As if last year’s US presidential race, Brexit, and all those celebrity deaths weren’t enough, 2017 had a good go at trumping its predecessor – quite literally. Trump provided the entertainment and the outrage, we got another huge dose of politics in the form of a general election, and some very brave individuals exposed Hollywood’s dark underside.
We’ve collated some of our favourite campaign moments of the past year – good and bad – for your enjoyment. Here’s to a Twitter thread worthy 2018!
This list wouldn’t be complete without a nod to Labour’s, and namely Corbyn’s, shock election success. The party won the youth over with not only their policies, but their campaign comms, utilising social media platforms such as Snapchat and involving popular figures such as JME in their campaign. Labour recognised young people not voting was an issue and addressed it head on, urging young people to register to vote in over a third of their social media posts in the run-up to registration deadline. This campaign received valuable backing from Momentum and sparked movements such as #grime4corbyn and played a part in the inspiration for Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year, ‘youthquake’ (yep, we’ve never heard it either).
Team Theresa falls flat
US presidential races are all about the person. We refer to Clinton vs. Trump, rather than Republican vs. Democrat. And it seemed Theresa May decided to take some tips from this, dubbing her party ‘Theresa May’s Team’. It was an interesting move for May, who has often been accused of coming across as robotic, to make the Conservative election campaign about her. It certainly seemed like a move from May’s comms team to present her as more human. Yet May’s refusal to participate in TV debates stripped her of any opportunity to offer the public a glimpse at her personality, and so ‘Theresa May’s Team’ was over before it even began.
The death of the tabloid?
As with the run-up to any election, the media went into a frenzy, as they pushed the agendas of their chosen party. The Conservative Party had their usual backing from The Daily Mail and The Sun, which has previously been a guaranteed route to victory. So, what happened this time? A decline in millennial readership teamed with the ever-growing rise of social media means traditional print press has lost its influence. Millennials don’t get their news from newspapers, they get it from Twitter. Whilst our grandparents read ‘the latest’ in their morning paper, we were over it 12 hours ago.
The Silence Breakers
It started with household names such as Ashley Judd bravely coming forward to reveal horrendous experiences they had been subjected to by Harvey Weinstein. One story sparked a powerful movement. Both women and men all over the world felt empowered to share their own experiences in solidarity, using the hashtag #metoo. It was a fascinating example of how social media can change the world, finally bringing powerful figures, who had been getting away with their crimes for decades, to justice. So powerful was the movement that TIME revealed their ‘Person of the Year’ to be The Silence Breakers.
Their formidable feature is a must-read. Let’s hope that we don’t leave this movement in 2017 and that #metoo will always encourage people to speak out about wrongdoing.
And comms queen of the year goes to…
…Kris Jenner. Again. Whatever you think of the Kardashians, there’s no denying their PR strategy is fascinating and hugely successful. She may have had a hiccup this year with Kendall’s extremely misjudged Pepsi campaign, but it achieved exactly what any momager wants – a lot of coverage. Cue a KUWTK episode featuring Kendall’s apologetic sobbing and all was forgiven. Kris could move on to, what we all suspect to be, her next power move – is Kylie pregnant?! Hence global headlines and months of speculation, but still been no confirmation or denial from the Kardashian klan. It’s the perfect media sell-in, with regular reminders in the form of Kylie’s perfectly orchestrated Snapchats which ever so slightly hint that there may be a baby on the way. Our FBI comms team think that the big reveal will be in the Kardashian Christmas card on Christmas Day. The ‘card’, in the form of a daily post on Instagram throughout December, is now on Day 20 with no sign of Kylie… you heard it here first!