By Facebook’s own account, people spend 1.7 seconds with a piece of content on mobile. Every second matters. In fact, it takes only 0.25 seconds of exposure for people to recall content they saw on their mobile feed. These initial seconds can make a profound impact. When people watch the first three seconds of a Facebook video, 65% watch the next seven seconds, and 45% make it to the 30-second mark. It’s a rude awakening for those of us used to producing 30 second spots to get our message out. In an environment that allocates a whopping 1.7 seconds to make a lasting impression, we must adapt, meet people’s evolving expectations, and stop the thumb. So, how can we stand out in the news feed?
‘Twas the elbow felt around the nation. On Wednesday, May 18, 2016 there was an event of epic proportions in the House of Commons…kind of. Elbows were misdirected. Words were thrown. Insults abounded. And we are all left to consider the aftermath.
In this week’s episode, Allie and David discuss the incident in the House of Commons that resulted from rising tensions over Motion 6 and what is being considered the government’s attempts to curtail debate. Allie also talks with Randi Rahamim on the event and the NDP and Conservative parties’ response.
Lately the government has been getting some heat for how it is spending taxpayer money – specifically with the size of the delegation Justin Trudeau took to the state dinner in Washington. Is the Liberal government spending money inappropriately?
This week, Allie talks with regular Colin MacDonald about this issue and about our Canadian “First Lady.” Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau requested extra assistance to help with her engagements as the Prime Minister’s spouse, which has resulted in some outrage, and Allie and Colin talk about why that is.
In this second instalment of KYBS—Know Your Beer Style (yes, I went there)— we build on our first style review, British bitter. If you read the first instalment, you may be wondering what the difference is between British bitter and pale ale? After all, bitter is classified as a pale ale, right? Right. But then Americans came into the mix. And when they started making pale ales, they lightened the colour, added American hops, and as a result American Pale Ales are now in a class of their own.
This week, our thoughts are with all those affected by the wildfires in Fort McMurray. For the most part, Ottawa and Canada were talking about different things this week, but both conversations were dominated by discussions of the emergency situation in Alberta. Allie talks with Jason Hatcher about the government’s response to the crisis in Fort McMurray and how Canadians are reacting. Jason is a Managing Principal at Navigator and leads our Western Canadian operations in Calgary. He has also led a number of projects, including Alberta First Responders’ Communications System
He’s just not ready. He’s got great hair. He’s the Internet’s boyfriend. This week we have a very special episode. We’re talking about the celebrity status of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with some very special guests.
To get some perspective on the intersection of celebrity and political culture, Allie talks with CTV’s THE SOCIAL Co-host and ETALK Senior Correspondent Lainey Lui, and Ryerson University’s Greg Elmer. Greg is a professor of Communications and Culture and Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson, and during the 2008 Canadian federal election he worked with CBC News to cover online campaigning. His research focuses on media and the role of new media in politics.
Allie also talks with me, to find out why the the Prime Minister’s cool factor might not be the best thing for politics in Canada.
We’re not big on scandals in Canadian politics. Compared to our neighbours south of the border, ours are few and far between. The biggest in recent memory, is Senator Mike Duffy. In 2014, he was charged with 31 criminal offenses, including fraud, breach of trust and bribery. And this week, he was acquitted of all 31 charges. This scandal, and the subsequent acquittal, have once again spurred conversations on Senate reform.
Ottawa is still abuzz with the results of the NDP Convention and the NDP is now looking for a new leader, and so, this week it a number of our issues blended together. As sometimes happens with politic, and any major issues really, it can be difficult to distinguish where one ends and another begins. So our top issue for the week is really an amalgamation of a few topics: the NDP convention, Rachel Notley’s response to the Leap Manifesto, and pipelines.
Allie talks with David to break down our top issue and our other two topics coming out of Ottawa. Then, we hear from Will Stewart.
