Prof. Jennifer Lees-Marshment
Professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment, a leading expert in the field of Political Marketing has delivered a lecture under the Vice-Chancellor’s Occasional Public Lecture Series at the Great Hall.
The lecture was under the auspices of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), University of Ghana, was on the topic: The Emergence of Political Marketing and its Impact on Democracy. She explored the possibilities of using political marketing to enhance professionalisation in election management, political campaigning and participation.
The lecture was also supported by the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) and Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
The lecture was organised to initiate a national conversation with key stakeholders on how Ghana can broaden the democratic dividend through effective political management using political marketing.
Delivering the welcome remarks, Mrs. Stella A. Amoa, Director of Public Affairs said that the Vice-Chancellor’s Occasional Lecture Series was instituted in 2011 to give accomplished researchers a platform to share their research work. She indicated that the lectures, provide the opportunity for researchers and students to interact with accomplished colleagues working in their research areas.
Mrs. Stella A. Amoa, Director of Public Affairs
In his introductory remarks, Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost, College of Humanities, who spoke on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu, indicated that political marketing since the 1950’s had grown substantially to make its impact globally, especially in politics and democratization.
Political marketing, he said, is very influential in both established democracies and developing democracies such as Ghana, adding that since the 2000 election, political parties have substantially utilized political marketing to reach out to the electorate and ultimately influenced public discourse.
Prof. Samuel Agyei Mensah also advocated for stakeholder engagements to sustain democracy while finding strategic means to ensure ‘inclusive gains’ in the democratic development. He argued that the practice of democracy over the last 25 years in the country has led to the entrenchment of multiparty system, sophisticated political parties and voters, competitiveness of political campaigning and a desire for professionalization of campaigning.
Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost, College of Humanities
In her presentation, Prof. Jennifer Lees-Marshment, opined that politicians, political parties, movements, governments and nations use political marketing to achieve wide ranging goals which involve researching, strategizing, organising and communicating. She also disclosed that, political marketing had a big influence on our world, ranging from policy development, leadership decisions within countries, branding of countries, and globally-reaching decisions which she said can influence both positively and negatively.
Prof. Jennifer Lees-Marshment in outlining the characteristics of a true democratic nation, suggested that policy and core democratic ideals should reflect what people want, provide solutions to problems and must work. Political leaders she hinted should have a vision of how society can be a better place, create proposals to achieve that vision and seek public support for policy change. Lastly, citizens should vote for community leaders, engage in effective debate and deliberation and make informed decisions.
She further advocated for the ethical use of political marketing which she indicated included the use of market research pro-actively, the use of segmentation to understand how to win, and the use of research to build support for leadership-driven policies. She dwelt on other ways of using political marketing such as the use of branding and positioning to create distinctive products and offering choice and adapting to suit the candidate and party to maintain authenticity. She also called for the use of market research to inform decisions, galvanize support, neutralize opposition and design effective communication.
Earlier in his introductory remarks, Dr. Kobby Mensah of the University of Ghana Business School Marketing Department indicated that political marketing was an emerging discipline which could not be overlooked.
Dr. Kobby Mensah, University of Ghana Business School
Time was allowed for questions which were responded to by the lecturer and Dr. Kobby Mensah.
The audience included individuals and corporate organisations; Institute of Chartered Marketing, Institute of Public Relations and from the media, in addition to faculty, graduate and undergraduate students from the University of Ghana, Ghana Institute of Journalism and University for Professional Studies, Accra were in attendance.
Some members of the audience during the lecture