in any way, in fact aquino comes out here as victim of an injustice but he did solidify the villar campaign’s image as the doer of evil.
the bogus psyche reports, two of them, both traceable to manny villar’s political party goes back to rest on trust or in this case the withdrawal of trust on a candidate. the C-5 corruption controversy may have not been proven as true in the minds of voters, but it did put a question mark of trust in the minds of voters.
the addition of villarroyo to that for sure put in a bigger question mark of trust if not an outright suspicion of corruption on villar in the minds of voters. trust is something the filipino people have completely removed from arroyo, the country’s president. surveys show us that arroyo’s trust ratings have always been on the negative from quarter to quarter since the poll have been started. next to corruption and performance rating, trust is one of the most major negatives of arroyo.
with the bogus psyche reports traceable to villar (one idiot even came out in the open), trust was also removed by the people. trust was what arroyo lost in the hello garci scandal. at the start of the scandal, she kept denying all of it. but when things got pretty intense and the outcry just ready to explode, she eventually admitted she did have the “hello, garci” talk. that alone got all of us to remove trust on arroyo. it did not matter that arroyo apologized on national tv for her hello garci sin, trust once removed is gone forever.
and that is probably one of the lessons that villar will learn from this whole episode. when the people removed its trust on him, everything and anything that he did afterwards the people will always be suspicious of. it does not help that he not only did things that made us question trusting villar, he did things that told us not to trust him. having bogus psyche reports told us that in a most eloquent manner.
at some point, most specially in the last few weeks of the campaign, the villar campaign we think has lessened to a large degree if not completely stopped generating goodwill among the voters. instead of goodwill, the villar campaign with it’s efforts at black propaganda generated mistrust and suspicion both from their own doing and as a result of the backlash of what they have been doing.
the juan ponce enrile and erap estrada expose on the VLL-PSE scandal is one example of how backlash has hurt the villar campaign.
estrada embarked on the expose at this late stage of the campaign as they probably agreed with our assessment that of all the presidentiables, villar’s supporters are the most susceptible to being pirated.
read previous posts:
enrile on the other hand did it as a backlash from their previous fights in the senate on the C-5 corruption scandal. together with jamby madrigal, enrile was one of the key figures in the C-5 probe in the senate. we suppose enrile just could not let it go that villar got away with it at the senate. he just felt he needed to get to villar one last time and this time it will also help estrada, his party mate.
the fact is all the negative campaign thrown at noynoy aquino has not worked at all and there is a long list of these things from almost all sorts of topics and angles. it is a laundry list from the personal to public, from the intimate, the mundane up to the serious. but with all of that, none has actually stuck nor has it hurt aquino.
this should have been realized by the villar campaign a long time ago. aside from not learning this lesson, the villar campaign, and perhaps this is the biggest blunder of them all, has forgotten that what got manny villar to rise to tieing aquino at front runner status in the polls was positive campaigning, not negative campaigning.
manny villar rose to tie aquino in the polls behind a large dose of good advertising, good strategies and good events and all of them were positive. all these efforts put villar in a good light and all of them ignored and did not even mention his opponents. changing that strategy to what it is now, close to the ending of the campaign, to negative campaigning and black propaganda is hurting the chances of manny villar to win the presidency.
in a “good vs evil” election, villar unfortunately moved to the side of evil from his previous side of good.
we are publishing here an email we received from a reader, carlo arvisu who is a marketing and advertising practitioner.
election polls is the rage these days – it is the stuff of newspaper headlines and tv newscasts. presidentiables are asked about them and predictably those in the lead are thankful for the results while those at the bottom or not improving are all against it casting doubt on the results by attacking the research agency, those who commissioned the poll and the methodology.
the irony of it all is that most of the major candidates and even the laggards actually subscribe to the election polls we read in the papers. the election polls conducted by SWS and Pulse Asia are syndicated polls. they run this on their own but they make available to the candidates its results on a subscription basis. not only can candidates subscribe to it, anyone else who has the money can subscribe to them.
