Is the Labour Party is trying to do digital campaigning differently?

9th November, 2013 2:57 pm

Earlier this week I wrote about the Labour Party’s new attack video against Cameron on the NHS – which the party’s digital team turned around in just a few hours after PMQs on Wednesday afternoon (and which received plaudits from across the political spectrum). Labour insiders told me that this kind of quick turnaround campaign/attack ad is the kind of thing we’ll be seeing far more of in the months leading up to the General Election campaign – and it’s the kind of thing that Matthew McGregor and other members of Labour’s expanded digital team have been working on, as well as being evidence of the party’s newfound focus on attack.

But there are clearly other ways that the party’s digital campaigning has changed and expanded in recent weeks. Today the party released its first “Thunderclap” -that’s the name of the software – as 800 people (including me) signed up to let the party send out a tweet about the energy price freeze using their Twitter account. People have been signing up over the past few weeks and it theoretically allows the party to reach over four million people with a single message (the thunderclap was one part – probably the most noticeable – of today’s co-ordinated campaigning which is happening today). Whilst that has led to some predictable snarking from those in the Westminster Village bubble who suddenly saw dozens of identical messages in their timeline, most people don’t follow every Labour MP/activist/supporter on Twitter, so will only have seen it once or twice. A message to those complaining about seeing it too much – you’re not the target audience. (There’s an interesting and quite fair write up of the Thunderclap over at Buzzfeed).

Less noticeable, but no less important, was the party experimenting with big graphic style emails that tell a story. These are fairly common in the US but are a recent import to the UK – and look much more interesting that a standard text email – and they’re also easier to share on social media. Here’s one the party put out yesterday:

longscroll_energy_graphic

This is obviously a far easier way to share large amounts of information than most conventional emails – as well as looking a darn side more interesting too.

It’s good to see the party experimenting with different forms of digital campaigning, but there’s still room for improvement – starting with the fundraising emails, which would be improved with the kind of innovation that is happening elsewhere…

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