• Reggie Abang

What should you do in 4 months? ( PART 1)

Probably the longest General Elections period in the history of any AKB48 group, MNL48’s version of the yearly fan poll was extended to October due to the pandemic. Which means that everyone, the members, the management and the fans, have months to prepare. The author had a briefer in his last column, but he will expand it further in this week’s column.

The management should seize the opportunity first since they extended the voting period. They need to address the following technicalities during the 4-month extension.

Send them away

Voting tickets are a crucial element in every AKB48 Group General Elections, and delivering them to the voters is vital esp. If the management is focusing for Single sales more (normally, Senbatsu General Elections voting ballots are inserted inside the single’s CD cases) However, in MNL48’s case, due to the country’s community quarantine, the management resort to sending the codes for the voting tickets the fans thru email.

Weeks ago, complaints regarding the delivery delay were on Twitter with no replies from the management in sight. But days later, they are now starting to send them to their customer’s emails. Delays such as these should be addressed earlier as they are digital codes and not physical ones.

Transparency

Second, they should also be transparent about the vote count. Time and time again, fans have been asking to the management that they should release it. In the author’s column entitled “Show us the numbers” (published May 6, 2020), he wrote that both the members and the fans should know the said count. That they have the right to do so. The management should know about this right as well if they want to strengthen their bridge of trust to their fans.

Otherwise, they might doubt the higher ups if they did something ‘suspicious’ hence not showing the numbers.

GE-CQ?

Another hurdle that the management is facing is how they want to initiate the general elections within the pandemic. The General Elections are still fall under mass gatherings which are not allowed under the general community quarantine.

In the column titled “Take the Initiative” (published May 23, 2020), the author suggested they could do the similar way BNK48 did during their last 3rd General Elections: have a ZOOM conference call and stream it throughout their social media sites and on Youtube. The fans will buy in to the stream and they might trend it.

Speaking of Youtube, they should release the members’ appeal video to “fill in” those empty days where no General Election-related activities.

The management should focus on these problem areas during the said extension if they want to make this event successful. Other than the endless calls to remove the elimination stipulation away from the general elections, the management should also consider what the fans wanted them to do in order to make it commence smoothly. It is always a give-and-take process.

Again, they gave themselves 4 months to prepare. They should not waste this opportunity. Unless they extend it again for another number of months which is impractical in hindsight to some, esp. if the said problems are not yet fixed.

On the next column, the author will focus on what will the members and the fans do in the extended general elections period.

Stay safe and have fun.

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