Communications and marketing strategy (public read only)


Objective: To provide support to the overarching strategy through a strategic communication and marketing focus. This will include all communication and marketing to achieve, specifically the following goals:

  • Attracting 1500 member leaders by 2011 and 500 by end of 2009.
  • Supporting the outreach efforts (see outreach strategy) as appropriate through communications and marketing
  • When appropriate, ie. when 1500 leaders have assembled, creating a strategy to spread the political message of change that can be adopted by these leaders.

Communication support for FTI attraction

To attract new members to FTI the following actions have been put in place:

A) Internet based communication

  • Shantanu’g Blog and member blogs. Shantanu’s blog has been a major vehicle for dissemination of FTI concepts.
  • Individual Blogs – FTI Members should start (continue) their own blogs to spread the message of Freedom and Liberal values, and spread awareness of FTI as a forum they could join. We should also encourage people to go out and vote.
  • Active cyber activity – Members should visit other member’s blogs and other political and India-related blogs and comment on various articles. Leaving comments helps express our views and at the same time provides and opportunity to leave our website address to attract web traffic back to our website/blog.
  • Networking sites FTI members should actively participate/ create new networking opportunities on themes related to FTI, such as on Facebook, Orkut, Youtube, Myspace, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. FTI members must be internet-savvy!
  • FTI Magazine Towards a Great India, containing articles by FTI members.
  • Currently published every two months. Can its frequency be increased?
  • Articles should be published in all Indian languages. Team member to submit articles and in more than one language (Action: Team members)
  • Circulation is very low at the moment. What can be done to increase it? Its circulation is through a subscription service at Google Groups. Can we get a more active service?
  • FTI Website – A professionally designed FTI website supported by funding from Anil Sharma was released on 26th Jan 2009. There is a need for constant review and improvement.
  • Domain ownership. The domain must be maintained and updated by FTI. It is currently owned by Sanjeev on behalf of FTI.
  • Domain hosting. The domain is currently hosted by Sanjeev but in due course could need its own, separate, hosting company.
  • Streamlining the content. (Policy pages, who should join page, etc. need a lot of review) . The message should be delivered a clear an concise manner. (Action: There had been some discussion about this on Google group. Supratim has volunteered to help stream line the content, but every FTI member should provide comment and update the spreadsheet on Google)
  • Navigation: Easy and Intuitive navigation needs to be created as the links evolve. May need a complete re-design of the website in about a year’s time.
  • Search Engine Optimization – Look for possibilities to put search engine friendly keywords on various webpages so that FTI website comes up on first page when searched for words like Freedom, Policy, Team, India, Government, Future etc.
  • Tracking the traffic. FTI traffic has increased from 6 visits a day in August 2008 to 46 a day in February 2009. This is still VERY low. For instance, India Policy Institute website used to get about 250 visits a day a few years ago before it went dormant. And that was without any advertising.
  • Advertising the FTI website on Google Adwords. As FTI starts getting funds, the FTI website must be advertised regularly through Google adwords with a budget of at least Rs. 1 lakh per year.
  • FTI Logo – The copyright for FTI’s logo should be pursued actively. The matter was discussed with Anil a while ago. He should check with his designer and we should fill out the copyright form and lodge in Delhi.
  • FTI Policy blogs – FTI blog policy is being designed separately. There will be two policy blogs – one for the public to comment and other for FTI members to comment and evolve policy. Both blogs will be visible to public. A policy will be put on Policy Blog( Member and Public ) once it has been debated on Google Group and a very high level consensus is reached. A healthy public debate on policies will help attract more leaders to join FTI.
  • FTI memer blogs. Effort to put Member Blogs on website are in progress, as stage two of the development of FTI blogs These blogs will act as important signals of who we are and what we stand for. Refer FTI Discussion Thread – FTI blog options: thoughts for discussion
  • FTI Brochure – The FTI Brochure was released on 26 Jan 2009. It needs to be circulated widely via web and distribution by members.
  • Members are encouraged to print copies and distribute in their social circles and conferences and seminar they attend.
  • Web Circulation of Brochure via email campaigns. Brochure was emailed to 500 media persons at the time of website launch.
  • Email Campaign and Potential Leader Database – Data base of potential leaders in various parties who would like to join FTI and email campaign to send them email and send out brochure – Work in Progress.

