Oxford defines Politics as ‘the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power’. India is a democratic nation that is not run by the elected leaders but the people who bring them to power. Political consultants/strategists play a key role in helping the leaders win the heart of millions.
Owing to the nature and frequency of elections, political strategy and consultancy have started gaining legitimacy over the last decade not just in India but across the world. Whenever the elections gear up in any part of the country, the political strategists/consultants are already on the road highly loaded with data driving campaigns using extensive ICT tools to manage electoral politics.
Political strategists work as consultants (specialized in certain activities or areas of work as mentioned below) to help a candidate win elections by expediting election campaigns via driving people thinking all you need to know from the expert Vivek Singh Bagri, Political Strategist, LeadTech Political Consulting Firm
- Polling Research (Intelligence gathering),
- Digital Media Campaign,
- Public Relations,
- Fundraising, and
The primary task is to share the right message that centres on a specific cause or objective that helps shape/change/influence public opinions in the desired direction.
To become a political strategist there is no such desired qualification, however, if one is interested in shaping his/her career as a political strategist or consultant must have a good understanding of the politics, political structure and current political scenario.
Additionally, those who have a Political Science, Journalism, English, Public Policy, Public Administration, Data Scientists, Sociologists, Psychologists or Business Management background have an upper hand, as they have expertise in one or the other aspect of political analysis that is required to lead any candidature towards success.
Since India has over 464 million of youth population between the age group of 15 and 43 years and they are the key players in electoral politics, therefore it provides an avenue for the youth to become an agent of change as a political consultant or strategist.
What can a political consultant/strategist expect?
Here are some key aspects that one must keep in mind while looking for a job as a political consultant/strategist:
- Political Strategist is not a part-time job. The profession has gained significant popularity in recent years and has become a permanent role due to the nature and frequency of elections.
- The profession offers a lucrative pay scale and good working environment just like any other organization. An additional benefit is that the candidate gets to work closely with the respective political parties and lead them towards victory.
- The youth are driven to challenge and change the course of elections, existing political systems and narrative, and as a strategist/consultant, the candidate gets to provide alternative political solutions to the given problems in the system.
- Also, as a strategist, the candidates have the scope to work on on-ground campaigns, virtual campaigns and beyond.
- Political Consulting is a never-ending business that stays unaffected by famine, pandemic, drought, and whatnot. It is essential to maintain a democracy and so the jobs related to it, such as a political consultant or strategist, stays unaffected.
Expectation from a political strategist/consultant
- The candidate is required to understand the political reality, bring new ideas and astuteness in political campaigns and evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns regularly while also looking at the public relations aspects of political campaigns. As a strategist, the candidate also has to monitor the success of all Political Campaigns through analytics and real-time dashboards.
- As a crisis manager and risk-taker, for instance, the candidate should be able to take primary responsibility for the planning, conceptualizing, designing, execution and promotion.
- Deal with multiple stakeholders such as local media (print and digital), local people, different-different associations/organisations based on caste, class, gender, religion, pressure groups, etc.
Role of a political consultancy
Having a holistic understanding of what a political consultancy does can enable the candidate to venture into the role of political strategist even more effectively. Hence, here is a quick rundown of what a political consultancy does as an Election Consultant to a Candidate or Party:
Help in the registration of Political Party
- Help in Election Strategy for Political Party
- Help in Nomination, Election Campaign Management, Press Release, Membership Drive, Volunteer Registration, etc.
- Strategizing Social Media (i.e. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter) Campaigns.
- Showcasing involvement through Digital Media for targeting audience
- Drive Campaign, Exit Poll, Opinion Poll, Socio-Political Survey
- Audit and Expenditure management
- Political party account audited by chartered accountant empanelled with the CAG
Politics is the bread and butter for millions of people in the country who are continually involved not just in the betterment of the society and its people but are working towards making the country a robust, unwavering democracy. As a political consultant/strategist, the candidate plays a noteworthy role in changing the course of elections by influencing leaders, society and the people with well-researched, strategic and effective campaigns.