Humour comedy club

Successfully Using Humour to Generate Political Engagement

The marriage of comedy and politics dates back to MAD magazine covers, thoughts of Kevin Nealon and Norm Macdonald taking shots on Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, or maybe it was Roger Abbott’s Jean Chretien impressions and the whole Air Farce troupe. More recently, Rick Mercer and Jon Stewart come to mind.

But the digital age has brought about more opportunities to push out biting comedy clips than ever before, and increasingly groups are using that tactic to involve young people. It’s not as simple as just putting up goofy clips to earn a laugh, though. Using comedy for political engagement is a tough balance.

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Social media gaffes

How to Avoid Social Media Gaffes

So far, this election has been rife with candidates dropping out of the race due to social media gaffes. We’ve already written about this here, but the topic was a big hit at last night’s pre-debate panel with Ian Capstick and Kate Harrison, so it’s worth diving into a bit further. Even just two days ago another Liberal candidate was pulled for comments made on social media.

Obviously, the most important piece of advice regarding social media is that you should never tweet/post/Instagram/Vine anything that will come back to bite you. For a long time, users of platforms like Facebook and Twitter demonstrated naivete about just how public those platforms were. Up until a few years ago, privacy on social media was an afterthought.

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Toronto city councillor Norm Kelly

So You Want to Become the Next @norm?

There’s no denying that @norm was the Twitter account to watch in August. The 74-year-old Toronto city councillor raced to 130,000 followers and earned recognition in every major media outlet in Canada.

So, how do you replicate that success? While understanding the web works in weird, wild and mysterious ways, there are some important best practices to learn from @norm.

First off, be up-to-date on the biggest news in pop culture. Norm’s real rise to infamy came from him inserting himself into the rap beef between Toronto’s Drake and Philadelphia’s Meek Mill. Knowing what headlines are most important among the millennials that are most active on Twitter offer the best opportunities to be the next best thing.

Norm Kelly Drake Twitter

Norm tweets about glasses with Drake

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Hashtags

Social Media and Election Debates

Second-­screening has become a crucial aspect of all debates this election, and shows no signs of slowing.

With the initial debate this election, Maclean’s ran the hashtag #MacDebate in addition to hosting a panel of journalists and pundits and throwing questions out to the crowd on social media.

So how do you and your organization break through the noise?

The best thing to do is orchestrate a “hashtag hijack.” Immediately preceding, proceeding or during the debate, mobilize all of your members to begin tweeting a single hashtag while also including the handle of the organization hosting the event.

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Third-party advertising

Social Media and Third-Party Advertising

As more groups turn to social media to reach large audiences fast, Canada’s election advertising laws scramble to remain as relevant as possible.

The world of third-party advertising can be a bit tricky, but there is one rule that should guide all efforts: any time you are paying to have something appear, you should assume it’s third-party advertising.

That means ads in newspapers, on television, broadcast on the radio or banner ads on websites all count as election advertising and need to be accounted for.

But how about on social media, the wild west of elections advertising?

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Reddit alien stickers

Preparing for the Political AMA: Six Strategies for Success

As the federal election draws closer, political candidates across the country are busy developing detailed strategies for communications and media outreach. Increasingly, politicians are turning to reddit and participating in Ask Me Anythings, better known as AMAs.

The platform makes sense. Last year alone, reddit had:

  • Over 71 billion pageviews.
  • 174 million monthly unique visitors
  • 55 million submissions
  • Over 3.5 million users logged in daily
  • Canada has the second most pageviews per capita in the world (Iceland is #1)

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Fridge poetry

Canadian Newspaper Tweets Turned Into Poems

Poetweet, the new online tool that automatically takes tweets from a profile and spits them out into a poem, has taken the world by storm over the past couple of days. Even TIME got in on the action.

While it’s fun to see how your timeline reads as poetry (seriously, go try it!), some of the more interesting outputs are those from major newspapers. They offer a rough and dirty collage of what’s making headlines, turning them into rather beautiful prose. Without further ado, here’s a look at what Canadian newspapers are tweeting.

You can click on the picture to go to the actual page, where you can scroll over each line and see the full tweet.

Globe & Mail

What better place to start than our paper of record?

The Globe & Mail seamlessly jumps from the XL pipeline to Melissa McCarthy’s role in the upcoming Ghostbusters movie and even covers some sports.

Globe and Mail Twitter

Poetweet takes Twitter timelines and turns them into poems. Here, the Globe & Mail is turned into “Fiscal issues,” a rondel poem.

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