the rate of subscription vary on the kind of service a presidentiable wants. the rates differ on how the presidentiables want the results presented to them or what results they want to have.
the biggest clients of research agencies are mass consumer marketing companies like uni-lever, jollibee and procter & gamble, although they use other research agencies like TNS and AC Nielsen. SWS and Pulse Asia do these types of research but very seldom, their specialization is polls on political and national issues.
the problem with surveys and research both for mass consumer marketing companies and presidential campaigns is how to answer two questi0ns, the last one being – what do we do, what steps do we take as a reaction to the research results.
research and polls give a snapshot or a profile of the consumer mind and voters mind at a certain point in time. the consumer and voter mind is a living thing, it is dynamic and can change in whatever direction in no time depending on the stimulus or what the voter or consumer experience.
change in the consumer mind may not happen often and not as quickly but change in the voter mind can happen very often and very quickly. current events is the stimulus for this change and current can mean something yesterday, today or in a few hours time.
with readily available , evolving news reported and brought to the consciousness of voters, change in the voter mind can occur in a beat. we not only have tv, radio and print now, there is the internet, the social websites, blogs and even cellphone text. all of the above can influence the voter mind in an instant.
we saw the power of instant communication during EDSA DOS where hundreds of thousands of people exchanged cell phone text to express their disgust on the developments regarding the unopened brown envelope during estrada’s hearings at congress. from disgust, the text content turned into people asking others to converge at EDSA and that led to the eventual ouster of estrada.
having the data gives the political campaign a picture of the current state of mind of the voter. with a picture in front of you, you can now plot your actions to change that picture.
the problem is very few know how to do it properly. that problem is not limited to political campaigns but it is also true to mass consumer marketing companies.
knowing what to do or not knowing what to do is actually the second of two questions. the first question is this – what is the meaning of the poll results? and the twin question which is more important – what are the insights that we can draw from these results?
research and poll agencies will give the subscriber results, basically statements or answers to the questions asked of the respondents with corresponding numbers or ratings. these are in essence the statistically analyzed raw data. the poll and research agency will not give them the meanings and more importantly the insights from the data.
the data will need interpretation and that is supposed to be done by the client. and there lie the other problem. even mass consumer marketing companies are not very good at this, in fact many of these companies do not even have competencies to do this. we do not think political campaigns have these as well.
insights is a very elusive thing for many. in fact the marketing and advertising managers we have encountered do not really know what insights are. many of them think research data and results are already insights. when they are really just raw data that they will need to draw insights from.
the political campaign now has the data from the polls, what will they do with it now? this is next in part 2.
~~ a mindscape landmark ~~
Memo To: Eddie Villanueva & Nick Perlas – Do Not Waste It, Run For The Senate
Dear Eddie Villanueva & Nick Perlas,
We have previously written that the October presidentiables survey will be most crucial for all the presidentiables. With the many changes in the line-up of withdrawals and addition, we said there will be a firming up of positions.
It is most specially important for the laggards, which the two of you belong to, as this will give you a good picture of your relative strengths compared to the others. For the leaders, interpreting the results properly will give them ideas to re-adjust their plans and strategies to move up but for the laggards it will be time to re-think your campaign, re-thinking it to quit or to continue with it.
We think your conclusion should be you need to quit your presidential campaign.
The last survey covers a period of activities for you. During that time you announced yourself as presidentiables, organized your team and most probably went around the country introducing yourself to the voters. You also announced your platforms and how you plan to reshape the country. Being the first quarter, it is probably your best and most active effort.
The survey tells you exactly how the voters rate not only you but your efforts. The first one is easy to see but the last one tells you how much your efforts have fallen short of delivering what you intended it to be. Getting the low ratings you did in the survey says your efforts were unable to reach the intended audience or if they did, it was unable to impress and convert them into ratings for you. Bottom line is voters are rejecting you as a candidate and your efforts are ineffective.
