For sometime now Kenyan politicians have been getting the taste of social media and i must say some of them have become actual experts on it. The top on the list is Martha Karua. She #getit. So this week we had two very high profile meetup with PM and VP. I have little info about the dinner with the PM since i was not among the tweeps who attended it but our very own great @Msupastar covered it here nicely. God bless that lady.
Whether it was copied or original, the VP meetup was a great idea. Why? Despite their great influence, majority of the people who attended the meetup are not the type who go for political rallies. So this was a chance for the VP to meet and interact with some of the great future leaders (the boring cliche) of this country. But that is where the beauty of the whole meetup ends.. At the VP meetup, i realized that although social media is a great tool for communication, politicians are still at lost on how to maximize its potential. Here are my Conclusions:
- No formal Speeches.
When you name it Vpmeetup, it starts to sound like tweetup, such gathering organized through twitter should have the tweetup feel not political rally feel. A “Tweetup” comes from the Twitter-world and it is people who meet up in person from their Twitter relationship. It is amazing how the twitter hard cores know each other virtually through the hundles but not face to face. VPMeetup was the chance for Kalanzo to connect with the tweeps on a personal level and not give the speech which they are used to see on political arenas…
#Word1… to hell with formal speeches..
- On that note
The Vpmeetup just like a tweetup was not just a networking event. People who attended meetup are very active on social media. They have their own network of connections, communities and influencers who they actively spend time communicating with. All that Kalonzo needed was to give them one memorable experience worth sharing. Something out of blue moon…I guess VP #Failed there..Mmmhh
- No protection by the moderators.
Of course the VP should have his body guards and the security should be taken care of but that is not what i am talking about here. Controlling who to ask questions and not allowing enough time for that..is bad idea. One question i have to the organizers and the VP himself is: Why in the first place would he want to meet 100 tweeps and only allow 3 tweeps to ask questions ? Get it from the VP’s son
- Still on the moderation..
Why ask the questioner a question… i mean why ask @sickolia a question before he asks his own questions? Are you trying intimidate him or what? It was clear that @Toneendungu was trying to protect VP from hard and sensitive questions.. if that is case then the whole idea of VPmeetup was a big waste of time..
- There is a Swahili saying which goes, “Chema cha jiuza, kibaya cha jitembeza” meaning a good thing sells itself and a bad one is advertised. …
In my life i find politicians interesting lot, there are no time they will say they have failed and may be need to do more. One of the burning questions asked at the VPMeetup is what are some of his achievements, having been in the Government for more than 20 plus years. In Kenya we can remember Tom Mboya for Sessional Paper 10, Joe Donde for Donde Bill, Njoki Ndungu for Sexual Offences bill, Michuki for Michuki Rules. So what will you remember Kalanzo for for? Instead of answering that question VP became defensive , saying that he has been in Cabinet and therefore can’t bring a bill in Parliament like Njoki Ndungu… Oooooh did i mention Michuki up there, he was the minister for Transport when he reigned on the chaotic matatu industry through Michuki rules. We miss him….can somebody get his senses back and return him to the Transport ministry!!!
- Social Media is a Tool for Communication
One of the question asked was from someone from Ukambani, and basically it was about the fact that everything down there is being marketed as done or brought by Charity Ngilu. Too bad for VP, it is one thing in the national stage if people can’t see his achievements but it is worst if people from his backyard can’t see them too.
Now if it is true that VP has done a lot but the problem is lack of communication then he has the greatest tool ever in the name of social media to communicate all that. ..
- How to do it?
Instead of trying to sound like youth..#Stevo or something, start by posting the videos, blogs, genuine pictures and articulate the issues to the Kenyan people. I find it funny that politicians think that the way to connect with the youth is to try to speak like them or call yourself some funny names. Jeeeeez I remember even in campus or high school people who get elected to serious leadership positions are not the ones who bounce right and center or wear shorts on their knees but the normal serious and focused people.. #Befocused!
- Youth Issues..
Whenever i think of the youth issues, i remember:- “Our youth are not failing the system; the system is failing our youth. Ironically, the very youth who are being treated the worst are the young people who are going to lead us out of this nightmare.” Rachel Jackson.
So what are these youth issues? Just by the mere fact that a politician is on twitter or Facebook does not mean he or she is solving the youth issues. Talking sheng or something like that when election is nearing does not help any young person. What helps is solid policy to create jobs, wealth and a better life.
In the same line, youth also should realize that politicians are lost course, instead of asking what the politicians have for the youth, they should start asking what they themselves have for themselves. I hope that make sense and you get the flow…
- Social part of Social Media
The VP forgot the ‘social’ part of social media. The young people on Twitter, Facebook and in real life don’t want to see someone who is just out to market himself or defend failures. If young people think you are a Kigeugeu, try to change their minds although i am not sure how to do that. The meetup was a chance for the tweeps to find out more about the VP , and where he stands on the most dificult questions. Chance blown off…
- @Toneendungu might end up being a dictator in future… ooops, i did not say that . My account has been hacked.