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mon ilagan : how not to be the spokesman of the embattled Jejomar Binay

July 5, 2015 Leave a comment

mon iligan, previously from media who was also a congressman from some district was recently appointed spokesman for presidentiable jejomar binay and as we sometimes read also of UNA. he replaced a long list of previous  spokespersons of binay  – congressman jonvic remulla, congressman toby tango and atty jv bautista.

the way we see it, the previous spokespersons of presidentiable binay screwed up or in the case of remulla, maybe he got tired defending the indefensible  binay. tango appear to have been fired from being binay’s spokesman after the residency issue on grace poe was raised by tiangco which had terribly backfired on binay.

mon ilagan is new to his job. but this early, we think he  committed a grave error in his job as spokesman for the embattled  binay.

this came out on twitter :

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that “release” has a few things that are wrong with it.

an important basic in being a spokesperson – you are one for another person. as a spokesperson, you speak for your principal who in this case is presidentiable binay. when ilagan opens his mouth, he is speaking the words of presidentiable binay. it is like binay himself talking.

the twitter release was not about binay talking, it was mon ilagan talking about himself, what he thinks, not what binay wants the voters to know and not what binay thinks. the release even has ilagan’s role “UNA spokesman”.

more than mon ilagan being a spokesman for himself, the bigger issue we have with the twitter release is its content. ilagan’s press release about what he wants voters to know about his thouhgts has two parts – the first part is how he sees binay, “I believe in Binay’s capabilities as a leader” and the second part “despite the allegations and issues against him”.

being the spokesman and his salary being paid for by binay, the first part is not surprising. the surprising part is the second part.

in the second part, ilagan actually admits binay has problems – “allegations and issues” against binay.   ilagan is referring to the corruption and dishonesty allegations and issues that have stuck on binay. ilagan is probably the first spokesperson who admitted his principal, binay has problems. he is admitting that binay is damaged goods.

that is a very unusual and very wrong thing to say about your principal if you are a spokesperson. ilagan is reminding the people the allegations being raised against binay. he casted doubt on his own principal, the person he is supposed to speak for and promote.

it is a very strange sales pitch – buy this product even though something is wrong with it. we do not think a lot of people will want to buy a product like that.

in this one, mon ilagan, a spokesman for binay fails in his job – for talking about himself and his thoughts rather than putting forward the thoughts of his principal and for admitting something is wrong with the very product that he is selling to the voters.

it’s a WAWAM!

in picking a fight with Aquino, Binay gets a truckload of rocks and hits his head with each rock

June 28, 2015 Leave a comment

this is the kindest way to describe what VP Binay just did – he shot himself in the foot in picking a fight with president aquino. we see no strategic value or benefit for him or even any tactical advantage for his presidential campaign. all it has given him are more problems and harm. 

  • one of the important things you do for a political campaign is to build coalitions and expand your support base. this is probably one of the top 3 important things that need to be done in a political campaign. elections are won by having the most number of votes compared to your competitors. building coalitions and getting the biggest number of support base is a must, you assign this task to someone in your team to focus on it to make sure you are successful at it,
  • by attacking president aquino, presidential binay did not only not do the above, he actually did the exact opposite of it – binay added another enemy to his already long list of enemies. binay is being attacked by many from all sides mainly as a result of the graft and corruption allegations that have been in full display on national TV at the senate. for many months now, most of what binay, his spokespersons and his children have been doing is deflect the mud and slime that has accumulated on binay’s  face. they have been unsuccessful and they need aquino as an enemy like they need a bullet in their heads.
  • inviting aquino as an enemy is to say the least a very unfortunate and highly ill-advised choice. noynoy aquino is the country’s most popular president and continue to remain popular even though he has had some problems in recent months. common sense tells you if you are to invite someone as an enemy, choose someone who is weaker than you  or at least someone you know you can win over. binay instead chose the most powerful and most popular political figure in the country.
  • not only is aquino a popular president, he has built his presidency and in fact his election campaign that got him a landslide victory in the last election on the platform of “anti-corruption”. now that on its own is already formidable. choosing aquino as an enemy is clearly political suicide for binay because binay is now known for being corrupt and dishonest. aquino. an anti-corruption champion is exactly the person that binay the corrupt does not want to face. people will compare the two and people will decide who to believe. who is more believable – on the issue of credibility, aquino, the anti-corruption champion or  presidentiable Binay who has been charged with corruption? this is like the sinner picking a fight with the Pope.
  • aquino has a large support base and allies across the political spectrum. together with aquino they will be defending aquino and can possibly start attacking binay as well. that is not even including yet the office of the president, malacanang itself which probably has the largest communication group in the government. we are already seeing this  – the various spokespersons and allies of aquino including mar roxas have started to defend and counter attack binay, picking a fight with aquino means picking a fight with more than one person. binay now has to deal with each one of them.
  • if binay was busy skirting the corruption allegations against him brought up at the senate, now aquino, malacanang and his allies will be added to that existing list. this new enemy that binay invited to join in will take up a lot of his time and effort, a clear distraction on the business of having himself elected as president. it will eat up his time and effort, taking away precious time and effort from persuading voters to elect him. getting the voters to like him is already very difficult given the corruption allegations; the attacks from Aquino, his allies and supporters will just make everything much more difficult if not impossible.
  • all these is good news to binay’s opponents, the other presdiencitables. they are now all sitting in the sidelines watching the whole thing unfold, watching binay burn. they don’t even have to do anything to pull down binay. binay is doing it to himself plus aquino, his allies and supporters.

