Kateryna Odarchenko about political marketing

1.) When an ordinary citizen of Ukraine hears about the term «political marketing» what does he usually thinks first?

People, that already have experience in non-governmental organizations and political parties’ structures, connect the usage of competent political marketing with the process of the optimized ways to achiev goals. Instead, the majority of voters in Ukraine used to associate the concept of «political marketing»  with the technologies of manipulation or bribery. I think that these processes are caused by the «misunderstanding» of terms and concepts — mainly journalists are to blame. The role indeed is much more essential than the simple ukrainian practice —  distribution of food packages and hanging outdoor advertising.

2.) Is it popular in Ukraine to talk about political marketing as a new discipline?

It is said about political technologies almost everywhere: old people in their kitchens and/or eminent politics, but  the understanding of this category is rather abstact. You know, people in PR have a wonderful term «virtual term» reflecting ambiguous understanding of» justice «,» fairness «and so on. According to the statement  white is black and vice versa. Likewise, the political marketing — all talk, but use one. As for me the reason for this is the  lack of political culture and culture of realizing social and political projects in Ukraine.

3.) What does it look the market for such services in Ukraine? What are the big names in political consulting? What about top companies in this industry?

Top professionals of political marketing in Ukraine are very rare. Here there are some such as political consultant Zolotarev (worked with Tymoshenko, now  — the Comunist Party of Ukraine), Vydrin (maintenance Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko). They work independently. Next part of market — there are organizations that provide services of Social engineering (political marketing, PR, etc.) — the leading agency is Gaydai.com, Bogush Communication and SIC Group. This form of organization is more effective because it allows the resources to conduct a majority candidate and party structures. Teamwork experts – political consultants ,»field» managers, sociologists, advertisers — this complex gives a broader view of strategies and tactics.

4.) Is it common to use political consultants by Ukrainian politics?

In fact, the demand for greater political marketing consultants really exists among a new generation of politicians and the majority candidates. An MP that has not for the first time got the position or he had position of head party organizations for long time do not tend to turn to external specialists. This situation has a place, because of fear of new methods. For example we have over 2 months to convince the head of the most powerful organization of «Batkivshina» in necessity of inclusion of tactical work on the Internet.

But it’s all a matter of time — as a fact in competition winning candidate who attracted political consultants  — he has planned campaign saves resources, obtains maximum coverage on its resources, as opponents at the same time — curtain posters in every yard and handed over $ 20 people.

Our key objective — is to create a quality product and to stimulate political competition. This is the foundation for civil society.

5.) Parliamentary elections in Ukraine will be held on 28th October.

Candidates will be elected in mixed majority-proportional system. Would you tell us more about this new system? What was the reason for its implementation?

That’s how elections will be held this fall in majority-proportional system. So half of the parliament will be elected on party lists, and the other 225 members —  on majoritariansystem. A majority district in Ukraine covers about 170 000 voters for candidate — to win in this community! Here especially important for people is to work on solution of local problems. For example one of our candidates had district recognition of 3 percent, we found a problem that troubled community and initiated referendum —  the ranking now is growing rapidly, anda lot of voters are integrated into the process of combating the problem of the district.

There is another issue that will become a factor in rallying  of deputies in parliament future? The formation of factions in the party severity – of course, but the winners joining the districts (independent candidates not belonging to any political party) — it is difficult. However, backroom politics will always exist …

6.) What is the popularity of President Viktor Yanukovych’s party? Are people satisfied with Party of Regions policy?

The ratings of the ruling party is still sweeping down. Now the percentage of support reaches 14-20 %. The reason for this  were the negative trends in the economy, detuning relations with Russia and Europe, the problem with Timoshenko, the tendency to limit the rights of freedom of speech, political pressure on businesses, and the attempts to promote bilingualism in Ukraine. Certainly the «nuclear electorate» of Party of Regions still believes in messages about «stability». An indicator is that all candidates in majority districts often refuse to open announcement belonging to the Party of Regions — and present themselves as independent candidates.

7.) What are the chances of Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc?

Now Yulia Tymoshenko’s party «Batkivshina» is positioning itself as a united opposition, because it has included in its ranks the party «Front Zmin» Yatseniuk ,»Hromadyanskua positiya» Gritsenko, «Norodna samooborona» Lutsenko, «Svoboda» Tyahnybok and other democratic parties. According to the leaders of this association will bring a sharp increase in ratings. At the same electoral field plays Vitaliy Klitschko»s «UDAR» that creates competition united opposition.

The campaign is based on the country accumulate dissent, as well as Timoshenko behind bars — parties face Yatsenyuk (perception which voters rather ambiguous). Now united opposition moved into the substance of the campaign — apply key program messages, there is an active support of majority of candidates (all expressed their concerted that are united opposition.

