Rahul is Congress party's main hope of winning substantial seats in next Lok Sabha elections. He wants to capture the mind space of the voters and has embarked on serious programme to get his message across.
Last month, the Congress had inducted 36 new faces into its panel of spokespersons. Now, another 150 new recruits from the state capitals will be given coaching in how to handle print, electronic and social media from July 21 and 23.
What should Rahul Gandhi teach his media managers?
First lesson should be on sense of humour. Congress spokesperson never exhibit any sense of humour. Teach them to pepper their statements with wit or interesting titbits. It sets proper mood and there are enough theories about this in psychology.
Secondly, a spokesperson should act with authority. Meida persons are always looking for headline or sound byte, good enough to go without context. They should be given lesson in disciplining the media persons. One cannot blame the media persons for their eagerness for a sound byte as their editors hound them, inside and outside newsroom.
Thirdly, a Congress spokesperson should have knowledge and background information on what they are speaking about. Most of 'no comments' during a press meet are due to inadequate preparation and short on facts to speak.
Fourth point is a most important link, which is missing in state capitals. Many state units do not hold proper and regular press meets. Apart from their coterie of journalists, others would not know about them. Make them active.
Fifthly, make the party media managers proactive and energetic. Most of the time these spokespersons seem to require a full can of Red Bull energy drink.
Sixth point is to break the language barrier. They should be told to speak in the language they are comfortable in expressing the party's policies. Ask them not to be tempted to speak in English. English channels can put a soundbyte with English sub-titles. A language spoken with comfort sounds convincing.
Seventh lesson should be on how to resist temptations of manipulations. In the age of social media, voters cannot be manipulated. With instant discourse and messages, people can see through manipulation and controlled media management.
The party has a highest number of secretaries in its history. Besides 12 general secretaries as many as 42 young and middle -aged leaders have been appointed as secretaries in the party reshuffle in June. This is a big army and Rahul needs to have battle plan to utilize them.