all of the above makes you wonder – why is binay doing this? aquino is the president of the country, he is the anti-corruption champion and more importantly, he is NOT  running for president in 2016. pulling down aquino has no real obvious or hidden value to binay. even if binay succeeds in putting down aquino’s approval rating to zero, that will not do anything to binay’s own ratings nor will that bring down the ratings of the other presidentiables.

supporters of aquino will not move to binay to increase his ratings. aquino has nothing to do with the dramatic declines in binay’s election poll ratings. bringing aquino down will not result to stopping the declining trend of binay’s ratings nor will it reverse the trend. the cause of the decline are the graft and corruption charges that have been nationally televised during the senate hearings. to arrest the decline in his ratings is to answer those allegations and prove them wrong. binay has taken the strategy of ignoring the allegations, of not answering them of bringing up unrelated and imagined issues just so he does not directly answer the allegations. no amount of talk of other issues will resolve his problem. the label of corruption has been stuck on binay. putting in more stickers will not remove the corruption sicker. that is where the focus is of the people.

what could have been binay’s other option? it could have been a simple one – resign from the cabinet and say he is doing so so that he can focus on the preparations that are needed to be done for his presidential run and profusely thank aquino for allowing to serve the country in the capacities that were given to him. had binay done that, none of these things would have happened. no additional enemies and certainly no additional negative talk about binay. resigning amicably and profusely thanking aquino would have prevented aquino and his allies, even aquino’s anointed from attacking binay. that would have been the masterful exit.

the strategic thinking on this move of binay has failed. we do not even think there was some strategic thinking done on it. none was done as we do not see how binay would have benefited from this move. we can’t figure out even a single benefit. the only possible “benefit” was that binay has clearly declared himself as separate and not part of the aquino administration, the administration that he intends to replace. if this was the objective, it is completely unnecessary and totally worthless. we already know binay is not part of the administration, we know that from his actions and words and that of malacanang, telling us something we already know has no value.

if he wants to present his own platform of government that is different from the administration, he can do that just by coming out with a press release or a major speech on policy. breaking up with the administration and attacking it was unnecessary.

bottom line is with what binay did he gained absolutely nothing but lost a hell lot of things. this is a case of not just getting a rock and hitting your head with it, it is getting a whole truckload of rocks and hitting your head with each rock until the truck is emptied of rocks.

Mar Roxas is back, not dead & out – June 2015 Pulse Asia survey

June 20, 2015 Leave a comment

just when things are heating up in the pre-2016 election campaign and new stars are emerging, Grace Poe and Duterte, based on the most recent Pulse Asia survey, Mar Roxas comes out as still alive and not yet down and out as others have been saying or as others are wishing.