The other conclusion is that To move up in the polls to be a viable contender will mean you need to improve and increase your efforts to say at least 1,000% to 3,000% more than what you are doing. The question you need to ask yourself and be honest about it is this – do you have what it takes to increase it to that level? Do you have the right message? Do you have the people to do that kind of crazy increase? Do you have the resources, most critically the funds to do it?
If there is one question there that led you to answer a “no”, it is time to quit. Quitting now will stop wasting your time and effort and most specially, it will stop wasting the time and effort of your supporters. Just like you, your supporters are sacrificing a lot, quitting now will be doing good for your supporters.
What is next?
We think you should not waste what you stand for and what you believe in. Most importantly, we think you should not waste the time and effort put in by your supporters. We think both of you should run for the senate instead.
Each of you have distinct messages and each of you represent a specific person any party and the country need. Your beliefs, passion. platform and stature will enhance the campaign of any presidentiable you join.
Most importantly, the principles, the agenda you have are things that the country need very much. It will be a pity that these will be wasted if you continue to run for president and lose them which is for certain. Getting yourselves in the senate will in fact help the country more as you will be in a position to write laws and ti fiscalize according to your vision of a better Philippines. A losing presidentiable closes that door for you and what a pity that the country will lose your ideas and vision.
Looking at the other possible senatoriables also says you are way ahead most of them. You already have a set agenda and platform. You have been organizing already. That means you are 1 to 2 steps ahead of your competition.
Now is the time to quit as the Comelec deadline for filing candidacy is getting nearer. You will need time to look for a political party to put you in their ticket. Certainly you will need to negotiate with them and now is the time to do all that.
Lastly, Bro. Eddie and Nick – the country needs you. Your beliefs, platform, agenda and certainly character are things the country need very badly now. Do not waste them but continuing to run in a losing presidential campaign, run for the senate and win. The country needs you in the senate.
Memo To: Senator Loren Legarda – Stop Waffling Already!
Dear Senator Legarda,
We swear we like you, we do, sincerely. But please, oh please – get it over with, release us from our pain and tell us already what it is you want to do in 2010. Your actions since the end of last year has been very confusing to us, irritating even.
We were glad to see early this year your tv ads that was obviously a signal
You are running for president. Your ads got noticed. Then you disappeared all of a sudden.
Then from out of nowhere, you say you are postponing your candidacy in light of the global financial crisis, an action we thought qualified you as having the ADS? Sindrome (click here: http://wp.me/pnw03-8v). After having ADS? Sindrome, you disappeared again.
Then after that, you said you are still determined to run as president. (click here: http://wp.me/pnw03-p8). You attend forums for presidentiables but everything else you do is either half-hearted or neither here nor there.
Just recently, as a reaction to ondoy, you said you are thinking of not running anymore. you were thinking that rather than spend money on the campaign, it should be spent for the victims of ondoy. (click here: http://wp.me/pnw03-IP)
Legarda said it was “unconscionable” for politicians like her to campaign while many people, like the victims of “Ondoy,” were crying for help.
You seem to be affected so much by big events like the global financial crisis and now the ondoy disaster. Your reaction to these big events is to withdraw instead of helping people. You seem to be missing the point that at these times of big events, it is strong leadership that the country needs, specially those who have become victims of these events. Big events like these happen all the time and to every country, I get nightmares thinking if you were president and every time the country experiences a huge event, you go and withdraw somewhere to your room and shrink instead of helping out and abandon your leadership role.
With the 2010 election getting closer, new candidates coming up and groups firming up, here you are again confusing us further. Its hard to tell exactly what you are saying. We do not know if you are running for president or if you want to be vice-president. This is now the latest news.
We will stop here and will refuse to analyze your latest moves. More importantly, we will refuse to make sense of it.
