Personal Political Branding: Who do you vote for, party or person?

Today I have a special guest, María José Bayo, Journalist, a true expert in political communication, of those who have been in the trench and at the negotiating tables, who has written speeches and advised hundreds of polític@s. And not only that, is my partner in Personal Political Branding

I often ask people around me who do you vote for, party or person? The funny thing is that everyone tells me to vote for the person. Although we all know that in a closed-list political system, we voted for the party and its head of list.

In Spain, Recently, autonomous elections in Galicia have clearly shown that the choice has been the person: Alberto Núñez-Feijoó has revalidated for the fourth consecutive time his absolute majority as president in the Gallego Parliament. Feijoó has obtained about a 48% votes. But when your party, PP, runs for other elections (State, For example), the Galician PP gets the 32%. This "gap" 16 points is called personal brand

In the last few weeks I've been asking people around me., press readers, what's the match Michelangelo Revilla, President of Cantabria. Hardly anyone remembers. The person projects a mark far higher than that of the party. That's also called a personal brand.

And to conclude with a transatlantic example, Mexico put AMLO as president of the United Mexican States, acronym for Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who clearly won an election without many voters having heard of Morena, your political party. That's also called a personal brand.

If you're short on time, you can watch this video summary: 

And now it is, I leave you with María José Bayo: 

Politics and need for self-criticism (needs to improve) 

A few months ago a businesswoman I chatted with after an event told me about her traumatic experience as a teacher at a very prestigious business school. He visibly assured me that he would never teach again. I found it curious, because his career path is really overwhelming, full of successes. As he explained, at the end of the teacher's participation in the school, a quality or satisfaction survey is carried out among the students. His note was lousy.. Thought, accordingly, that despite his years of experience and the brilliance of his career, hadn't been able to connect with students and that their communication in the classroom had not been the right. I recalled this anecdote when analyzing data on citizen assessment of political leaders in Spain and I have wondered, will they ever do a similar self-criticism when seeing the grades so low that they are given by opinion studies?  

Widespread suspense

“If someone who had fallen asleep five years ago would wake up now he would not understand anything”, joked the political scientist Manuel Mustard, cited by the EFE Agency in January of this atypical year 2020. He was referring to the Spanish and Latin American political situation. In his opinion, there is a phase of “Disenchantment” widespread among the public.

To cite some relevant facts, when we look at, For example, in the assessment of the main policy leaders in Spain who have contributed the latest barometers of the Sociological Research Centre (Cis) we see how is available in all cases (below the 5). 

Moreover, a total of 810.367 people in Spain asked in the last general election at the National Institute of Statistics (Ine), in Spanish town halls and consulates they will not be sent election propaganda ahead of the general election of the 10 November. These elections were the repetition of the generals of the 28 April 2019 because of the impossibility of forming government.

"It is normal for citizens to feel some unease. Politicians should provide us with security rather than more uncertainty, especially at a time when everything seems to wobble under our feet". I wrote these lines in conducting an analysis of the consequences on the policy of the financial crisis in 2008 and they could now take on new significance given the situation we are experiencing from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disaffection and dissenchment

In recent years there has been a lot of talk about Disaffection analyzing the relationship of the Spanish population with its public representatives. The Professors of Political Science José Ramón Montero And Mariano Torcal commented on an article published in June 2013 in 'The Country': "If these days the word most used to describe Spanish politics were to be voted, disaffection was likely to come up with the prize."

José Ramón Montero and Mariano Torcal highlight the difference between disaffection and discontent. The latter has to do with, Comment, dissatisfaction with the negative returns of the regime or its leaders to its inability to solve basic problems", is mainly conjunctural and does not normally affect democratic legitimacy. In his opinion, "depends on the swings of a public opinion linked to the popularity of governments and their policies". For this reason, the authors need to, discontent may be corrected through "electoral changes or economic improvements". "Instead, "they add, " disaffection is expressed through a certain detachment or estrangement citizens with regard to the political system". These authors indicate that this "is often measured by disinterest in politics and politicians, cynicism towards both and combined feelings of helplessness, indifference and boredom towards politics."

What can we trust, who to believe? Max Otte explains in "The information crash: The mechanisms of everyday misinformation" (Ariel; 2010): "And so the global financial crisis became symptom of madness even bigger than dominates our economy and society: the disinformation virus". Otte believes that "not only companies, associations and politicians, but also so-called 'experts', launch a lot of 'truths' into the world behind which they often hide big interests". As a result,, Says, citizens "no longer know who to believe, what they should or can believe and if it actually makes any sense to worry about gaining a broader and deeper knowledge, or if it's better to give up the attempt and give it impossible". In this sense, disaffection is not fought with small steps who can be seen in society as inconsequential actions for the gallery. People need to see other people close to them in politicians, practice active listening and assertive communication and, Of course, Empathic.

