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Social Media Campaigns - Norwegian style

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, September 5 2011

Jon Worth, Pia Guldbransen, Ole Berget and Mudassar Kapur
(photo by Alessio Baù)

Last week at NordicTechpolitics Norwegian campaign politics had an interesting spot with a panel featuring Pia Gulbrandsen (Labour Party,) Mudassar Kapur (Conservative Party) and Ole Berget (Progressive Party): the three explained how their parties are using communication tools, online and offline, in their election campaign (Norway will face local elections on September 12th).

Arbeiderpartiet, the Norwegian Labour Party, is undoubtly at forefront when it comes to social media campaigns (also, with more budget). The core of their online strategies is the core of the offline ones: canvassing, or better, eCanvassing.
The party has in fact created an app that helps activists organize better their work with a capillary action. PdF friend and speaker Jon Worth – who moderated the panel – explains how that works in a post at Labourlist.org:

Arbeiderpartiet's app gives local party activists maps of the streets in their towns, together with data of what canvassing has happened where and when. Data gathered when speaking to voters is added directly in the app, and updates the party's database. If a voter needs more detailed information than the canvasser can provide, the question can be noted and a follow-up call or e-mail arranged.

Another feature that caught attention was "Til deg" (Norwegian for "To you"): by typing your address you can see Prime Minister Stoltenberg campaigning in front of your house. There's the possibility to choose one of three films (on voting, on work and on the elderly) to create the message.
The feature shows a personal engagement of the popular Norwegian PM and may be the start of an interesting way to campaign locally - think of the countless possibility of personalization and integration.

What about the other parties? In terms of social media campaigns the Conservatives and the Progressives seem to be still catching up but look very active: they are bulding strategies focused on engagement and quality rather than quantity.
The path is clear and communications will be more and more personal and organized through the web. Progressive advisor Ole Berget has no doubts: “This will be the last election where my party will spend more in paper than in technology.