The Rules of Engagements
Communication is an art form as old as time. Whether it’s a flock of birds chirping in a tree or whales singing to each other over great distances, the messages are always indicative of a certain situation.
In these cases, the messages also serve as a personal identifier and a vessel carrying a very specific meaning. And, when it comes to addressing the masses, so said messages require a different kind of formulation to ensure clarity related to the outcome of the intended objective.
Surprisingly, in reference to the recent political campaigns, and considering the advances witnessed on all fronts throughout the world, derogatory is a word that comes to mind. Insulting is another especially when comparing how the different political factions went about promoting their members for the Beirut municipality elections.
Any foreigner, who happens to have been in the city during that period, would not have been mistaken for thinking that the messages communicated are immature in the sense that they seem to be fabricated for children rather than mature adults.
What was equally ludicrous is the fact that there did not seem to be any kind of consideration expressed to the voters who have the constitutional power to elect when bidding them to take sides. The immaturity that was blaringly obvious, and in some cases loud, mimicked a modus operandi that in itself predates antiquity.
The slogans used were devoid of any kind of meaning and the candidates’ posters were out of focus, faded, and often times, highly inappropriate. Luckily, and to the surprise of everyone, the only campaign worthy of note for being well-thought out and exacting, was that of Beirut Madinati, which was well executed.
Although the opponents remarked that the 24 individuals running had no chance, public opinion was gradually swinging in favour as that campaign, which also had a sophisticated logo reflecting a culture and identity of the capital, was the first, in a long long long while that was on par with those staged in first world nations.
Ironically, though not surprisingly, other factions immediately started taking notice and even went as far as copy-pasting Beirut Madinati’s programme as their own. Additional tactics were also imitated in hope of a better outcome.
There really is nothing more to say except that if someone is going to do something, they better do it right and Beirut Madinati definitely changed a lot of things, starting with the basic rulebook of effective communication.
They may have lost, but the game is certainly far from over.