As you ask José Ramón Montero and Mariano Torcal in the opinion piece I referred to above: "If citizens go from Politics, they don't hold candidates accountable, they don't punish the corrupt, nor reward those who deserve it, who will control parties or governments, how they can be forced to change to become democratic instruments at the service of citizens."

Volatility, Uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity

In the current context, qualified as VUCA world, English acronym referring to volatility, Uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, one might wonder, ¿what is expected of a political leader in the face of a crisis situation? First of all, let's try to degreat the concept of leadership. I turn to the reflections of the professor of the University of Granada Santiago Delgado Fernandez in an article published in 'Political Psychology No. 29, 2004, 7-29' titled "On the Concept and Study of Political Leadership. A synthesis proposal". Since the difficulty of formulating a unique definition of political leadership, the author points out a series of notes common to attempts to define the subject matter of study: 

"First of all, in any political leadership are identifiable Skills for himself, always hard to fix. Secondly,, political leadership implies superiority in the exercise of Influence within the relationship between two parties as the leader himself and those who support his leadership. Third and last, there is only leadership when someone is able to focus Expectations of the group or setting unre defined goals up to that point."

For Delgado Fernandez, the justification for the presence of political leaders in democratic systems "lies in the ability to stimulate action, impeling the actions of followers and citizens towards the achievement of these objectives". Likewise, indicates that "the leader should be able to detect relevant issues needed attention and then trying to respond to them". "In addition, Continued, it must motivate and encourage participation support group or supporters in how many initiatives can be taken."

On the other hand, Delgado Fernández stresses that "leadership must be based on a deep and thorough knowledge of what is happening and concerned in the environment". "In this way," he says, "the leader will take the pulse in the way of thinking, to the desires and aspirations of those he intends to represent". However, in crisis contexts in Spain citizens in general have not found clear benchmarks national policy to cling to to trust and burden more expectations about changes in the immediate future. Just take a look at the ratings you survey after survey, as I indicated at the beginning, give to the best-known politicians. At best these border on the approved. They are therefore far from reaching bright notes.

Storydoing and personal branding

The absence of clearly defined political leadership, personalized and widely recognized in these times of crisis has coincided with one of the greatest communication revolutions that has been given in history and that has to do with Internet And, in particular with the social media. These have led to a citizen empowerment in terms of communication never before seen. In this way, any anonymous person could soon become an opinion leader without moving from their own home.

On the other hand, we need to highlight the importance that the action-oriented narrative has taken in recent times (storydoing), precisely because it is action that gives meaning to the story, the one that fills it with content. In my opinion, this issue is fundamental in political communication, because it allows us to move from the empty history of examples, whose capacity for conviction is based, especially, skill in being told, to the story developed from its own experiences that make it exemplary. As a result,, consists of one more step from the saying raised through storytelling towards doing, from emotion by properly using words to the ability to thrill through actions. It is precisely at this point that it is worth highlighting the opportunity to manage the personal brand in the field that we are dealing with Personal Political Branding.

Personal Political Branding

María José Bayo en blog Guillem Recolons
María José Bayo

Far beyond spasmodic politics developed at the stroke of tweet on Twitter, The Personal Political Branding is a very useful tool to bring voters and potential voters closer to leaders or hopefuls. Personal brand management, just as we approach it Guillem Recolons And myself, is related to the development of a strategy own communication that will allow us to connect the image we project with our values and goals to those of us who aspire. The personal brand is made up of the values associated in this case with politics or politics as a person and that allow it to differentiate itself through a correct positioning strategy.

In this task, social media is the main allies, But personal brand management goes beyond the online environment. We must not lose sight of the constant communication of politics or politics. For their communication to be effective, it must harmonize positioning in a given context through specific messages and orient everything to an audience as a recipient. In this task, the Personal Political Branding offers very prominent tools.

Political storytelling

The momentum of the personal brand will also determine the political narrative person, because there will be a constant transfer of securities towards his project. In this regard,, coherence is essential. In any case, a Personal Branding process starts from a preliminary phase of investigation, equipping instruments for self-knowledge. As you would indicate Peter Drucker, to lead is necessary lead first to oneself or to oneself.

Strategic positioning and communication management work will be based on the conclusions of this first phase. These key tasks Diagnosis and self-knowledge will serve as the basis for the personal brand. The same, to develop the communicative 'harmony' to which it is aspired, a number of steps must be followed, as detailed as possible of the Context in which the leader will unfold. At this point we must take into account both the political elements, as social, Economic, Demographic, and all those that are significant.

Stock Photos from Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock


Workshop: Social Media to boost your business

Just tell yourself that the days 27 August, 1, 3 And 8 September will take place this online workshop. Aimed at people who already have a social media profile but need to reinforce them to boost their business, whether it's companies or professionals Freelance.

Organizes: Quifer Consultants, Integrates Personal Branding and The Human Branding

The schedules will be:

  • Spain: 16:00h a 18:40H
  • Mexico: 09:00h – 11:40H
  • Dominican Republic: 10:00h a 12:40H
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