As demonstrated in the 2016 Presidential elections, social media is paying an increasing role not just in informing, but more importantly in organizing and mobilizing into action. The rapid changes happening on both the technology and the content development sides of the equation means that social media publishers and users also need to evolve with the times.
According to social media experts who attended Newscred’s 4th annual #ThinkContent Summit held in New York City, content marketers, or those who produce the stuff we read, hear, and see on the internet, must focus on brand purpose, make sure content strategy evolves, and not be too focused on self-promotion.
Netizens of all faiths and denominations reacted negatively to the call of Butuan Bishop Juan Pablo de Dios for in-coming President Rody Duterte to “show some delicadeza before criticizing the Catholic Church.” The bishop’s statements, a reported in the Philippine Star, drew the ire of Duterte’s online supporters, many lf whom called the prelate “a hypocrite.”
It can be recalled that Bishop de Dios is among those leaders of the Catholic chruch who requested favors from former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. He asked for a brand new pick-up truck, which he said he will use to service his flock living in the mountains.
Based on the comments and reactions of those who read the reposted news report on MindaVote, majority of the people felt that the bishop stepped over the line of decency with his call. “Kayo po yata dapat ang mag show ng delicadeza,” says Junice Dacalos. “Humingi kayo ng sasakyan sa gobyerno… Ang PCSO ay para sa mahirap, hindi para sa simbahan… Ang mga katulad nyong mapagsamantala ang nakakahiya sa bansang ito.”
For Rosel Zagado, being “100% Catholic” has nothing to do with his opinion about Duterte and the leaders of the church:
John Luneta for his part cautioned the CBCP from “waging war against Duterte,” saying that “they should remember that they have moved mountains to convince carholics to stay away from Duterte last election campaign, yet Duterte won by a landslide.”
For Elsie Tan, she had this advice for Bishop de Dios and all other leaders of the catholic church who still insist on meddling in politics
Attending one of the earlier press conferences of President-elect Rody Duterte, I could overhear some of the national media reporters wondering what time he would arrive and what would happen if he came in after their deadlines. In frantic tones becoming more panicked as the minutes ticked by, each of them were asking the asking the same question – “anong ire-report natin?”
In the succeeding days after the elections, the same scene was repeated again and again in Davao – masses of reporters looking for something to talk about. It even came to the point where someone actually did a story about the chair that Duterte sat on when he cast his ballot.
While all this was happening, people were wondering where was the President? Is he sick? Is there something wrong? Speculations where flying fast and furious, many of them fueled by his vanquished opponents.
And just as suddenly as he vanished, he came out. At 1am. Media outlets scrambled, reporters were roused from their beds for an impromptu briefing that did not disappoint. He spoke candidly and at length about many of his plans and programs, about his thoughts on the campaign, about anything at all that he wanted to say. And the hungry media took it all in.
In subsequent interviews and press conferences, the usual question and answer format was turned on its head. Now, instrad of being bombarded with questions, the President speaks and the media listen. He says what is on his mind – from his grand plans to minute details – and it is up to them to pick up what is important.
While his critics point to this a another weakness of the Duterte style of leadership, the results clearly show that it is the traditional, mainstream media from Manila who are losing the war. Duterte is forcing them to play his game – or be out-scooped by other, more nimble media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Duterte’s unorthodox communication style and irregular schedules are becoming a headache for the networks. But they cannot do anything about it because they know that, just like in the campaign, Duterte does not need to them to communicate with the people. He has social media. He has his Facebook army who are ready, willing, and able to broadcast anything he says, anytime of the day, to all corners of the world.
This is the game changer for the Duterte presidency. Unlike in the past when media giants could arbitrarily set the national agenda and make politicians dance to their tune – they have been brought down from the probinsyano from Mindanao.