Will is a regular on Political Traction. He is a Managing Principal at Navigator and founding Principal at Ensight. With the NDP and the Conservatives both looking for new leaders, Allie gets the breakdown on leadership races from Will – how they function, what makes them different from general elections, and who he’s excited to watch from both parties.
British bitters have a definite hop presence, but in a somewhat measured way. You’ll notice the hop flavour, but it sits atop a sweet biscuit base. These beers are not bitter by today’s standards (some Imperial IPAs out there punch you in the face with bitterness). In fact, bitters are well balanced, giving equal profile to the malt, hop, and yeast. It’s a beer designed for sessional drinking—you can enjoy two or three of these in one session and find something interesting in every sip, even the last one.
Any good marketer worth their salt will develop a campaign that gives you mind-blowing conversions. In our line of work, most of the campaigns involve building online armies of activists. To assemble that army, we need to compel people to join the cause—we need them to convert. That’s why our conversion rate and the cost of those conversions is one of the most important metrics I look at when we’re running campaigns. The proof is in the pudding: if our conversion rates suck, our campaign sucks. It’s that simple. And if conversion costs are too high, we’re not running the most effective campaign possible. We also pay attention to conversion rates because in reality, conversion rates are a measure of persuasion. It’s a measure of influence.
For our special update on the NDP leadership vote, Allie gets Sally Housser’s perspective on what it means for the NDP moving forward now that Tom Mulcair is no longer leader of the party.
Sally has worked in a variety of communications positions for the NDP both federally and provincially. Beginning as a press secretary in Jack Layton’s office in 2011, she recently served as Rachel Notley’s press secretary during the successful Alberta NDP provincial campaign.
Big news from last night! Tom Mulcair is officially out as the leader of the NDP. In order to give due attention to this change, we will be providing a special update on the NDP leadership vote later tonight, rather than covering it in this episode.
For this instalment of Political Traction, we’re talking about transparency. Over the past week, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) released a less-than-happy review of the Liberal government’s first budget and the Panama Papers have everyone talking about tax havens and accountability.
Allie and David go over what Ottawa’s saying on the PBO, the Panama Papers, and the US Election and then Allie talks with Colin MacDonald.
Colin is a Senior Consultant at Navigator, and he has served as senior policy advisor to several Ontario cabinet ministers across a variety of ministries. He was also director of policy for one of the candidates for leader of the Ontario Liberal Party during the party’s 2012-2013 leadership contest.
We’re in a dangerous kind of precarious sense of federalism right now, not just over the EI…we’re already getting a bit close to the old sense of western alienation.
This week on Political Traction we’re taking a look at regional issues and how they affect communications plans. Certain areas impacted by the downturn in oil prices are excluded from the recent benefits made to Employment Insurance in the federal budget, and it’s creating an East vs. West mentality against Ottawa. Read more at politicaltraction.fm, or listen to the full episode below.
It’s the first time we’ve really seen the media be critical of this government. There’s always dissenting paragraphs in articles, but now we’re seeing headlines and full articles about broken promises.
It’s federal budget week! Ottawa was abuzz with the release of the Trudeau government’s first budget, so this episode of Political Traction focuses exclusively on items from the federal budget.
From the size of the deficit to historic amounts of indigenous spending, there is lots to talk about – like how did the Liberals do? With the budget out and some cold, hard numbers, are Canadians still willing to give Prime Minister Trudeau and his party the benefit of the doubt? Or is it the end of the new government’s honeymoon period? Read more at politicaltraction.fm, or listen to the full episode below.
