Today was the first full day of the campaign, and for me that meant a combination of things. Not only am I working on this campaign, but I am still in school finishing two diplomas – one in Public Relations & Strategic Communications and another in Marketing Management. With the election call happening yesterday, this means that I will be pulling double duty for the next 2 weeks (I’m finished on August 14!) And of course it seems like all of our assignments were held back for these last few days!
Today was a civic holiday, but that didn’t actually mean much. One of the first things I do every day is check social media and traditional media. I help watch what is being said about my candidate and campaign online, as well as any news mentions we have received. This is a very different campaign than it was in 2011 when it comes to social media, and that means campaigns have had to evolve. People, especially millennials (who are among the least active voters), get their information from Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other media platforms. If you want to engage with them, you need to go where they are. One thing the Liberal Party does so well and that I’m proud of is the way they engage with their supporters online. There are two Facebook pages; one for the Liberal Party of Canada and one for Justin Trudeau. The best part is – and this is something that we’ve been recognized for – we don’t censor the comments on either page. Whether you’re writing to applaud a recent announcement or vent about your feelings, it will appear on the page.
People who are active on social media pages need to be engaged; it is two-way conversations that are needed to transcend online-to-offline, and I am proud that my candidate gets that. I get to engage with people who are reaching out to our campaign, address their concerns or invite them to get involved. In my view, it is just another way of networking and meeting people. Luckily, this is kind of what I’ve been studying for the past year!
This evening was my turn to go with my candidate to one of the Folklorama pavilions – and we visited the Warsaw-Poland Pavilion. It is always guaranteed to be a great time with the amazing ISKRY dancers and wonderful food (who can turn down homemade pierogi?!) and tonight was no different. The beauty of Folklorama is that is brings people together – of different cultures and different political stripes. I appreciate the opportunity to set partisanship aside, and just enjoy getting out there to meet people.
For those of who don’t know, generally candidates travel with a ‘staffer’. This person gets contact information from people the candidate talks to, takes pictures, and talks with people who may have questions. Especially during an election period, most candidates will travel with someone to every event they go to. I’ll be going to about 8-10 pavilions with Terry over the next two weeks.
The other task for this evening was helping prepare for an event we have this Thursday. Maclean’s is hosting the first federal leaders debate, and the team in Winnipeg South in hosting a debate watching party. If you live in Winnipeg and are interested in attending, visit our Facebook event page for more details. We hope to see you there!