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#RahulSpeaksToArnab creates social media furore

29-January-2014
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#RahulSpeaksToArnab creates social media furore

Congress party’s VP and leader of their 2014 election campaign can’t seem to catch a break from social media trolls. Rahul Gandhi’s conversation on ‘Frankly Speaking With Arnab Goswami’ has created a furore and jokes at the Congress leader’s expense, which continued even a day after the interview was aired on Times Now. According to analysis by digital marketing agency Liqvd Asia, Gandhi’s interview earned Times Now the most mentions for a single news channel, that is, 3 million tweets and 296 million impressions, with a majority of the tweets and mentions from, unsurprisingly, the 21-40 age group.

“Yesterday’s interview will establish social media in the main line media. Every time there was an ad break, the tweet volumes went up. We also noticed more RTs during the breaks. This proves the fact of multi-screen usage pattern all over again,” commented Arnab Mitra, Co-founder and MD, Liqvd Asia. Some interesting things that came out from Liqvd’s report included the fact that Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were the states where the viral spread the most; a fact that Congress might want to think about before the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The amount of scorn directed at Rahul Gandhi is also an indicator that social media platforms have made the people more vocal about expressing their displeasure. Siddharth Hegde, Founder and MD, Ethinos Digital Marketing remarked, “On social media, people can give vent to a whole lot of things that they normally would not. It has made even watching television programes a spectator sport. You tweet as you see it and when you see others doing the same, you get further emboldened.” Agreeing with this, Mitra added, “Diplomacy took a backseat last night. People came out and said what they had to. There could be two implications of this – we are not ready to tolerate any kind of nonsense and the Congress has a lot to pave back should they want to be in this election.”

So, does this mean that Rahul Gandhi should stop appearing on public channels again? “A politician is like a brand, so you can’t shy away from the public eye just because of negative comments,” said Sanjay Mehta, Co-CEO, Social Wavelength. But, apart from making the channel happy with the buzz generated, if #RahulSpeaksToArnab has proven anything, it is that social media is the new vox populi and they are not playing by the old rules.

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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.