Pulse Pres Jun2015 Chart Roxas

 

Roxas in the last Pulse Asia survey shows a magnificent gain of +6% points, now at 10% from his previous 4%. he more than doubled his rating. Roxas is  now a strong 4th. he is back to his previous rating of low double digit numbers.

this rating shows he is definitely not out of the presidentiables race. what would be interesting for him is his rating in the next survey. if Roxas sustains the double digit rating and specially if he gains, then we can say he has recovered and reversed the trend to an uptrend.

so much attention has been given to Grace Poe’s rating while very little has been given to roxas. we’re not saying the attention given to Poe is undeserving because it is. Poe over taking the previous poll leader Binay is a great achievement and worth the praise and attention.

but looking at the numbers  – there are only two presidentiables who have gotten significant gains in this Pulse Asia survey – Poe is one of them, +16% points which is astronomical and the other is Roxas which is a +6% points. the increase in number for Roxas may not look much, a +6% points but it actually is considering where he was before just a 4% rating. Roxas more than doubled his rating in the latest survey. a number that is being doubled is very, very impressive even if it is a small base.

Duterte also gained, a +3% points to 15% from the previous 12% but that is not statistically different with the +/- 3 margin of error. statistically speaking, Duterte has not gained anything.

what is even more interesting is that both Poe and Roxas gained. one did not gain at the expense of the other. that is a good sign. it means each one has its own base support and they are gaining from non-admin candidates. this of course can change in the coming surveys but for now, the numbers are looking good for both of them.

the election is months away and except for Binay, the candidates have not officially declared themselves as candidates. time is on the side of Roxas. he has a lot of time to build his coalitions and support base. there are still a lot that he can do.

but what are these things that he can do? that is another topic on another time.

 

 

 

VP Jojo Binay ratings continue to fall, a dramatic exodus of supporters

December 10, 2014 Leave a comment

presidentiable VP Jojo Binay’s survey ratings continue to fall for a second consecutive quarter. in this Pulse Asia survey to 26% in the November 2014 survey from 31% in the previous survey, a 5% point drop. this should worry Binay and his advisers as it makes the possibility of losing the 2016 election a bigger reality.

he is still number 1 in the survey but that is practically meaningless as for surveys like  these, the trend is much more important and meaningful than the actual rating for the period. the question being asked in this survey is something like “if elections were held today, who will you elect as president?”, thus the answer respondents are giving are relevant to the current time only when the survey was conducted.

the election is still in 2016, at least 5 quarters to go of surveys (surveys are conducted on a quarterly basis) and that means changes to the ratings and rankings will happen depending on developments in the country and the actions of the presidentiables. the changes will be dramatic with those initially ahead in the surveys early on dropping down, even to levels where they eventually lose the election. we saw this in the most recent presidential election in 2010 when at the start of the election period, senator Manny Villar was way ahead of everyone but eventually dropped to number 3 or 4 by election time when he was besieged with corruption charges and mismanaged its handling.

the drop in the most recent survey for Binay is an indication that the things he has been doing during the time from the previous survey to this one have not been working for Binay. Binay continued to be on a Binayfication strategy where he continue to ignore the corruption charges and allegations, refusing to directly answer them, to deny or confirm any of it and to offer evidence that prove they are false.

Binay Nov Chart

empty table

the table and chair set up at the senate for VP Binay

under the Binayfication strategy is his refusal to attend the senate hearing. the senate sub-committee that has been conducting the hearings on the over-pricing of the Makati parking building has repeatedly and in public told Binay there is an open invitation for him to attend the hearing. Binay on his part has also repeatedly refused to attend the hearings giving a lot of silly reasons. then at some point, for a reason only he and his advisers know, Binay said he will only attend the senate hearing  if the mother committee in the senate invites him.

well, the mother committee through the committee chair, senator Guingona, extended an invitation to the vice president. the senate even went to the extent of assigning a date and time. and on the appointed time and date, the senate set up a table, chair, a microphone, a name plate and even a glass of water in the middle of the place where the hearings are being conducted. it was a surreal scene as the media took pictures and showed live TV footage of the empty chair. Binay demanded the mother committee give him an invitation, it did but he did not show up.

there were new and additional corruption charges and allegations made during the period. but the other telling development under the Binayfication strategy was the debate with senator Trillanes. the same thing happened here – Binay challenged senator Trillanes to a debate on the corruption issues. after a bit of time, Trillanes agreed and accepted the debate challenge. staff from both sides started to meet to discuss the debate and like the one above, a date and time was set. then, all of a sudden and something that it appears none of his staff and advisers did not know about, Binay announced  he will not debate with Trillanes.

the drop in the most recent survey may be attributed to the Binayfication strategy – it is not working and it is not able to arrest the decline in the ratings of Binay. rather than helping him, Binay continue to lose supporters.

