BN needs to match opposition’s propaganda expertise


Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – April 5, 2017: Communication and media experts are generally of the opinion that the government needs to improve its mastery of crafting emotionally appealing materials to win the hearts and minds of the people.

They feel that the ruling Barisan Nasional has a lot of catching up to do with the opposition, who have proven to be quite good with their propaganda materials.

Dr. Jeniri Amir of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak said that the practice of cramping too many facts into the BN’s information videos is not a good idea.

The political communication lecturer argued that while facts and figures may help BN win arguments, it would not necessarily woo voters’ hearts.

“The opposition, however, is very good at riling up the people’s emotions with their propaganda, even if they use half-truths,” said Jeniri.

For example, Jeniri compared the latest corporate video of the PKR-led Selangor government’s affordable healthcare scheme, PeduliSihat, with that of BN’s 1Malaysia Clinic corporate video.

PeduliSihat was officially launched last October. The scheme enables those from the lower income group to receive treatment at private clinics registered in Selangor and the Klang Valley at a subsidised rate.

The scheme’s campaign video, Jeniri points out, is engaging and interesting to watch as it delivers the message in simple, uncluttered and dramatic form.

“Instead of explaining on and on about the scheme, the producer decided to show the audience how the scheme works and benefits Selangorians,” he explained.

BN’s 1Malaysia Clinic video on the other hand, said Jeniri, is too full of logos and does not have enough ethos (emotions)”.

“BN’s doodle-drawn video has an interesting presentation and exposition but it lacks a human touch and is cluttered with unnecessary explanations.

“People nowadays have short attention span. If you bore them even for a second, I assure you they will stop watching your video,” Jeniri said.

Launched in 2010, the 1Malaysia Clinic provides immediate basic healthcare services for Malaysians at just RM1 per visit, with senior citizens exempted from any payment.

Videographer Hisyam Jamil agrees with Jeniri on how too much content will end up spoiling a video clip.

“The rule of thumb in making a great video is to keep the storyline short and simple.

“There’s no need to have a complicated storyline. Even boring training videos can be entertaining to watch if you put a well-developed storyline in it,” he explained.

Relatable characters and scenarios, said Hisyam, are also important aspects of making great videos.

“These characters provide you with a natural window to communicate your information to the audience. Don’t give a lecture.

“Your audiences will relate much better with a peer than some authority figures,” he said.



About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at [email protected]