6 March 2013 5 Comments

Hugo Chavez: 6 building blocks for Social/Digital media success

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Hugo Chavez: six building blocks to Social/Digital media specialist success http://bit.ly/WugilY Late Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez was an outstanding leader. Yesterday, his life was caught short after a long drawn battle with cancer which lasted for about two years.  For many Venezuelans, Hugo was a hero, while some opposition saw him as a clownish dictator.  Hugo ran into problem with his opponents based on his currency control and aggressive nationalization policies. Many who hated Hugo are part of the rich and aristocratic lineage. Many Brazilians, Caribbean were deeply sorry for the death of this socialist President. Some in Colombia felt Hugo was also instrumental to a level of relative peace being enjoyed in their clime now.

Hugo Chavez often talked about his relatively poor background and may be that informed his decision in channelling oil revenues to development of poor. Chavez built a strong bond with majority of Venezuelan which might had helped in to rule for about fourteen years.

After a careful study of Hugo Chavez, i strongly believe his life has a lot of lessons social/digital media professionals can learn.

Stand for something and promote it: Hugo was an outspoken person who vehemently defended what he thought was right. He was against many of the Venezuelans’ oil magnates. Hugo was a socialist to the core. He promoted this view to the extreme even when his relationship with the US became strained. One can vividly observed Hugo Chavez’s stand on his differentiation. He was never involved in double-speak. To be successful, what is your brand’s differentiation? Are you ready to die for this position? Will you give all it takes to ensure your positioning is known to all without any colouration?

Build loyal followers: in many instances, one does not need to look around too much before one sees Hugo Chavez’s was loved. After his return from Cuba for cancer surgery, many trouped to the major roads to welcome their hero. People went to stay at the gate of the Military Hospital where he was kept and would not leave. To gain word of mouth advantage and strong engagement with your followers, you must first show them love. This will form the basis of the next point. Suffice to say here is that loyal followers are not product of one night stand. It is a continuous commitment.

Love your fans passionately: as stated above, Hugo Chavez was passionate about his constituent. Despite his extremist attitude, his decision to channel the oil revenue to development of the poor helped his brand. The aristocratic and wealthy hated him for this yet he stood his ground. Who are your target audience? How much do you know about them and can they go to sleep with two eyes closed? Can they trust your brand will always be on their sides come rain, come sunshine?

Separate issues from personality: Even though Hugo Chavez relationship with USA was in bad shape. Hugo constantly had issues with the nation’s policy on war etc, his government donated generously to the victims of Huricane Katrina. For many social/Digital media activists, sometimes it is difficult for them to do this well. As soon as they have problem with a fan, they will rather throw the baby away with the bath water. Life does not roll this way. Learn to separate issues, especially when it is valid, from the personality involved.

Leverage your opportunities: everyone has outstanding opportunities in something. Ability to leverage this special ability in social media can help. It may be ability to design great platforms; some have strong copy skill, while some can excel with content publishing and marketing. Whatever is it, maximize and leverage them. Hugo Chavez used the oil to leverage with other countries like China and Angola despite US hostility to him and his policies.

Follow due process: Many social/digital media do not care much about how results are gotten.  Their regular slogan is ‘the end justifies the means’. While this is good, following due process helps a professional gain credibility and strong engagement. After two surgeries, Hugo Chavez discovered he might not be able to effectively run government; he handed over power to his vice Nicolas Maduro, who had been sworn in immediately after Hugo’s death yesterday.

What are we missing? Join the conversation, use the comment’s section.

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