Continued count concerns campaigners and country


The campaign may be over but the counting continues and the country and the campaigners await a result.

While we wait to find out who the latest PM is, let’s have a look some lessons we can learn as communicators from the latest election campaign.

Memes seem to go hand in hand with politics now. If you don’t know exactly what a meme is (think #choppergate) here is a great explainer. It shows just about anything can be summed up in a picture.


Communication lesson #1: Educate your public. Donkey votes were at an all time high and received a chunk of media attention. If the public were interested and educated these number might drop – adding to the count.

A word that is widely used– plebiscite.  It sounds like some sort of bacteria.

Plebiscite: The direct vote of all the members of an electorate on an important public question (Collins).

Lesson #2. Know your message and keep your brand consistent: Don’t forget that personal connection. People who know you are more likely to buy from you or vote for you. Who could forget how the media took to Malcolm Turnbull’s grandson. Trustometer up.

C= cute.

Lesson #3. The public is always ready to pounce. Bill Shorton was trending when video of him eating a sausage sizzle took off. He obviously doesn’t shop at Bunnings on the weekends.

This trended (briefly) more than #mediscare

Lesson #4. Keep your friends close and social media closer. We thought we’d see more of the Australian Federal Election on Snapchat – like we have seen in the US.  Turnbull and his side had a snapchat lens developed. Julie Bishop took a couple of good snaps and applied Geo Filters when was overseas. Young people are huge potential political audience – next time the parties should get snapping.

It’s only your imagination that can stop you. Look’s like we’re not the only one’s hitting Snapchat for a little political fun – see the Christopher Pyne bunny:


The twittershephere was littered with election conversations. Some serious and some silly.

And the conversation continues…with #Australiawaits. Now the twitterati has turned its attention to who will form government and what it will mean for the country. This election was meant to be a fresh start, an end of to a period where we have had four PM’s in the space of three years. If the election was based on social media followers alone, then there would be a clear winner. Look at these figures from a few of the social media platforms.


Malcolm Turnbull – 629k followers

Bill Shorten – 147k followers


Malcolm Turnbull – 298,656 likes

Bill Shorten – 140,671 likes


Malcolm Turnbull – 61.6k followers

Bill Shorten – 8908 followers

Interestingly, even Tony Abbott has more Instagram followers than Bill Shorten! And he thought the internet was invented in 1992.

Social media might have been their only shot to convince some people of their argument.

Too late now.

With the final votes rolling in and being counted I think we can agree that it’s important to watch your Ps & Qs.

Social is a platform, like a soap box. With the right tactics (or wrong!) it has the potential to spread a message, to reach millions of people, and in politics, that’s half the battle. With the plus of real-time images and video which in itself is more engaging than drawling political debates or chunks of text.

The thing with social is it’s uncontrolled media. Once it’s out there, there’s no taking it back – however misconstrued your message. Think #faketradie, #mediscare … and so the list goes on.

We can’t debate that social media can keep the public informed. Almost instantly. This certainly has to have an impact on election outcomes.

This analysis might not be the most exciting thing since sliced bread (which was first produced commercially back in July 1912) but it’s certainly on most people’s minds.

Cheers, Jack & the c word crew.

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