B) Printed/non-internet communication

  • Breaking Free of Nehru: This concept is elaborated at length in the book, Breaking Free of Nehru. As readership of this book increases, more members may be attracted to FTI.
  • Freedom First S.V. Raju has kindly agreed to publish a monthly article by Sanjeev in the hard copy magazine FF. This article talks frequently of FTI and is aimed at socialising the concept among liberals.
  • Published writings by members. It is VERY important for FTI members to write actively on policy matters not merely for the internet but for the print media.
  • Newspaper advertising –This option may not be very effective at this point. But this means that we are missing out on some very good potential leaders who are not cyber active.

C) Communication support for FTI outreach

It is expected that Adharshila will be established as a major outreach effort of FTI/IPI. That would need strong support from FTI. It is expected that once FTI is registered as trust, some funding could be provided as necessary. Support would include things like:

  • Professional event management
  • Effective brochures/pamphlets in all languages
  • Posters

D) Communication support for FTI future political message

This will involve significant escalation of communication. It will be necessary to hire a professional communication and marketing agency at that stage. This would include:

  • Mobile phone campaign
  • Professional event management
  • Effective brochures/pamphlets in all languages
  • Posters
  • Get agreement and stick to that option
  • Commence actions
  • Review the strategy periodically

2 thoughts on “Communications and marketing strategy (public read only)

  1. a) Vishal’s comment:

    Dear All – I wanted to share with all of you on the strategy for
    getting 1500 great people. I am sure this would have been discussed
    before so there is a risk of repetition. This is apart from outreach
    program which should help in understanding the ground realities.

    1. We should target the intellectual hotspots of India-
    a) We should organize talks in the IIT’s and IIM’s and good
    universities abroad.

    b) Let us get faculty members of IIT and IIM involved. This
    can be done by asking them to
    post on our blog as guest, we can interview them. This will
    give us an opportunity to sell our idea to them. Many of them will not
    be ready to contest elections as part of FTI policy but
    we should keep influencing them slowly. Imagine getting Nandan
    Nilekani or a Murthy lending
    voice to our support even if he does not contest elections.

    c) We should keep posting comments on Liberal blog leaders. All our
    comments should have FTI signature. There are many people who read
    blog of influential leaders and also read the comments of others who
    post on these sites. Our comments with our signatures can bring them
    in our fold.

    For e.g. if one comments regularly on Nandan Nilekani blog then we are
    bound to get good people who visit Nandan’s blog.

    The strategy to attract best talent on web will be simple
    a) Find good liberal leaders who blog.
    b) Establish a regular contact with them by commenting on the
    c) Work on the principle that these blog will attract good people
    and we need way to get these good people into our fold. A FTI site may
    not attract the eyeballs today as much as a Nandan Nilekani blog. We
    need to use this to our opportunity.

    Vishal’s second comment:
    The intellectual hotspots could be many apart from IIT, IIM.
    REC Colleges, Writers Association, IAS officer group.

    Anupam’s comment:

    Dear Vishal,

    Some very good points.

    Just one thing – I have started to feel that more important than visiting IIT/IIM and engineering colleges etc is to go and do a presentation some ex-servicemean clubs or a group or club of doctors or businessmen etc.. maybe a golf club ….

    Once we have 1500 members, we can start going to colleges/schools etc and do some real campaigning…

  2. Discussing Piyush’s comment here ( now that this strategy has gone public:

    “A minor comment on the page. Shouldn’t we word the first goal as “Attracting 500 member leaders by 2009 and 1500 by end of 2011″?”

    Good point, but I suggest we keep the main goal upfront since the goal of 500 is secondary. If we can’t get 500 in 2009, we can still do well enough if we get them by 2010. We could rephrase as: “Attracting 1500 member leaders by 2011, with 500 of these by the end of 2009.”

    “Also, in “D) Communication support for FTI future political message” what do we mean by “Get agreement and stick to that option”?”

    That is a redundant sentence and should be deleted.

    Next steps:

    Piyush, these are minor changes and can be left untended for a while, but if you are happy to do that, I’d suggest you go into the blog and change these two points directly. It is crucial to maintain a latest tracked change Word copy as well, so we have a record of these changes. Pl. check out and follow these procedures. Alternatively, you can make a note at the bottom of the blog above, under a title: “Changes for next version” and leave it at that, since these are minor changes. Your choice.


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