Nov2014BinayPulse_circle

looking at the specifics of the survey results, to us the most telling and the one that should concern Binay the most are his ratings in Luzon, and among the upper class (ABC) and the lower class, D.

the drops in Binay’s ratings are across the board – all areas and all socio-eco classes. but the drop in the Luzon rating is dramatic and stands out – it is now exactly one half of what it was in march, 2014. it is a dramatic decline to 22% from 44% in march, a huge -22% point loss.

similar dramatic declines occurred among the ABC and D socio-eco class. the upper and middle class saw an even bigger degradation – dropping -30% points to now just 17% from 47%. the D saw a -16% point shrinkage to 26% from 42%. losing your base support from these groups is a nightmare for any election campaign. this is an exodus of supporters from the thinking class and the poor.

the election is still 5 quarters away, Binay can still recover with still a lot of things he can do during that time. what he wants is to do things that will reverse what may be the beginning of a declining trend. he and his advisers should realize Binayfication is not working, something else needs to be done.

question is – does Binay have the smarts, the will power and the good things in him to abandon the Binayfication strategy and pursue another strategy, like the Truth Strategy?

VP Binay withdraws from debate with Trillanes, Senator Nancy deep in thought on what to say about it

November 11, 2014 Leave a comment

this news was all the rage today in social media. VP Binay challenged Senator Trillanes to a debate, Trillanes accepted, Binay and Trillanes camps sit down with the KBP to discuss the debate then today, Binay withdraws from the debate.
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social media exploded with tweets on what just happened. these are just a few:

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there will be a lot more reactions to this political event. we are particularly interested on what Senator Nancy Binay, VP Binay’s daughter has to say about it.

and we are also interested what VP Binay’s quadro spokespersons Gov Remulla, Rep Tiangco, Atty Bautista and Salgado has to say.

for the record, VP Binay was first to challenge Trillanes to a debate :

the unfortunate spin of 2016 presidentiable mar roxas

April 12, 2014 Leave a comment

we saw the above tweet by  philippine daily inquirer this morning. the strong coffee we were drinking was no match to that tweet waking us up.

first thing that popped in my mind was – “what? wow is roxas that rich that he will ‘give P4B to survivors’?”. i thought roxas would be the biggest individual donor to yolanda survivors. i thought roxas deserves a monument with his P4B donation to yolanda survivors.

i immediately clicked the PDI (philippine daily inquirer) link to read the full article and this was what we found out – 20140412-111825.jpgcontrary to the headline of the article, the P4B that “roxas will give to survivors” is not coming from his own pocket but actually from the government.

that headline surely and very strongly communicated the P4B was coming from mar roxas’ own pocket not from any government fund or government project.

the words said it (“Roxas to give P4B for survivors“) and not only that the lead-in to the headline also reinforced it – “Christmas in Lent”. that lead-in clearly says it is like some christmas present that roxas is giving to the survivors.

(full article here : http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/593735/christmas-in-lent-roxas-to-give-p4b-for-survivors)

all that of course is incorrect. in fact the whole article talked about the funds coming from government funds. there was nothing at all in the article where it said it will come from the personal funds of roxas but all of it from the government.

it feels like two different people handled this article – the person who wrote the article is a different person who wrote the headline.

The P4 billion is apart from the almost P1.8 billion in rehabilitation funds that the government has started distributing to typhoon-stricken cities and municipalities in three regions in the Visayas, Roxas said at an orientation seminar on the Recovery Assistance on Yolanda here.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/593735/christmas-in-lent-roxas-to-give-p4b-for-survivors#ixzz2ydjv0gSu 

 

so what happened there?

we think the misleading headline is the result of some PR work from Mar Roxas for the 2016 presidential campaign. the roxas campaign was able to get to the PDI reporter and/or the PDI desk editor on this one. often, the desk editor is the one responsible for writing the headlines for articles submitted by field reporters to the “desk”.  the desk editor also has the prerogative to rewrite or add things to the article from the original that reporters write.

it is either the roxas PR team got to them or the PDI writer and/or desk editor somehow found it smart to write a misleading headline on their own. of course the first part is speculation on our part and perhaps even the second one too.

to be fair the PDI is one of the most if not the most difficult to do PR work with. they are very independent will write and publish what they want regardless of who it is trying to influence them.

we suspect that this was PR spin for two reasons – (a) the framing of the fund release is highly suspect, it was being framed as like a christmas gift (“christmas in lent”) and (b) “roxas giving P4B” is an idea that is not at all in the article. it does feel very much that the one who wrote the article is not the same person who wrote the headline.

on the first one, the closest that to the framing of a “christmas gift” was what roxas said was this which was in the article:

“Advance Happy Easter. May you spend your money wisely to help your [constituents],” Roxas told local officials of Capiz as he handed over more than P200 million in rehabilitation aid for his home province.

