The rivalry between two Kenyan newspapers, Nation and the Standard, played out in public after both media houses rolled out strategic marketing strategies on Thursday, April 8.
The Standard was unveiling a new newspaper design in a bid to offer a more visual, interactive and informative look as part of its digital transformation plan while the Nation was launching a marketing campaign.
The two were trending on Twitter for the better part of the day on Thursday and Friday, with each marketing their brands.
Standard Group PLC unveiled a new newspaper design on Thursday, April 8.
The Standard, on Saturday, April 10, posted a satirical photo where a woman wearing a promotional Nation coat was reading the newly relaunched Standard Newspaper.
“Seeking the truth in The Standard on a daily because we are #SettingTheStandard for the nation,” reads the cheeky caption.
The photo elicited reactions from Kenyans with most saying that the two publications were engaging in healthy competition.
“Marketing and supporting your rival in the industry. We need both truth and standard in our nation,” Harun Wangwa, a netizen stated.
“This is creative. Hope Nation will strike back. This could be entertaining,” another weighed in.
On Friday, April 9, however, bloggers used the hashtag Raise your Standard, to malign the Nation by using photoshopped images and fake content. It is not clear who had issued the instruction to the bloggers.
In their tweets, the bloggers accused the publication of misleading the public and supporting a certain politician.
NMG Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu has condemned the bloggers, saying that they will get to the bottom of the matter.
“In all fairness, it’s important for the public to know that we do not, have not and shall not, support any politician. As a matter of fact, those politicians being mentioned by these cyberbullies don’t like us. The Nation has been unsuccessfully chasing one of them for an interview for almost two years.
“This is abuse of the anonymity of digital channels to defame our staff and unfairly attack our credibility. We will do our best to reveal this too,” Mathiu stated.
The logo for Nation Media Group’s new website