With Prashant Kishor emerging as a key architect of the spectacular victory of Nitish-Lalu duo in Bihar, politics has become a new hunting ground for the communications experts who have been so far largely focused on the world of business.
While a number of PR agencies are evaluating their foray into the arena of political strategy, several individual communications experts are also looking to join the bandwagon even as speculation is rife about Kishor and his team having been approached for at least four upcoming assembly elections – in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
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There are also reports that Kishor might not immediately decide on taking up a new role as expectations from him have reached sky-high after the success he has tasted in Bihar and prior to that in Lok Sabha polls of 2014 when he had worked with the Team Modi.
Still, almost all leading political parties are said to be looking for campaign strategists like Kishor and other independent agencies for upcoming state elections. West Bengal is going to polls along with Assam next year followed by Uttar Pradesh in 2017.
A new political campaign management company, Oakland Brigs, has already been appointed by a key political front for the Assam elections, while it is also in talks with a leading party in Uttar Pradesh, said an insider. Along with local expertise, Brigs claims to have roped in some renowned international experts and it is not averse to working with more political fronts in other states.
Executives at Oakland Brigs refused to name the parties that they are talking to, citing confidentiality clause. There were no immediate comments from Kishor and his team members.
Anup Sharma, an independent PR consultant who worked with three Chief Ministers and two Union Ministers, said voter interests during political campaigns are prone to change and a political communication consultant helps in spotting the latest trend.
Sharma, who worked mainly on key messaging and social media tools during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and during three assembly elections in the same year, said there has been a big change in public interest as voters are no more concerned only about the candidate and are asking about policy initiatives at all levels.