Moving as voters tend to vote «UDAR» as the new political party. And that’s a fact.

8.) What do you think about two new actors of Ukrainian political scene. I mean — Vitaly Klitschko and Andrei Schevchenko?

I have not compared the role of Vitaliy Klitschko and Andriy Shevchenko.

Klitschko now heads one of the three highest-rated parties. Strategy of Klitschko — to form a faction in The Parliament and  then participate in local elections. The process of party building and active Information campaign will surely continue to the presidential elections.

Andriy Shevchenko — is just the face that have requested to raise the rating of the Natalia Korolevskaya’ party. Incidentally this move has not received good electoral outcome.

9.) Would you tell us more about the political movement (party) of Vitaly Klitschko (ie main programme, ideas, its popularity)?

Party «UDAR» of Vitaliy Klitschko bears main message — «We’re changing the face of politics!» — It is a reflection of independence from oligarchs, teams of young professionals in every field and personal positive image of the leader.

Main aims also:

People’s» vote of confidence» as a mechanism to recall officials.

People’s legislative initiative as mechanism of  people enactment.

To provide elections of city mayors in 2 rounds.

European integration and the introduction of European standards.

I note that the majority of candidates use the party program based on these party tasks with specification to the district.

10.) How many potential voters he can count? What public opinion polls tell?

In the case of support for the party «UDAR of Vitaliy Klitschko» in Ukraine — 15-17, but in Kyiv  — up to 20 percent popular support.

11.) What about Andrei Schevchenko? I know that he decided to join Mrs. Natalia Korolevska’s movement called «Ukraine-Forward!».

Ex- footballer Andriy Shevchenko and actor Ostap Stupka joined the team of  Natalia Korolevska. This happened less than a month ago, but did not significantly influence the ratings of the party. With the same dynamic list Natalia hardly gets into the Parliament.

12.) Would you tell us more about Mrs. Natalia Korolevska’s coming out in Ukrainian politics? Do you think that she is trying to imitate somehow Mrs. Julia Tymoshenko?

One aspect of Natalia Kololeskaya strategy — is the playing on the identification with Yulia Tymoshenko: imitation in the fight against political repression in Ukraine. Although the project «Ukraine-forward» and «Radical Party Oleg Lyashko» were mainly «created» first to discredit massages of united opposition and delayed over the 3.5% of the vote.

In Ukraine people are smart, they communicate, they interested in voting in parliament. They do not believe the message «New leaders — a new country.»

13.) How many people supports «Ukraine-Forward!»? Do they have any chance to exceed election threshold?

Mrs.Korolevskaya has started in the best traditions — for half a year before the election, while other parties displayed less activity. Of course as the formation of public opinion, we hear about 6 percent support, although real persentage for «Ukraine-forward» is 3-3.5%.

14.) What is the language of current parliamentary campaign (atmosphere, dirty tricks)? What are the most used by candidates instruments of political marketing?

In fact, this campaign seems to us, professionals, to be not interesting. Many candidates, running for the first time, take into consideration only «classical» methods — advertising , tents with information. Sometimes it happens that when communicating candidate said «I do not see the need to go to DC, make campaign yourself!». Then we abandone the project.

More aware candidates really make steps to creating a positive image, are building identification with political party leaders, use interesting indirect impact — such as forming polls, bright PR campaign, exploring issues of the district.

Still relevant in poor regions is distribution of food rations. Sociology showed that 8-11% of voters are willing to sell their votes for various «fees».

Together with  «black technology»  «mass migration of voters has occurred.» For example candidate -is  the owner of the firm. He spends corporative meting on election date and adds mobi 1000-5000 votes of those who changed the place of voting. Now opposition forces and journalists have made the abolition of the possibilities.

15.) What do you think who will win parliamentary elections in Ukraine? Who will be the the biggest loser?

I think that there will be the team leaders united as «Batkivshina», then «UADR of Vitaliy Klitschko» and bronze for the team current government. Majoritarian candidates currently positioning themselves as independent candidates may suddenly joined the  majority in parliament.

The greatest failure — the project «Korolevskaya» extremely large infusion resourses, a number of strategic mistakes and bad ratings.

16.) Do you believe that upcoming parliamentary elections will be fair and held pursuant to the provisions of the laws?

I know more than 7 technologies for frauds in 2012. In some areas we have already made plans countermeasures. Maximum information for ukrainian society about these cheatings! We provide training for members elections commissions! I think foreign observers help us make the voting procedure is the most fair way.

Besides this interview, of course if you would be interested in providing us from time to time with your opinion about politics or political marketing issues in Ukraine or abroad, you are welcome.

Please let me know if you have any questions or queries.

If you need some clarification or more advanced answers — write 😉

Have good day!


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