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CKSK's Head of Strategy, Graham Nolan, Explores The Effect Of Social Media On Politics

Posted By Graham Nolan, 08 April 2016
 
Leonardo Da Vinci created many brilliant things - the Mona Lisa, the idea for scuba diving gear and blueprints for the world’s first helicopter 500 years before it was invented. He is also responsible for saying “Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge” - an expression that political campaign strategists would do well to heed in 2016 - year of the US elections, Brexit referendum and Irish General election Part 1. I say Part 1 because its gone down so badly that we’re already pretty much guaranteed a second election before the year is out.

President Obama is widely accredited with running the first successful “Social Media Election” in 2008, turning a media channel only four years old into a massive donation collection machine in the process. This single event sent party political strategists into meltdown around the world and experts were dispatched to Washington to learn the tricks of this new and emerging media craft to replicate. Overnight, our public representatives opened Twitter accounts, learned what a Facebook emoji meant and faked they knew what a Reddit AMA was. And some of them became quite good at it, using social media to overcome complex election communication problems.

The Tories in the UK used social successfully to target marginal seat constituencies in the 2015 General Election; good use of the precision targeting capabilities of the medium. Rather than a blanket one size fits all content approach, they were able to prioritise content in each region against the voter priorities identified in local polling. Labour set out its stall to make Ed Miliband a YouTube star for the voting generation, sitting him down beside Russell Brand in front of a camera and pumping the video content on Youtube and Facebook. And the Liberal Democrats social media win was ultimately reserved until their complete defeat was confirmed with the handle @paddys_hat opened seconds after Ashdown had confirmed he would eat his hat if the exit polls turned out to be true. They were right and the handle today still has over 9,000 followers.
 
For all of the noise, complex content plans and push posting, one of the biggest strengths of social media is being ignored - the ability to listen. In the recent Irish general election campaign, the incumbent government slogan of “Keep The Recovery Going” was meant to capture a spirit of optimism as Ireland exits the recession of the last decade and begins to think how to manage fiscal growth again. But it backfired in a big way, none more so than on social media. The slogan became the target for an electorate broken by austerity and they used social channels to send back their response - “What Recovery?”. Realising the misjudgement in the public sentiment, two days before the election vote the Irish Prime Minster posted social content about a lighthouse and how his government wanted to bring the light back into every home in the country.
 
Overnight, 900 comments were posted in reply on Facebook. Unlike the typical response to political posts which normally range from expletives to childish and immature comments, these responses were different. Story after story was posted in clear and plain language explaining to the Prime Minister how the light had already gone out in homes around the country because of austerity measures. Stories of emigration, job loss, house evictions and homelessness were told in heart breaking authentic language.
 
Social media hasn’t changed how we vote, but it changes the dynamic for how we relate to our voters. The mistake political parties are making is to approach social media as the next advertising channel. Its not that simple. In fact its biggest strength is not the ability to shout loudest, its the ability to listen, learn and understand. Politicos say that all politics is local, but on social media its more than that, its deeply personal and we would do well to learn from this before we plan to pump political money into shouting louder than anyone else.
 
Listening on social media can help us understand the motivations behind voter migration to Donald Trump. Help us see how People Politik candidates like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are making real connections and take a temperature for the electorate before we create over confident campaign slogans.
 
I tell you who has done it right though. President Frank Underwood. A man who has never had to go to the Electorate for Presidential office and owner of the finest political campaign hashtag ever.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Graham Nolan is Head of Strategy at CKSK. Graham has 19 years experience working in the marketing strategy & communications industry, I specialise in building brand strategies for the digital age and delivering growth via digital experiences, online communities and brand content strategy through social media. 

As Head of Strategy in CKSK, his role is to lead the strategic function across our client base in Ireland and the Netherlands, influencing and optimising website, mobile app, social media and company wide digital capabilities.

Throughout his career Graham has worked across most industry verticals with both Irish and global brands such as Heineken, Coca Cola, Diageo, Three Mobile, VHI, Sony Playstation, Unilever, William Grants, Kerry Group PLC, McDonalds and Rabobank.


 

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Featured New Member: Karen Howley, Subscriptions Marketing Manager, RTÉ Digital

Posted By The Marketing Institute, 31 March 2016

The Marketing Institute recognises excellence at every level, and so we have introduced our Featured Member Series, featuring some of our most esteemed colleagues.

KAREN HOWLEY, SUBSCRIPTIONS MARKETING MANAGER, RTÉ DIGITAL

Karen Howley joined RTÉ Digital in 2015 to market the state broadcaster’s freemium online TV service for the Irish Diaspora, RTÉ Player International. 

