The whole new ballgame of social media

Jack Layton debating with Stephen Harper

H+K VP Brad Lavigne recently contributed to Policy Magazine with an article that takes a closer looks at how social media is changing the political game. Former director of communications and principal secretary to the late Jack Layton, Brad looks back to 2011 debate highlights and looks forward to how social media will further evolve political campaigns in Canada—especially for the upcoming 2015 election.


An excerpt from the article, The whole new ballgame of social media is here:

We were also intently monitoring our Twitter feeds on our Blackberries to see what members of the National Press Gallery, candidates, campaign staff, volunteers, supporters and opponents were saying about the debate. We were in the first hour of the English language debate and Jack [Layton] was about use a line in the debate to challenge Stephen Harper on the issue of youth crime prevention. We didn’t know precisely when he was going to use it, and we had no idea what the reaction was going to be.

Then it happened. In an appeal for effective youth diversion programs and a critique of Conservative policies on youth and crime, Jack wrapped up his interjection with a line we knew was coming: “That’s been a hashtag fail.”

According to the Globe and Mail, the phrase “was seized upon gleefully by the Canadian Twitterverse; ‘hashtag fail’ was a trending topic for hours after the NDP leader’s remark, generating thousands of tweets and re-tweets.”

The line worked because it was well-delivered, authentic and it got thousands of debate watchers, especially the media reporting on the debate, talking about the leader of the fourth party who, at the time, was dead last in the polls.

To read the full article, click here.


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