Campaign websites and hypermedia campaigning: lessons from the Ed Balls Labour leadership campaign 2010

Erickson, K. and Lilleker, D.G. (2012) Campaign websites and hypermedia campaigning: lessons from the Ed Balls Labour leadership campaign 2010. Parliamentary Affairs, 65(2), pp. 404-424. (doi:10.1093/pa/gsr041)

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Political campaigns are increasingly making use of new media tools to both broadcast messages to and communicate with potential voters. Such use of a range of new and traditional media channels synergistically has been theorised to offer specific advantages to campaigns, leading some media scholars to attach the term ‘hypermedia’ to the practice. Features of hypermedia campaigning include flexible organisational structure, synergistic feedback of messages across multiple online and offline media channels, and the identification and targeting of key groups of undecided voters with wedge issues. Recently, the 2010 labour leadership contest afforded the opportunity to evaluate the use and effectiveness of these strategies in a live campaign. The authors analysed traffic and visitor behaviour on the Ed Balls labour leadership campaign website for 100 days leading up to the election. The hypermedia strategy was deemed partially successful: while the candidate's website successfully attracted a large number of visitors, data suggest that the wedge issue strategy, while seen as desirable by the campaign managers, was less effective for the Balls campaign team in the context of the labour leadership race. The campaign's focus on social media platforms rather than search engines meant that the majority of visitors to the campaign website were already familiar with, or supportive of Ed Balls political platform.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Erickson, Dr Kristofer
Authors: Erickson, K., and Lilleker, D.G.
Subjects:J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Journal Name:Parliamentary Affairs
ISSN (Online):1460-2482

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