A UK first, live stream event with UK political party leaders and a live studio audience of celebrities and online influencers
Create a world first live stream debate to connect a so called ‘disconnected youth’ to politicians. Collaborate with a small team including Ben White, Dom Baker, Kym Adams, Oliver Sidorczuk, Mike Sani of Bite The Ballot, Jason Mills of ITV News, Joanna and Bindi at Twitter UK to deliver a UK first live stream event with all leaders of the main political parties to an audience of young people to engage them in politics.
I was responsible for helping to define the overall strategy and leading on the comms and digital / social content side of the project. With this project being delivered by such a small team it is hard to carve out pieces that are your own!
Elements I led or heavily contributed to
- Press / Political Party Digital Team / Partner Liaison
- Content Research / Creation / Development / Deployment
- Social / Digital / Email Strategy
- Community Management / Development
- Managing Live Digital War Room During Events
- Event Strategy & Development
The event was a live stream of the leaders of each major British political party with a small audience of influential young people. The young people ranged from well known television presenters to pop stars and youtube content creators with 100,000’s of followers, subscriber etc.
Firstly I was responsible for briefing the political party social and PR teams to ensure that they could promote the show to their existing members and drive more people to the livestream. I even managed to get 3/5 of the leaders to tweet about Leaders Live on the day of the launch!
— Nick Clegg (@nick_clegg) November 19, 2014
— Natalie Bennett (@natalieben) November 19, 2014
— BITE (@BiteChannel) November 19, 2014
— Jamal Edwards MBE (@jamaledwards) November 19, 2014
I oversaw a promoted trend as part of the Twitter partnership kick starting the public campaign and garnering interest from the press and even the CEO of Twitter himself!
— dick costolo (@dickc) November 19, 2014
YouTube creators to made 10 topic videos to help explain the areas in which the leaders would be quizzed, breaking jargon down and making things super relevant for young people – I mean, it’s not like they actually do this for you at school!!
The full list of videos can be easily accessed in this YouTube playlist.
These videos were the catalyst for an on site vote we created to decide the 4th topic the leader would be quizzed on (the peoples choice) with the other 3 topics being picked by the leader themselves. People were then encouraged to send questions in about any of the selected topics via social media.
Between Ben and myself we figured out just how the show would play out before, during and after each event. Crucially we chose an episodic approach (heavily influenced by one Dom Baker).
We decided we would need to introduce: The party, The leader and their policies – over the course of three days during the build up to their event. This would help humanise them and the process, but also educate and give cause for question – further promoting questions and feedback.
— Bite The Ballot (@BiteTheBallot) November 25, 2014
— Bite The Ballot (@BiteTheBallot) December 11, 2014
Showtime, Welcome to the War Room
— Julie Etchingham (@julieetchitv) November 26, 2014
Yo – there I am… Just there in that picture above, can you see me?
This was the ‘War Room’ – a mixture of professionals, passion, pride (and even panic at times!). I was responsible for all social chatter across YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
I created a team of 6 people that would monitor, respond and engage with the public in real time. We fed questions up though the control room and directly into the presenters ear in one slick movement (well most of the time). We were images in real time of participant quotes, breaking news and working closely with the team expertly led by Ben White who were pioneering the use of Snappy TV in the UK across the table from us!
I also liaised and co-ordinated with the party press and social teams as well as on site journalists to ensure they were supporting and promoting the event, getting most of the leaders to announce their impending appearance.
— Ed Miliband (@Ed_Miliband) December 8, 2014
The audience was made up from seriously influential young people who’s aim it was to extract questions from their own personal audience across social media.
— Bite The Ballot (@BiteTheBallot) November 29, 2014
— Rebecca Brown (@beckie0) December 2, 2014
— Myles Dyer (@MylesDyer) December 1, 2014
There was also an in show vote to see how the at home audience felt each leader was performing:
— Bite The Ballot (@BiteTheBallot) December 2, 2014
Content, Content, Content
The video team then sprang into action after each show (as well as live splicing content throughout) creating wrap ups, best bits, and backstage interviews all to be packaged up for the media for the evening news and the following day press coverage (of which there was a shed load – see below)
Again – it was my responsibility to distribute this content via influencers, the parties themselves, journalists and wider media groups and our own social channels.
This also formed the final part of our episodic approach to the lead out of each show across social over the following days as the next show would begin it’s lead in.
- 2 million minutes of the Leaders live content watched to date
- 80 million impressions (unique people) engaged via social media for Leaders Live.
- 20,000 #LeadersLive mentions
- 15,000 comments on Leaders live YouTube videos
- 22 minutes average dwell time on the Live Stream
- Leaders Live content viewed in 120 countries
- 88% of viewers from the UK
- 4/5 shows trended organically on Twitter
Just how did we manage to pull this off?:
So how did we pull this off with no budget and a lot of other stuff against us? I sincerely hope you go get this ‘from the horses mouth’ – This ultimately wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for my colleague and pal Ben White – so please take time to read the story of how we pulled this off!
and my favourite moment..
— Steve (@stevencoleuk) December 8, 2014
The campaign has already had some key press around it here is a selection of articles that have covered the work so far:
- Ten-Eighty: LEADERS LIVE: What YouTubers Thought
- ITV News: Prime Minister ‘too busy’ to take part in Leaders Live debate
- HuffPost: Labour Promises To Give 16 And 17-Year-Olds The Vote From 2016
- The Guardian: ITV News to stream live discussions between party leaders and young voters
- Twitter Blog: #LeadersLive takes Twitter by storm
- The Independent: David Cameron accused of being ‘chicken’ after he pulls out of video debate
- The Journal: North East digital marketer aids national campaign that will put political leaders up for live debate
- i paper – http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/i-editors-letter-a-chance-for-young-people-to-be-heard-by-our-politicians-9870672.html
- The Independant http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/biting-the-ballot-leaders-join-the-move-to-digital-democracy-9873878.html
- The New Statesman http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/11/they-may-not-be-tv-debates-theres-still-chance-grill-greens
Client: Bite The Ballot / ITV News / Twitter
Role: New Media Strategist / Social + Digital lead (and the rest!!?)
Creative and Strategic Lead: Ben White
Concept, Planning, Scripting, Production, Set design: Dom Baker
Hosting, Party / Partner Liaison Mike Sani (BTB CEO)
Policy Research, Party / Press Liaison, In show support: Oliver Sidorczuc (BTB Dir)
Concept, Planning, In Show Execution: Kym Adams
Photography, Video, Talent, Social:Harry Hitchens
Special Thanks: Joanna Geary, Dick Costello, Bindi (Twitter), Julie Etchingham, Jason Mills, Kai Tabacek, Tom McArthur (ITV News), Natalia Jorquera, Jamal Edwards (SBTV), Jazza John, Rick Edwards, Ree Haggarty, Cam Jenkins, Thomas Rafferty.