News Analysis: We need to talk about Kevin

News Analysis: We need to talk about Kevin
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

In the second installment of B&T’s look at the social election, Michael Batistich, head of insights and analytics at We Are Social, talks to ANDREW JENNINGS about whether being the darling of social media will be enough to get Kevin Rudd over the line come election time.

“Note to self: when rushing out the door in the morning, make sure you take care with the razor. It is sharp. K Rudd.”

So posted the freshly reappointed (and shaved) Prime Minsiter of Australia recently, smiling for the camera, sporting a sliver of bloody tissue on hisright cheek, while sharing the photo with his 35,000 Instagram followers.

Rudd then tweeted the photo to his almost 1.3 million followers. The moment of photographic levity, which followed weeks of Wild West antics in the Politick Australia, proved gold for sub-editors across the land.

“Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is in danger of becoming a faceless man,” pushed one leading newswire. “Kevin Rudd spilt political blood – his own,” quipped a prize horse from the Fairfax stable.

What Rudd’s spontaneous Instagram moment provided was a snapshot of something important, something his supporters whisper could yet carry him to a most audacious election victory.

“The shaving photo, like a lot of things Rudd is doing on social media, makes him seem more personable, more human,” says Michael Batistich, head of insights and analytics at We Are Social.

Rudd’s bounce in the polls since returning to the  leadership a month ago, and his huge lead over Tony Abbott as preferred PM, has been mirrored in public attitudes towards him.

“We’ve seen social sentiment towards Rudd spike to 30% positive against 43% negative, which is interesting because it seems to reflect recent polling,” says Batistich.

Even before he regained the ALP hotseat late last month, and set his sights on reeling in opposition leader Abbott’s once unassailable lead, Rudd was starring in viral videos, chatting with fans and virtually kissing babies on social media.

Rudd’s recent challenge to Abbott to a series of debates sent Twitter into a tizzy, while the flexing of his authority by ordering historic changes to Labor rules that will ensure no sitting Prime Minister can ever again be removed by the party’s “faceless men”, also caused a social stir.

Rudd was at the centre of almost 1,400 Twitter conversations within an hour of the making the “faceless men” announcement.

Interestingly, on a typical day, Rudd can be discussed 400 times in any one hour on social media. Before the Labor leadership spill last month, the ‘Rudd-effect’ on social media was merely a talking point, now that he’s in charge, it’s a constant.

Experts believe that it’s become a powerful weapon heading into the election against Abbott. The spike in polling and social media conversation comes as Rudd continues to enjoy a boost in approval ratings. The latest Newspoll gives him a massive 22 point lead as preferred PM over Abbott.

Sentiment towards Abbott has remained between negative and neutral for the past three months. But Rudd’s popularity has lifted Labor’s primary vote to its best since the last election and put the government dead even with the Coalition after preferences.

Since Rudd was restored as PM, Labor’s primary vote has risen nine percentage points to 38% to equal its level at the August 2010 election. In the same period, the coalition’s primary support has fallen six points to 42%, below its election level.

“Rudd has about a 10 factor social media advantage over Abbott,” says Batistich. “One of his advantages is that he’s already built up a community that is fairly active – he’s never really forgotten about engaging in conversation with people.”

Although Batistich has not noticed a huge grassroots engagement by either candidate, he says there’s been a genuine conversation among the Australian public around the political process.

“What we’ve seen is engagement in the political debate, people talking about it, expressing their views, making comments about one politician over another, one policy over another,” he says.

“We’re not seeing active campaigning at the moment on social media, but that may yet come. “Rudd has such an advantage on social media because he’s been turning up week in week out, commenting, retweeting, responding to people. He shares posts about local community activities, so he has gone towards the grassroots.”

Batistich says Abbott, with less than 200,000 followers, doesn’t have that reach. “It humanises Rudd more, it’s his strength against

Abbott, who seems much more at arm’s reach to people. People can reach out to Kevin, give him a big hug, like everyone seems to be doing in Australia right now.

