Police causing mayhem at polling stations, politicians in prison and companies packing their bags – these are certainly interesting times for Catalonia.
The uncertainty surrounding the region of Spain is an ongoing matter; however, in the latest saga of a divided country, the independence movement has won a majority in the autonomic elections. So, how have the separatist parties managed to sway so many people towards the idea of creating a Catalan republic? Are all their voters really in favour of an independence or was it all just a strategic campaign to divide the country? In any case, it is clear that once again it all comes down to communications.
Being from Barcelona myself, I speak with a lot of people who took part in both the ‘illegal’ referendum on 1 October as well as the regional elections on 21 December. One thing I found is that a good number voting the separatist parties don’t want independence and are just protesting against the central government.
If we take a step back and have a look at the recent events taking place across the country, we can clearly pick out two strategies, one which worked and one which didn’t. On the one hand, we had the independence coalition, promoting the creation of a new republic. This was a clear targeted campaign which engaged through media and social media with the population by creating a massive unprecedented movement calling people to the streets.
On the other hand, we had a central government which, far from creating a campaign, was busy criticising the opposition and pointing fingers. This clear lack of communication with the people has resulted in a sense of distrust and abandonment that has strayed the vote towards the separatist. So what is the next step in the saga? It’s hard to say, however it is clear that a good communications campaign is of paramount importance when looking to win votes.