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EVENT WRAP | The Eye of the Storm

Thursday 16, May 2019

The PRIA’s pre-election breakfast, ‘Campaign Realities – The Eye of the Storm’, was held on Tuesday, 30 April 2019. Guests listened intently as experienced political campaigners Matt Hingerty and Simon Banks shared their insights on tactics currently employed in the lead up to election day. Matt and Simon noted this year’s campaigns saw political parties utilise old and new tactics to target undecided voters. 

Pictured: Matt Hingerty, Susan Redden Makatoa (MC) and Simon Banks

Face-to-face campaigning has always been an essential tool in narrowing margins between parties in key seats. The tactic has been predominant during pre-polling – this year over two million Australians have opted to vote early, and the Electoral Commission has predicted a total of five million people will vote during the pre-poll period. Parties use this time to personally engage with early voters at selected pre-poll facilities with the aim to promote policies and swing voters in their favour. 

Social media has become the new driving force for campaigns - especially in 2019. Parties have utilised platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. With their exemption from the Privacy Act, parties have access to bigger, more specific data which allows them to track and target voters more precisely (and hopefully reap better results from their social media advertising). 

A take-out for all communications professionals is the integration of old and new tactics can create versatile campaigns that reach a larger percentage of your target audience. Traditional human interaction remains a highly valuable aspect for consumers, where digital marketing and social media pave the way for new interactions between brands and their audience. Finding the balance between old and new is the key to a more successful campaign. 

Written by Madeleine Darcovich