What makes sense to us is this – you are not only indecisive, you are very wishy-washy and very much prone to knee-jerk reactions with very little thought put into anything and everything you do.
Needless to say, you drive us crazy. Please save us from this pain and make up your mind already.
Legarda: 5 presidential bets want me for No. 2
By Christine Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:15:00 10/08/2009
MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Loren Legarda appears to be the current belle of the ball.
By her own account, five presidential hopefuls have asked her to be their running mate in 2010—and she’s weighing her options.
Legarda herself has her sights set on the presidency. Whether she will go for No. 1 or slide down to No. 2 is a decision that she will announce in the last week of the month or, at the earliest, on her late mother’s birthday on Oct. 22.
“Once I make my decision, I will run to win,” Legarda said Wednesday. “I will not enter a fight that I will lose. I will run to win the hearts of the people.”
She also said she was “realistic,” that she “sees the numbers,” and that she would run for “wherever I’m more desired by the people to serve.”
“If I’m topping the polls for the vice president, I’ll listen to the people,” she said, adding that she would take the same stance vis-à-vis the presidential surveys.
And how is Legarda faring in the vice presidential polls?
Per her reckoning, she’s “doing good.”
And “there are five ‘presidentiables’ who are asking me to run with them,” Legarda said.
She said she had spoken personally with three, and that the two others had sent emissaries.
Memo To: presidential spokespersons – shut the fuck up! you just admitted arroyo is evil and a failure
Dear Presidential Spokesperson,
We have one sentence for you – SHUT THE FUCK UP!
We are absolutely shocked to read the September 11 news article by PDI when it had the sub-headline “GMA men: 2010 not a battle of good vs evil”
My first reaction to that was – what the hell are you freaking doing? That statement alone means Malacanang through the presidential spokesperson Gary Olivar sees that in the 2010 election, there is a faction who is “good” and there is a faction who is “evil”.
Rewind to just a few months ago and we remember the famous words of Secretary Romulo Neri – “GMA is evil.” Ding! Ding! Ding! Was Olivar referring to the president he serves as the “evil one”?
If Olivar thought that, why did you have to say it? Would it not have been best to just leave that tiny detail out? Must you say it?
Well, okay, Olivar may not actually have said those words but the implication was very clear and what may may have been inadvertently said without meaning to.
This is what Olivar said:
“Don’t run (at the expense) of this little lady who’s done her best for this country in the last eight years. Magpakalalaki naman kayo (Be a man),” Gary Olivar, deputy presidential spokesperson, said at a briefing.
In announcing his candidacy, Aquino on Wednesday criticized Ms Arroyo, his former economics professor at Ateneo de Manila University, for “forgetting what she had taught me.” He promised a more efficient use of government resources should he win in 2010.
Olivar blasted Aquino and other presidential hopefuls from the opposition for supposedly turning the presidential race into a battle of “good versus evil.”
“Nobody has the monopoly of right and wrong on either side right?” he said in Filipino.
By inference, that says Olivar is bewailing the perception that his boss’ “best” is not enough for the people.
The words “good versus evil” in that article is a direct quote, followed by an explanation that nobody has a a monopoly of “right and wrong”. Those by implication admits Olivar is thinking the “evil” one and the one who has a monopoly of doing “wrong” is his boss, President Arroyo.
Ding! Ding! Ding! Did you really have to say that?
Again, we think it is absolute incompetence to admit even through a very strong inference that your boss, the president is evil, has not done good things and does the wrong things. Keep those things to yourself and say only good things about your boss.
Once again, the staff of President Arroyo screwed up. Why must you say things about other presidentiables? Arroyo is not running for president. No need to say anything. Let Aquino and all the other presidentiables be.
One sentence : SHUT THE FUCK UP!
memo to: noynoy aquino,
finally, september 9 came when noynoy aquino declared he is a presidentiable. the country, the admin and most specially the opposition presisenitables have been waiting for it.
there a few things that need to be looked into:
- this will impact the complexion of the 2010 presidential election. re-alignments have occurred, there will be more to come. we hope that the end game re-alignments will benefit the nation.
