Watching the Bersih 3.0 rally in Kuala Lumpur from a distance and following it on social media, Unspun was struck by the efficiency of the Malaysian police in the use of video and YouTube.
It was first very quick off the block in airing the video of the “attacked” and upturned Police car, providing “visual proof” of the thuggery of the Bersik 3.0 protesters.
Their efficiency reminds Unspun of one of the books he’s currently reading called Dirty Rotten Strategies: How We Trick Ourselves and Others into Solving the Wrong Problems Precisely by Ian Mitroff and Abrahms Silvers. Mitroff, for the uninitiated, is one of the best thinkers on crisis management.
One of the main points made in the book is that unless we frame the problems properly we will get the wrong answers or solutions, which we then go on to solve with great precision if we are capable.
If we follow this logic the Malaysian Police seems to have framed their problem has one in which the public is often fooled by others and not getting the facts right. The solution of that problem then is to give the public “the facts”, especially in visual form, then they would be convinced how good the police and government is and how bad the others are.
Thinking along such lines, getting a videoclip fired off into YouTube and the net is an great solution.
Unfortunatley that is not the problem being faced by the police. Their problem is one of credibility – unless they work hard at showing themselves to be a non-partisan professional body, most people would not want to believe them.
The “car attack” video showed a police car seemingly being attacked. A later footage showed it overturned and bashed up. Yet, because of the lack of credibility, most of the audience who saw that thought that it was a contrived video, with the police’s or the government’s agents provocateur attacking or starting the attack at the car to discredit the Bersih protesters.
On the other hand Bersih sympathizers, individuals and other groups are also using video and YouTube. They are less professionally done and was slower than the Police’s. They, however, showed footage of Police officers brutally beating up on protesters.
These, Unspun is willing to be, are believed much more than the Police’s video clips.
So instead of fooling themselves into thinking that they are doing the right things and that the Malaysian public would believe their videos the Police would be better off solving their real problem: a lack of credibility.