Cutting edge Ken

8th February, 2012 5:00 pm

If someone had told me a year ago that Ken Livingstone would be the first politician in the world to announce a policy by text message frankly I wouldn’t have believed them. Neither would I have believed them if they’d told me Ken Livingstone would be the first British politician to have a bespoke social media site created which tracks member activity and uses pioneering methods which has resulted in record levels of activists out on the streets.

The truth is Ken is running one of the most cutting edge digital election campaigns in British political history. Over 5 million people have seen Ken’s facebook campaigns, thousands watched his online videos and more crucially thousands have volunteered as a result of interactions on the internet.

On the 3rd January over 2000 volunteers handed out over 500,000 leaflets at over 400 stations. It was a game changer. It created real excitement and a buzz about the campaign not just among our membership but out there among the wider public. It was possible thanks to a system called Nationbuilder that has radically transformed Ken’s ability to mobilise activists.

It means Ken’s campaign can monitor how often volunteers take action, where and the kind of activity they prefer to take part in. Ken’s campaign has a record of thousands of people who took part in fares campaigning on the 3rd January so they can invite them to future events. Nationbuilder tracks their online activity too and turns online activity into off-online support. Nationbuilder sits behind the YourKen.org website that allows supporters exclusive access to content, lets them meet other supporters, share their ideas and sign up for campaign events.

Along with a formidable volunteer operation and on the ground activity, Ken’s campaign is slowly but surely, taking Labour’s message out to every street in London via the power of the internet and Nationbuilder.

Ken’s team has combined this with new text message technology that allows users to have a conversation with Ken and allows the campaign to record, segment and react to responses. Londoners saying they will come to event via text message, promptly receive a phonecall and a follow up email to confirm.

What Ken’s campaign has done very successfully is use the medium of digital to engage with supporters and voters. Rather than just seeing digital as a means to push messages in one direction, the team has used it to engage with users and this has led to increased levels of action and interest in the campaign.

Today Ken’s campaign has launched a major digital offensive including facebook adverts, innovative online ads across a number of websites, 100,000 email and texts to members of the public and another very high quality video.

On May 3rd I’m sure we will see just how effective it has been.

Fiona Twycross is a Labour London Assembly List candidate

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]
  • Anonymous


    What Ken’s campaign has done very successfully is use the medium of digital to engage with supporters and voters. Rather than just seeing digital as a means to push messages in one direction, the team has used it to engage with users and this has led to increased levels of action and interest in the campaign.”

    Just a word of caution. Obviously Ken is going to attract younger people who are happy and comfortable with digital communications, but he will still need to attract older voters and a great many older people are not comfortable with Facebook etc.

    Indeed, according to a newspaper report I read very recently, quite a few younger people even have closed their Facebook accounts because of concern over privacy issues – and of course, younger people are usually more adventurous and more relaxed – after all they have grown up with the internet.

    It is well known that older people are more likely to vote, so I would hope he would still use “old technology” intensively

    • Anonymous

      But Ken must have  taken a crash course then, to have done all this, or is it that Ken has a good team doing this behind him. Big difference between setting up your self then getting in good people to do it for you.

  • JC

    All very interesting, but so what? We’re in the digital age. Text message though, hardly broadcast; what’s wrong with a tweet (or can’t policies be brief enough) or blogging? Texting is so exclusive anyway. Blogs are much more inclusive.

  • Pingback: The US Presidential election and the future of campaigning? « thoughtful campaigner()

Latest

  • Featured News LIVEBLOG: shadow cabinet resignations

    LIVEBLOG: shadow cabinet resignations

    Rumours are swirling that “half” of the shadow cabinet could be expected to resign today, after Hilary Benn was last night sacked from the Shadow Cabinet. Corbyn’s decision to sack the Shadow Foreign Secretary came after it was reported Benn was talking to his colleagues about removing Jeremy Corbyn after the EU referendum result We’ll be bringing you all the shadow cabinet news as it comes through today. 14.39: An emergency meeting of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC), the governing body […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Labour is facing “political oblivion” with Corbyn as leader – Labour MPs circulate anti-Corbyn letter to colleagues

    Labour is facing “political oblivion” with Corbyn as leader – Labour MPs circulate anti-Corbyn letter to colleagues

    Margaret Hodge, former minister, and Ann Coffey, MP for Stockport, have said that Labour is looking at “political oblivion” with Jeremy Corbyn as leader, in a letter that has been circulated around the Parliamentary Party. The two Labour MPs submitted a motion of no confidence against Corbyn after they said he didn’t give a clear enough message on the EU referendum. They have hit out at the leader again in a letter (below) and said that Corbyn is “standing in […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News John McDonnell: we have a responsibility to the country, not to party squabbles – Corbyn is going nowhere

    John McDonnell: we have a responsibility to the country, not to party squabbles – Corbyn is going nowhere

    Amid two shadow cabinet resignations, John McDonnell has said Labour have a responsibility to the country, not to party squabbles. He has added that Jeremy Corbyn is going nowhere. McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor and Corbyn ally, has been doing the rounds this morning, in an effort to pour water on attempts to remove Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party. Late last night Jeremy Corbyn sacked Hilary Benn as Shadow Foreign Secretary after rumours that Benn was contacting fellow MPs […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Heidi Alexander quits Shadow Cabinet over Corbyn leadership

    Heidi Alexander quits Shadow Cabinet over Corbyn leadership

    Heidi Alexander has quit her role as Shadow Health Secretary this morning, saying she has lost confidence in Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to lead the party. Alexander’s resignation follows Hilary Benn’s sacking late last night, after it transpired the Shadow Foreign Secretary had spoken to frontbench colleagues about asking Corbyn to step down as leader. More Shadow Cabinet members are expected to resign in frustration at Corbyn’s leadership today. You can keep up to date with all the latest on our liveblog. […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Hilary Benn sacked after Corbyn plot rumours

    Hilary Benn sacked after Corbyn plot rumours

    Hilary Benn has been sacked from the Shadow Cabinet, following reports he has been sounding out his frontbench colleagues over attempts to remove Jeremy Corbyn. Sources say the Labour leader has “lost confidence” in his Shadow Foreign Secretary. This comes after The Observer reported that Benn had been ringing other Shadow Cabinet ministers to ask if he should call on Corbyn to resign, and if they would stand down with him if the leader refused. This could be a major […]

    Read more →
x

LabourList Daily Email

Everything Labour. Every weekday morning

Share with your friends










Submit