She graduated with a BSc in Multimedia in DCU in 2007, and began her career as an Online Producer with TV3 in 2007. From there she moved into the start-up space, working with live-streaming production and subscription-based online TV service Aertv. During these years, she witnessed a sea-change in the digital marketing space as content marketing and user-centric product design rose to the fore. 

Since Karen joined RTÉ, she has looked after campaigns that use key content milestones in the Irish television calendar to connect with the Irish Diaspora. Her most recent digital campaign focused on communicating RTÉ’s impressive 1916 offering on RTÉ Player internationally.

Karen’s multi-skilled background in media, content and technology has allowed her take advantage of new opportunities and rapidly change course using agile digital marketing tactics. Most recently, she produced one of the first Facebook Canvas Ads for RTÉ Player, winning excellent engagement with RTÉ’s social audience. 

Karen champions personalisation across marketing channels and it is apt that she now finds herself as a key driver of RTÉ Digital’s CRM strategy. Throughout her career, she has enthusiastically supported digital convergence and she is well versed on all trends in the online TV landscape.

READ ABOUT OUR OTHER FEATURED MEMBERS HERE


 

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Talent Attraction: Key Factors Your Business Should Consider

Posted By Next Generation, 29 March 2016

In todays’ knowledge economy, talent is not only critical, but scarce. Talent attraction and retaining talent is a top priority; however companies still struggle to fill skilled positions.

Successive Irish governments have developed one of the world’s most open economies and invested heavily to develop Ireland Inc. attracting high performing knowledge led industries. In today’s talent driven market, hiring managers need to be aware that now more than ever before that the talent they are looking to hire are more educated, have a deeper understanding of themselves and their needs and want to be part of a community that aligns with their own brand identity and belief system.

Next Generation recently carried out research in which 566 respondents took part to establish what factors are most important to talent in order to attract and retain them to a role/ organisation.  

Check out the full infographic and survey results analysis here or view the infographic as below.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Next Generation are an International Specialist Recruitment Company with a proven track record of sourcing and selecting best fit talent by offering tailored recruitment services, providing the talent that companies need to give their organisation a competitive advantage.

Next Generation’s Talent Acquisition Partners have hands on industry experience in their respective fields and verticals sourcing talent for permanent, interim and temporary contracts. Key areas of recruitment include; Data Science, Digital Marketing, Finance, Engineering and Life Sciences, Insurance & Financial Services, IT, Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain and Operations; including start-ups, SME‘s and global multinationals across all industries. 

www.nextgeneration.ie 


 

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Featured Member: Enda Lynch, Commercial & Marketing Manager, Munster Rugby

Posted By The Marketing Institute, 23 March 2016

The Marketing Institute recognises excellence at every level, and so we have introduced our Featured Member Series, featuring some of our most esteemed colleagues.


ENDA LYNCH, COMMERCIAL & MARKETING MANAGER, MUNSTER RUGBY 

Enda Lynch, Commercial and Marketing Manager with Munster Rugby, is responsible for the ongoing commercial performance of one of Europe’s leading rugby clubs.

 

Previously Enda was sponsorship manager for O2, one of Irelands’ largest telecommunications companies and significant sponsor rights holders in Ireland, covering Irish rugby, The O2 and Cork GAA.

 

A sponsorship veteran, Enda worked across a number of sponsorships for brands both domestically and internationally for over 10 years including Vodafone and Digicel prior to joining Munster Rugby.


READ ABOUT OUR OTHER FEATURED MEMBERS HERE


 

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Spotlight With Heather Andrew, Neuro-Insight

Posted By Vizeum, 16 March 2016

Vizeum have launched a new series of expert marketing videos called “Spotlight.” Each month they will feature a thought leader discussing some of the most topical areas within communications. This month, they interviewed Heather Andrew from Neuro-Insight in the UK who shares her thoughts on the field of neuroscience and what it can inform.

Neuroscience taps into the subconscious to see how the brain actually responds to advertising rather than relying on consumers to tell us what they think.

Check out the video on Vizeum.ie/spotlight, along with the Vizeum analysis. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vizeum’s promise is to drive business value through media for our clients. Established in 2004, Vizeum is structured to take full advantage of the opportunities brought about by the digitization of media. The company manages its client business via a partner structure. This ensures that every client has senior advisors managing their business. These senior points of contact develop integrated strategies across the entire bought, owned and earned media ecosystem. We then have the specialist skills in house to deliver that strategy in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

www.vizeum.ie


 

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