Proceedings of The 2nd World Conference on Social Sciences
Small Groups Communication in Mayor Election Campaigns
Associate Professor Dr. Wittayatorn Tokeaw
The objective of this research was to study how mayors used small group communication in form of “coffee forum” during election campaigns in the aspects of 1) process; 2) format; 3) content; and 4) approaches to develop coffee forum usage.
This was a qualitative research based on participatory observation and in-depth interviews with 6 key informants, consisting of 3 mayors of municipalities and 3 campaign managers, purposively chosen from among people involved in mayor election. Data were analyzed through descriptive analysis.
Results: 1) process: (a) set target groups; (b) study their needs; (c) set topics; (d) make outlines; (e) write a script; (f) rehearse; (g) find coffee forum communicators; (h)train communication skills; (i) hold coffee forum conversations; (j) evaluate people’s understanding and satisfaction; (k) improve the work; 2) formats: (a) educate about election laws; (b) change negative attitudes about the candidate; (c) inspire people to join in community development; (d) capture people’s attention through storytelling; (e) tell jokes with local humor; 3) content: (a) the candidate’s biography; (b) the candidate’s and party’s ideals; (c) motivation for being the mayor ; (d) leadership vision; (e) community development policies; (f) responses to attacks and questions; (g) election method; (h) inspiration to get out and vote; 4) approaches to develop coffee forum usage: (a) develop professional small group discussion skills; (b) develop interesting storytelling methods; (c) develop conversation topics that will captivate listeners; (d) incorporate coffee forum conversations with print media and social media.
Keywords: coffee forum, small group communication, mayor election campaign, political communication