GetUp! uses social media, SMS to boost election campaign

Web 2.0 crucial to success in High Court

Political lobby group GetUp! has shared insights into how email, social media and SMS were crucial to the success of its recent election campaign.

Communications director, Sam Mclean, told Computerworld Australia that its line of communication with the Australian public was kept open thanks to Web 2.0.

“Our major means of communication at GetUp! is email and we have some 70,000 Australians who receive those emails," he said. "Obviously expanding into Twitter, Facebook and YouTube has been a great way to connect with people on another level."

Mclean said GetUp! racked up some 10,000 followers on both Twitter and Facebook, but SMS was vital to raising awareness.

“SMS has been getting cheaper and cheaper and I think it’s a social media in itself," he said. "We’ve never been able to broadcast through this means before but we’ve had a really successful campaign thanks to it.

"When the election was called, people only had one working day to enrol to vote. We sent 50,000 people an SMS telling them they needed to enrol to vote and had a great response.”

When GetUp! took action in the High Court to allow Australians who had missed the enrollement deadline to enrol, social media and SMS helped the group win the landmark case, Mclean said.

“SMS, Twitter and Facebook were really useful because the High Court case needed plaintiffs who had missed the enrolment deadline and we were able to locate these people through this means," he said. "We probably wouldn’t have been able to launch the case without this.”

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