By Muhammad Ibraheem Abdullah (Melbourne- Australia) -:
In modern political landscape, political brand considers the way in which politicians use effective communication to make their differences over their opponent and establish credibility with their audience. This means political brand can represent successful factor for politicians, if they manage it successfully.
According to the ‘The American Marketing Association’ Brand is “A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers”. Brand can maintain voter loyalty through communication designed, consistency of values, and emotional connection with voters’ social and cultural values. This depends on the abilities and capabilities of political figures.
One of the most effective techniques to convey their values and establish credibility is through the dimension of source credibility such as rhetorical and persuasion techniques, Competence, charisma, personal appearance, body language and dynamism. These characteristics are the most important strategies for successful political figures to distinguish themselves from their opponents in political scene. This process of building political brand depends on political public relations efforts to make effective communication based on mutual trust and involve emotionally with the audiences.
In studies of political communication itneeds to point out what makes some politicians different from others. For instance, the president of the U.S.A Obama, who is known for his rhetorical skills in political speeches, according to experts; it was one of the reasons for his victory in the election campaigns in 2008 and 2012. Rhetoric known in the scientific literature as matching words to appropriate and that in order to bear fruit in the successful political profile of the brand.This process formulates Obama as a political product, and markets him with social values such as change and hope to diverse ethnics groups. This makes Obama different to his opponent,John McCain and Mitt Romney.
With the advent of democratic system in Iraq, many political parties emerged with various ideologies and various political figures, but unfortunately most of these politicians failed to establish their credibility with audiences for many reasons. One of them is a lack of rhetorical techniques.
Watching and observing them on television and follow up a number of these characters in conversation and maneuver, this display the size of linguistic weakness and the fragility of the political charisma of the current political figures who lack mastery of rhetoric techniques to persuade their viewers.Simple analysis of the content of the politicians conversation on television allow us disclose in minutes the weakness strategic vision of political leaders that the Iraqis are unable to build credibility with even few category of the community.
Because of current political figure lacking dimension of source credibility, they cannot realize the needs and aspiration of the Iraqi Society, which consists of various ethnic groups who are looking for a leader to talk in common values and unify them as a one Iraqi nation like Obama and American society.
These results in many Iraqi politicians have not met the aspirations and needs of psychology of Iraqi person. They were known from history such as Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar as a strong leader and unify the society in first civilized city of the world in Babylon. In addition they have not met the expectations of Iraqi society, which suffers from disintegration and collapse from 2003 and so far. This can be proved by reading the news about Iraqi events where regularly witness protest against the government and their demand to replace all the politicians these days.
For this reason, many Iraqi political brands who failed over the past years need to switch quickly and coming up with new political brand as leaders. The new leaders must believe in democratic values as a way of co-existence between ethnics groups and races in Iraqi society. In addition, leaders must have the capacity to unify the society as a strategic plan to get rid of Islamic state (ISIS) or any other terrorist group.
In the cost of over a million deaths of civilians, the destruction of the whole country and disintegration of the social fabric, people of Iraq got this new political system. Iraq’spoliticians have thought about strong leader who can get support across Iraqi ethnics groups, but unfortunately all of them care about their sect more than others. This results in destroying the cohesion of society. In order to rebuild the country Iraqi people must select the strong leader who can manage and represent the country in successful way and maintain the relation with surrounding countries. Therefore, new politicians have to achieve these goals, to take in to his account the dimension of source credibility and particularly the rhetorical and persuasive techniques to connect rationally and emotionally with all Iraqi people. Leaders with these factors of strong political brand can save Iraq from the collapse of the social fabric.
(Mohammad Ibraheem Abdullah is an Iraqi journalist, lecturer and a PhD scholar of media at RMIT University, Melbourne).