The Bermuda Sun asked for my thoughts this week on the PR and advertising campaigns of the two major parties contesting next Monday’s election. Both Rhona Emmerson, head of aac Saatchi & Saatchi, and I agreed that generally, they were underwhelming and full of the same old rhetoric. [You can read the full story here].
We both commented on the significant use of socia media in this election by both politicians and voters. As Rhona commented: “This is the first election we have had the full force of social media or even [the opportunity] to comment on stories on newspaper pages. The long-term impact of that on the polls will be interesting to see.”
Barak Obama’s presidential campaigns have shown how important social media can be right down to a local macro level [See these blog posts on We Are Social and the New York Times for contrasting views of its impact.]
Social media has certainly been used more than any previous Bermuda election but I’m not sure how decisive it will be. If a friend “Likes” a party’s Facebook page or Tweets about a political video, how much will that influence your decision on polling day? Is it engaging young first-time voters or putting them off?
I think social media has definitely played a significant role in encouraging Bermudians to be more open about voicing their opinions publicly but there’s a danger that it encourages more knee-jerk reactions than reasoned debate. Arguably the most-viewed online video was the PLP’s puppet ad [see below] – but did it do the party more harm than good as it was mercilessly ridiculed, including this spoof from Bermuda Memes.
I’d be interested in hearing from readers about what impact social media has had on them in this election. What sites/blogs/platforms did you follow most? Will it affect which party you will vote for on Monday? Has it helped you understand the issues better? Or has it confused you or put you off the whole process?
Post your comments below or on my Facebook page.