Awami League plans big social media campaign for upcoming election

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Published on October 15, 2023
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The ruling Awami League is set to launch a social media campaign portraying Sheikh Hasina as the only leader who as a prime minister can tackle the challenges the country may face going forward.

The sponsored campaign will fully roll out on social media from November and continue at least until the upcoming national election in January next year.

The ruling party aims to reach about 2.20 crore active Facebook users, and the top leaders believe that they are prepared for the task, AL insiders say.

AL's research wing Centre for Research and Information (CRI) has trained nearly 8,000 people -- mainly Chhatra League and Jubo League members -- on planning and producing social media campaigns.

The activists are already campaigning on the cyberspace.

Besides this, the AL will hold concerts featuring popular singers and rock bands in the districts to gain the attention of young people. Video contents will be screened on giant screens and flyers will be distributed among the audience members, AL sources said.

On social media, users will see content created specifically for the residents of their neighbourhoods. The text and visuals will highlight development and other changes in their areas, AL insiders say.

The AL web team in May and June conducted a survey in 61 districts and found that people were mainly frustrated with the government because of unemployment and runaway prices of essentials.

However, the study found a major portion of the people having faith in Sheikh Hasina's leadership, according to insiders with knowledge of the matter.

Besides, people believe the government has been successful in Covid vaccine rollout, mega development projects, reaching electricity to rural areas, and constructing paved roads.

In light of the findings, the social media campaign will portray Hasina as "the best crisis manager" and the best leader to solve the problems people currently face or may face in the future.

The content will raise the question as to who would lead the country if the BNP comes to power. The BNP-Jamaat's "misrule" will be juxtaposed with the "development milestones reached" in the last 15 years with the AL in office.

Subsidies for the agriculture sector under the AL government will be shown alongside old newspaper reports on "farmers getting shot for demanding fertiliser" when the BNP was in office.

Pre-2009 photos of unpaved, dirt roads will be presented alongside recent photos of paved roads constructed during the AL rule.

Contacted, Salim Mahmud, AL information and research affairs secretary, said, "On one hand, our goal is to debunk the propaganda being spread against us. On the other hand, we are promoting the development achieved by the Awami League government."

AL leaders believe that the BNP has successfully spread the allegations of corruption against the AL-led government, sources say, adding that that is why the AL will launch a campaign "against disinformation".

The social media campaign will turn its focus to AL nominees in the last week of December. The AL candidates' potential and commitment will be compared with those of their competitors.

The CRI survey also found that rural people trust Facebook posts made by lawmakers, teachers, and accounts with the blue tick.

The AL has formed committees to conduct social media campaigns in the upazilas. Content will be given to them from Dhaka.

Contacted, Tonmoy Ahmed, coordinator of the AL's web team, said, "We have taken all out preparation for digital campaign. We have been preparing our campaigners since 2020."

"We will highlight government's achievements and we will also broadcast misrule by BNP-Jamaat government," he said.

Tonmoy also told that they will portray Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as 'Best Crisis Manager" during their digital campaign.