Every now and then, our favourite sites go down. Completely off the grid. And when they do, we lose it. We hop on Slack and ask our colleagues if they’re experiencing it too. Just to confirm, for sure, that Facebook is down, we might even step outside our office to check that’s it not just us, that we’re not losing our minds. Of course, by today’s standards, we’re not losing our minds. It’s completely natural for us to have a casual freak out when the Internet breaks. For better or for worse, we’re hooked. And why not? There’s literally a world of information, distraction, and entertainment available to us at a swipe of a finger or a click of a button. It’s empowering to know that whenever we need an answer to something—anything— we can whip out our smartphone and find it, pretty much instantly. We do it so much and at such high frequencies that the moment the Internet is down for a minute, we’re completely thrown for a loop. We panic. We get frustrated. We seek confirmation. And if it progresses beyond 5 minutes, we look at our screens with a blank stare, waiting – waiting for it to come back on so we can get our daily fix of our friends’ photos, see how our stocks are performing, and read the latest celebrity gossip rags. The Internet puts us in control; when we don’t have it, we’re at a loss.
After weeks of planning, recording and testing, we’re proud to launch Navigator’s first podcast, Political Traction. We created Political Traction to assess how much traction political leaders, pundits, and media get with the people they’re trying to reach: people like you. Every week, we look at the top political issues being discussed in Ottawa and assess how much they resonated with Canadians across the country. Our first three episodes are now live on our new website, politicaltraction.fm, on Soundcloud, or on iTunes.
First impressions matter. You never get a second chance at a first impression. Every touchpoint someone has with you (or your brand) can make or break that first impression. As an individual, even if you don’t see yourself as being in the public eye, the Internet sees it differently. In fact, as too many people have learned the hard way, the Internet can ruin a reputation with speed and efficiency. We live with a permanent record of everything we say and do, whether we like it or not, regardless of our say in the matter. Even if you’ve lived a deliberately quiet life to prevent online troubles, you’re not guaranteed a clean personal reputation online. If you’re not filling up digital space with factual content about yourself, someone else could. And trust me, some people dedicate their existence to this kind of work. I’d link to some examples, but I don’t want to give them any currency. And as brutally unfair as it is, even if someone is not deliberately attacking your reputation, someone who shares your name can just as easily ruin it.
If you’re interesting in becoming a craft brewer but are sitting on the fence, maybe these benefits will convince you to join the home brew movement. Let’s get right to it! Here are eight benefits of brewing your own beer.
#1. Make amazing beer
Your beer is hand crafted, and if you’re already thinking of becoming a brewer, chances are you care deeply about the quality of your beer. It’s that care that will help you brew spectacular beers. You can use ingredients that commercial brewers simply can’t because you don’t have to worry about mass production, or making recipes that will sell to a large enough customer base. You can brew the beer you want to taste, regardless of how many different types of ingredients you want to use.
Thanks to massive media conventions like SXSW, “brand activation” is one of the hottest trends in consumer marketing today. But when you source a definition of this newest buzzword, it comes suspiciously close to reading like text-book definitions of good ol’ fashion “marketing.” Plug the term into Google and you’ll stumble upon this common definition: “brand activation is the art of driving consumer action through brand interaction and experiences…to get consumers to act…it’s about bringing brands to life.” There’s nothing wrong with that definition, but it doesn’t enlighten us on how activation marketing can be used to shift public opinion when you’re facing a public affairs challenge. Typically, marketing deals with messages that challenge your a brand (a competitor arguing that their product is better than yours). By contrast, public affairs deals with messages that attack (a protest group saying your product kills). In this context, having an ability to mobilize supporters can make the difference between a winning and losing campaign.
Does November 9th, 2015 ring a bell?
If you’re of a certain era, you may remember it as the 26th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was on November 9th, 1989 that East Germany announced that all of its citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. It was an historic day, with iconic images of East Germans climbing onto the wall to celebrate with West Germans on the other side. It was a week many Canadians spent glued to their televisions. And for the better part of the next two decades, TV remained our go-to source for the day’s news.
Perhaps it was only fitting then that on November 9th, 2015, we learned that Canada’s top TV providers had already lost seven times more customers in 2015 than in 2014. How we consume news, and where we get it, has changed profoundly in the last two decades, and especially in the last five years. Gone are the days when you had to be on television to get your message out to the masses.