Many of you will have seen examples of the trend of AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions. They started on Reddit, but have started to be used in other places. Labour MP, and Auckland Central Candidate, Jacinda Ardern has started an AMA hashtag, #AskJacinda, on Twitter. Most AMA sessions are time limited, so the questions are only answered if they are asked within a set time frame. But Jacinda appears to be planning to run one during the whole campaign.
So far there has been a few questions:
Some of the questions are interesting, while others are obviously meant to be funny. The challenge for Jacinda will be how she deals with any rude or difficult questions. Will she actually answer any question that she is asked? Or will she vet them?
The other element of this that I think is good is the fact that she isn’t just pushing it online, but she is also promoting it in what would be considered more traditional forms of media.
Social media campaigns should not be seen in isolation. They should be seen as a part of a wider whole. In this case, social media can be seen as a means to an end, the end being two way communication. Traditional media is about pushing a message out. Social media is as much about listening as it is about broadcasting. However to have something to listen too requires people to actually know about what is happening, and how they can get involved.
I suspect a number of the parties see social media as something that exists separately of the rest of their campaign. However, just like traditional media, it is about a combination of messages and mediums. Traditional media can, and should, be used to promote things that are happening on social media. This campaign by Jacinda is a great example of mixing the mediums to get the best of both worlds.
I am sure that there will be people who see the posters and want to ask something, but do not have social media accounts. Does Jacinda have a way for them to do that? Like a page on her website where they can ask a question without having to create a social media account?
I hope this is just the first of many new and different things we see during the campaign.