KUWAIT: Candidates running for the 2016 parliamentary elections seek with all means to lure voters including the latest integrated and sophisticated advertising and media tools. Such combination of media and advertising means, according to media professors at Kuwait University, includes usage of traditional tools such as radio, television and newspapers, in addition to the modern techniques such as using the Internet, posters and the social media outlets, not to forget the face-to-face contact with the voters.

All available options

Media Professor at Kuwait University Dr Mahmoud Al-Hashemi said that many candidates use the latest technological advertising means and specialized companies to run their electoral campaigns. He added that such combination of traditional and latest campaigning tools make the voter decide whether this candidate will be able to fulfill his or her promises.

Hashemi noted that studies have proven that the well-prepared advertisements can play a big role in directing the voter to go ahead and cast his ballot for a specific candidate, calling for adhering to the law in terms of setting up advertisements which must be rational. He also called on the candidates to address the entire community and not for a certain group of affiliation, saying the candidate represents the whole society.

Emotional appeals

Dr Fawaz Al-Ajmi, another media professor, said that emotional persuasion plays a big role in directing voters' convictions, followed by the intellectual and the gestures the candidate uses to disseminate his or her message to the voters. He added that many candidates have no time to substantiate their message to the voters, however, instead they tend to resort to direct contact with the voters and take part in media programs, besides using the various social media tools.

Getting the message out

Dr Khaled Al-Qahs, also a media professor at Kuwait University said that the ideal electoral campaign for any candidate must include usage of media tools besides the traditional ones in order to reach a big portion of the sought voters. He added that there are some candidates who do not have adequate money to take advantage of such tools but that does not mean he or she must stop, rather, he or she should focus on the best feasible means to get his or her message across to the voters. He also urged candidates to personally contact their voters through paying visits to their diwaniyas, saying that direct contact is an essential mean in the Kuwaiti society.  - KUNA