 

roxas mentioned “happy easter” but somehow the framing morphed into a “christmas gift”. “framing of messages” to favor or skew the message to a particular person or group is typically done by PR practitioners, not editors of newspapers. in this one, it is obvious the effort was meant for the benefit of mar roxas.

the other part of this is that we think saying the money is some kind of “gift” we feel is very insulting and degrading to the survivors. gifts, specially christmas gifts are a happy occasion and a source of joy, something that is given willingly. these funds are not at all in that context, the funds for the rehabilitation of destroyed properties of people. the people suffered and lost a lot. this is being received as  a gift in the context of Christmas joy, it is aid or help to the misery that the people had to endure and are still enduring.

we understand mar roxas has plans to run for president in 2016 and by the looks of it the campaign period has already started with efforts already being done by his main competitor, vice president binay.

with that we also understand that there should now be PR efforts for the presdinetiables, but we think this kind of PR effort for the presdientiable mar roxas is very much misplaced and incorrect from a marketing and political campaign point of view.

if we are right about this being spin for the mar roxas campaing, then we think the campaign has not developed and is not following a strategic plan for the roxas campaign. that is a very dangerous lack and can hurt the presdientiable roxas.

 

 

 

Alan Peter Cayetano looking into 2016 presidential run, forms team – a tactical error

March 2, 2014 Leave a comment

today at rappler.com headline article was the supposed presidential run of senator peter alan cayetano whose preparations has started, beginning with forming a team, assigning a foreign strategist and and monitoring media.cayetano pres

this is early preparation considering that the next presidential election is still in 2016, a good 2 years from now.

preparing early for the election, even 2 years ahead of time we think is a good thing. the presidential election is the most major political campaign anyone can run in any country.

hilary  clinton resigned her post as secretary of state last year which we think is a move in preparation for her own presidential run also in 2016. clinton quitting her high profile position in government was the right thing to do – she quit on a high note, she succeeded very well in that job and not being there now will mean she will not make mistakes and hurt her run when it gets close to the elections. she will also distance herself and keep her slate clean from any political issues that might crop up close to the election and those that might crop up during the balance of the obama administration that she might or might not support, specially those she might take up issue against during the election.

no such kind of preparation for cayetano but forming his team now to look into ir or to pave the way for a presidential is similar in intent to that of clinton’s.

we have no issues with doing early preparation, like forming a team,  for cayetano’s presidential ambitions, we have issues with the move being announced or made known to the public.

the public includes his current and future political opponents, specially those who also have plans of running for president. these are his competitors, telegraphing his intentions to them now means his opponents can monitor him, make plans against him or worse make him a target of a political demolition job.

in marketing and advertising, you never, ever tell your competitors what your plans are specially for the future. marketing and advertising companies keep these plans and moves a total secret from competitors. things like codes, secret meetings and confidentiality clauses are made to make sure no information gets out to competition.

the worry is competition might execute preemptive moves. marketing and advertising moves that will preempt your moves and thus render your moves useless, prevent you from doing yours or weaken your efforts.

in marketing and advertising, preemptive moves against a competitor could be things like run a price-off promotion to get to lead the consumers with your products to prevent them from trying your new product; increase media weights of ads to drown out your launch efforts and even launch a competitive product similar to yours.

these preemptive moves have been done before in marketing and advertising and they can be done in similar ways in a presidential run.

the most obvious way to preempt cayetano’s presidential plans is to a demolition job on cayetano. his opponents may make every single mistake, even small ones a national issue. when this is done, cayetano will need to spend a lot of time answering them rather than building a case for his presidency.

we think this announcement is a tactical error on the part of cayetano.

there are many things  that can be done now by cayetano that his team can do. there can be obvious ones and those kept secret and out of view from voters and his opponents. what he needs to do is develop a strategy and plan for this effort with very clear goals and assessment points.

announcing to the public his plans to run is not one of them.

read rappler.com article here : http://www.rappler.com/nation/51787-cayetano-eyes-2016-presidency

 

 

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