Blog Posts14 digital habits for politicians

14 digital habits for politicians

A playbook for politicians who aspires to go digital first.

What are the most important digital habits for politicians?

In public relations, political communication is often referred to as public affairs. But why haven’t more politicians embraced digital first?

The internet is where most of our opinions are being moulded, debated, and spread throughout the voting population.

And as with every dimension of business and society, your local politicians must adapt to a digital first world, too.

However, as we move into the digital age, it begs the question:

Are your local politicians keeping up with the times?

14 digital habits for politicians

1. A digital politician is brave enough to speak plainly online.
Most politicians are comfortable with speaking at stages, seminars, and rallies. But many politicians are scared of just putting up their smartphone in a taxi and speak their hearts out via Facebook Live — Gary Vaynerchuck-style.

2. A digital politician conveys her message online with authentic passion.
Most politicians are comfortable with turning up the heat when facing an opponent in a debate. But many politicians find it difficult to authentically convey that same passion in a Story video.

3. A digital politician has a growing email list of her own.
Most politicians strive to appear in contexts where they can reach relevant audiences. But many politicians are neglecting the sheer power of email marketing.

4. A digital politician is always battling a stupid majority.
Most politicians are looking for ways to engage the public by speaking to issues defined by the mass media. But many politicians fail to realise that online engagement stems from smart minorities taking on stupid majorities.

5. A digital politician cultivates her unique social media voice.
Most politicians are using social media as a broadcast medium for generic political content. But many politicians have yet to realise that online followers, whether on Instagram or Twitter, are actively seeking unique voices and tonalities.

6. A digital politician is plugged into online backchannels for support and discussion.
Most politicians take to online communication to raise awareness and seek support for their agenda. But many politicians would be more successful if they used the internet as a sounding board and ensured support in smaller forums and backchannels first.

7. A digital politician isn’t afraid to engage in respectful online discussions.
Most politicians don’t want the hassle of speaking directly with insignificant people in social media. But many politicians should respect the online equivalent of connecting with ‘regular folks’ in the streets, listening to their stories, and shaking their hands.

8. A digital politician puts out original, useful, and actionable content.
Most politicians are using the internet to broadcast their messages. But many politicians don’t seem to care that mediocre online content is disrespectful (and a breach of the follower contract); people want actionable content.

9. A digital politician nurtures a personal brand on multiple online platforms.
Most politicians think that the choice of channel is their own prerogative. But many politicians should be mindful of their surround message and embrace that audiences flows freely across online channels — and so should their personal brand.

10. A digital politician offers a personal online experience.
Most politicians treat online communication as a traditional medium like any other. But many politicians should use the internet to convey the sound of her voice, the tone of their empathy, and all other idiosyncrasies that makes her unique.

11. A digital politician prioritises her own tribe first.
Most politicians think of the internet as a great way to reach new audiences. But many politicians would get better results if they focused on inbound and their existing tribe.

12. A digital politician always keeps her online presence interesting.
Most politicians are looking at what other politicians are doing online. But many politicians would do far better online if they instead focused on doing the opposite of whatever others are doing (“zigging when others are zagging”).

13. A digital politician is thankful for every single reason to speak her truth online.
Most politicians are afraid of internet trolls, internet hate, and being criticised in general. But many politicians should be thankful and use any critique as reasons to speak on behalf of her own agenda.

14. A digital politician is always using clear call-to-actions to keep the audience engaged.
Most politicians are happy if they get airtime in traditional media. But many politicians should instead focus on providing their online following with relevant call-to-actions aimed at those who care enough to take action.

CTA: Do you want to take action? Make sure to forward this blog post to your favourite politician today.

Photo by Meghan Schiereck on Unsplash.


Avatar of Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, aka Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Communication Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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