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Political PR

Differentiate or Die


Differentiate or die. It looks like one of those dramatic revolutionary slogans: Freedom or death and similar calls. But no. It is actually the title of a book by Jack Trout (one of the authors of positioning theory, and marketing warfare theory).

Differentiate or die. Applied to politics: differentiate or lose, differentiate or fail.

A lunatic in the wrong way

It’s worth remembering an old famous joke. The main character is a lunatic (kindly speaking, by the way).

The man is driving his car along the streets of a huge capital city. When he arrives at the main avenue, he gets in but…against the traffic! And there he goes, driving north as everybody moved forward the wrong way, towards south. He manages to dodge the thousands of vehicles driving directly at him.

He speeds up in the middle of chaos, honks and screeching breaks, and turns on the radio to destress. Then he hears an urgent newsflash. The tense voice of the presenter announces: ‘Breaking news. Danger in main avenue. A lunatic is driving against the traffic at top speed. I repeat: a lunatic is driving against the traffic.’

The man casts a glance at the radio as thousands of cars drive against him, and says: ‘One? Thousands! There are thousands of them!’

Nightmare of the clones

Imagine a world of nightmare. A election campaing of nightmare. Where candidates are clones. Where every campaing is a clone. You turn on the T.V. A publicity spot of a political party. Then one of another party. Then comes a third one. And so on. All the same.

The same jingles, the same colors, the same slogans, the same scripts, the same actors, the same messages. Cloned publicity.

You turn on the radio. A candidate is being interviewed. Then another. And another one. And so on. All the same. Monotonous, repetitive. The same political proposals. The same ideas. The same voices. The same phrases. Cloned candidates.

Wake up.
It’s just a nightmare.

Mimicry is not for politicians

Some animals can camouflage extremely well with the surroundings they live in. So well that they can be completely unnoticed. It also happens with soldiers and their uniforms, camouflaged with the area they deal with.

But what’s good for animals or soldiers, is not for politicians. On the contrary, being unnoticed is lethal.

And you know what? To regular people, people that live at a moderate distance from politics, politicians are almost clones. ‘They are all the same’, they say. And they really see them all very similar.

That’s why it’s better to be a lunatic going the wrong way. Just one.

Where are the votes?

The votes are in the difference. If they think you’re just like everyone else, they’ll keep voting for the others. To vote for you they have to differentiate you. You have to be in their minds. They have to identify you. They have to differentiate you from the rest.

Do you want an advice? Help the voters differentiate you.

Be different. Don’t be another grey clone.

And for that you have to study the other candidates. Analyze them. And then analyze your own campaign. Look for the differences and show them, emphazise them. Be the lunatic going the wrong way.

Remember: differentiate or die.

Daniel Eskibel – Political Psychology
The voter’s brain is a dark labyrinth. And political psychology helps you see it’s secrets. Discover the secret side of political campaigns in

About anol_cebu

Emmanuel Mongaya writes mainly about local politics in his Bisaya-language column titled PANAHOM in Superbalita. He also blogs and serves as administrator for “Maghisgot Kitag Politika Bay,” Cebu’s dynamic political community in Facebook. He is a member of the Political Officers League of the Philippines (POLPHIL). These he juggles with his job as Chief Digital Officer of PRworks Inc., the Mongaya family business.


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Election 2019 Countdown

Election DayMay 9th, 2019
48 days to go.
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