“He’s playing it well, social media is further humanising the PM.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Four Questions About Connected TVs Everyone Is Asking – Answered
  • Opinion

Four Questions About Connected TVs Everyone Is Asking – Answered

In this guest post, the ANZ country manager for martceh firm dataxu, Matthew Joyce (pictured below), says almost half of Australians have a connected TV and he takes a look at what that means for brands and advertisers… Four in 10 of us have smart TVs at home, and of that, 70 per per cent are Connected TVs (CTV). […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
TV Production Firm Crocmedia Hires Nine’s Tim Cleary For New Venture
  • Media

TV Production Firm Crocmedia Hires Nine’s Tim Cleary For New Venture

Crocmedia has announced the launch of Rainmaker, a dedicated TV production services business to be headed by former Head of Programming and Production at Channel Nine, Tim Cleary. Cleary will draw on his 25 years in the industry to spearhead the creation of bespoke new shows for distribution both in Australia and overseas under the Rainmaker […]

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners
  • Advertising

The Advertising ID Consortium Welcomes New Platform Partners

The Advertising ID Consortium – the open identity solution for the digital advertising ecosystem – has announced new platform partners. Since the Consortium’s announcement in May 2017, the founding members have established a governance framework and product specification that includes an open and standardised cookie and accessible people-based identifiers, delivered in a secure, privacy conscious […]

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand
  • Marketing

Marketing Melodies Partners With Spotify-Backed Soundtrack Your Brand

Australian in-store music provider Marketing Melodies has announced an exclusive reseller agreement with Spotify-backed Soundtrack Your Brand for the Australia and New Zealand markets. Founded in Sweden in 2013, Soundtrack Your Brand was developed to kill bad background music. Its flagship solution, Soundtrack Business, is a music streaming platform licensed for commercial and public spaces. The […]

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia
  • Advertising
  • Marketing

Social Garden Becomes First Bronze Snapchat Certified Partner In Australia

Customer acquisition firm Social Garden has become the first business in Australia to achieve Bronze status on Snapchat. Among the new benefits Social Garden will receive as a result of its Bronze status is access to beta versions of Snapchat data tools, such as the Snapchat Conversion Pixel, as well as being among the first […]

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM
  • Marketing

Hypetap Appoints Nuffnang’s Chris Morfis As GM

Influencer marketing player Hypetap has made its second senior hire in less than a month, appointing Chris Morfis as the company’s general manager. Joining from influencer marketing provider Nuffnang Australia, Morfis will guide Hypetap’s growing team, providing strategic direction to accelerate the company’s growth, as well as leading operations and managing relationships with key partners. Morfis’ appointment will […]

On Air sign in a studio broadcasting via radio, podcast or wireless transmission.
  • Media

ARN Announces Departure Of Content Director & Radio Veteran

Australian Radio Network (ARN) has announced that Charlie Fox, content Director for WSFM and The Edge, and WSFM morning announcer Ron E Sparks, have departed. Fox has been with ARN since 2005, and Sparks joined WSFM in 2002. ARN national content director Duncan Campbell said the departure of Fox and Sparks are part of the […]

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne
  • Media

OMD Announces New MD For Melbourne

OMD unveils new Melbourne MD, and it certainly wasn't among any of B&T's picks. Not that we were picking, mind you.

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content
  • Media

Sydney Festival Chooses Brightcove To Enhance Online Video Content

Video cloud service Brightcove has announced that Sydney Festival has selected the platform to improve its user experience through online video content. Brightcove will do so by removing third-party branding and pre-roll ads, as well as adding autoplay functionality, ahead of the event in January. Leveraging the Brightcove video platform to host and publish video […]

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

Remember the old Palmolive soap ad that asked, "Don't wait to be told"? This is sort of similar, albeit sans any suds.

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]