- the next steps that noynoy will take will be very key, specially the next 5 to 8 steps. compared to other presidentiables, noynoy in particular need to be highly strategic in choosing what steps to take, what sides to choose and even how to sequence them.
- they need to be cognizant of what are truly the most key for noynoy. astute strategic thinking is most key and an ability to seep through the murk, the noise and identify the most essential.
- there are traps, lets hope he sees what these are.
- there is a window of opportunity for noynoy to take advantage of. he must know when that is open, when it will close and the critical need to take advantage of it.
- in all of these, there is a single question that needs to be taken advantage of and that needs to be done very soon.
we wish you well, senator noynoy aquino.
Memo To: Bro. Eddie Villanueva,
we like to call your attention to the performance of your communication team specific to the august 21 announcement of your candidacy for the president.
that day is probably the most important day of your candidacy for the presidency. it is the most important as it is the day that you will most probably get a lot of good media coverage plus it is the first time that you will be harnessing the strength of your followers. you want to use that day to fire up your supporters and with the help of media create momentum for your candidacy.
it is actually of communicating important messages to the public and your supporters. communication is the most important component of that day. unfortunately, your communication team failed you.
based on the PDI article that reported your announcement day, you were running on the platform based on 7Es, but it listed only 6Es, we wrote about it here and we quite what we wrote: (read more here: http://wp.me/snw03-2266):
he announced he is running on a platform of 7Es:
3. educating the people
4. elevating living standards
5. eradicating bad governance
6. establishing peace in the land
oops, wait a minute – that was only 6 points! we wonder if the PDI reporter was an error here or was it bro. eddie who may have forgotten another word that starts with the letter “e”? now, we’re even more worried.
a reader of this blog made a comment, giving us the complete 7Es (same link, a reader with username “honey” http://wp.me/snw03-2266:
* Empower the Filipinos
* Emancipate the Filipinos
* Educate the Filipinos
* Elevate the standard of living
* Energize the economy
* Eradicate corruption
* Establish peace in the land
we had asked ” honey ” to give us the link where she got the 7Es, no reply yet.
the list given to us by honey did not match with what was published at PDI. these were not in the PDI article:
- “energize the economy”
- “eradicate corruption”
in the PDI article, it says “eradicating bad governance”, we wonder if this is supposed to be “eradicate corruption” instead?
this is not just semantics, but bad governance is not the same as corruption. one is broader and includes the other.
publishing one missing E at the PDI it may have been an error by the writer of PDI, but given the other error, the different wordings, it looks like you communication team is not doing its job properly.
the biggest incompetence of your communicati0n team is it did not prepare a press kit for distribution to the media. or if it did, it was badly done.
for such a big event, it is Communication 101 to prepare and distribute press kits to all media to make sure they get the message correctly and consistently. a PDI writer getting it wrong means the communication team did not prepare a press kit. writers ALWAYS refer to the press kit for accuracy when they write their articles, they do not solely rely on what they hear during the event.
i did not listen to tour speech, so it is possible you forgot to mention the 7th E and said the wrong term on the other. the press kit would have given the reporter the correct words and number even if you made an error in your speech. that is the value of the press kit and a competent communication team.
having the PDI article call it as “eradicate bad governance” to mean “eradicate corruption” is also another major Communication 101 incompetence. there are significant differences in the meanings of those terms. given the difference meanings, action steps or program actions are also different.
communicating the wrong message or being inconsistent in the messages is a most serious incompetence in communication. we appreciate your effort at articulating your philosophies or platform, we think that is what all candidates should do, but your communication team has done you harm.
bro. eddie, we think these are major infractions that should lead you to fire your communication team. get rid of them now when you are at the very start of your campaign, they might make more major errors in the future, the time when you need them the most.