New candidates and social media branding

Political campaigns in New Zealand obviously have two aspects to them, the electorate campaigns and the party campaign. The amount of support various candidates get from their parties will depend on the likely hood of them winning their seats, or retaining them. If you are a candidate in a seat that you are less likely to win, then you will most likely get less support from your party.


As many of you will know, I have been going on about consistency in branding across MPs and parties. This same thing applies to candidates. As of last night, National’s new candidate for Hutt South, Chris Bishop, has launched a new Facebook page. Other than in the text, there is no reference to the fact that he is the National candidate.


But what I really want to talk about is the graphics. If you are a political candidate and you don’t have someone on your campaign team who is good at graphic design, then get someone, or get access to someone. Every candidate, the day they are selected should be handed a simple, easy to understand style guide for the party’s style. It should be hammered into them that these style guides exist for a reason, and they are to be followed like the law.


Until you have high quality, party style guide compliant graphics, candidates should not be creating new social media accounts. No party in their right mind would let a candidate place an ad in a paper created without it being vetted, why should they let the same happy with the branding on a social media page?

Chris bishop

What makes this even stranger is that other candidates have high quality graphics and branding on their pages. Why do other candidates not?



I suspect it comes down to my earlier point, if you are running in a seat where you have a chance of winning, such as Sarah in Invercargill, you will get a higher level of support, and monitoring, from the party machine, where as if you are running in a seat with very little likely hood of winning, such as Chris in Hutt South, you will be left to your own devices.


Parties should be providing candidates with pre-made, ready to use templates for social media accounts. It isn’t like the sizes of images required are unknown, they are all a standard size, why does the party not feel the need to provide things like this to its candidates?