Ross Caldwell for Woroni Editor: '13 Facebook Campaign
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    In late 2013 I ran my campaign to be elected as an Editor of the ANU student media organisation, Woroni. This project details the work that went … Read More
    In late 2013 I ran my campaign to be elected as an Editor of the ANU student media organisation, Woroni. This project details the work that went on in designing a successful online campaign. Read Less
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This project details my successful online campaign in 2013 to become an Editor on the ANU Student Media Board.
 
 
 To do this, I drew upon my experience working for the Australian Labor Party's digital team from the 2013 Federal Election onwards, as well as consulting friends who had experience in student elections.

Going into the campaign it became apparent that I had to run a successful online campaign not only because it was my main method of securing an election victory, but also one of my key policies would be to improve Woroni's online presence.
Facebook Cover Graphic for use on Official Facebook Page - Forum Variation
The Campaign:
I made a decision early on to focus my campaign online, as opposed to relying on face-to-face campaigning. Given that the polling was to be conducted online and that university students generally view face-to-face campaigning as annoying or intrusive, it seemed that my efforts would be best directed at an online platform.
 
I then set about creating a branding for my campaign that would be recognisable, unique, and aesthetically pleasing. I quickly found the Langdon font created by Steven Bonner and decided that it would serve as the branding for the campaign.
Initial Branding & Design Notes
Numerous palettes were considered but rather quickly the red & blue colour pallete was decided on. This was due to it being easy to read, aesthetically pleasing and the muted colours reflected current design trends. Some campaign material was mocked up in other colour palettes, but all the released material adhered to the red & blue colour palette.
The Facebook Page:
Ross Caldwell for Woroni Editor Facebook Page
The campaign would focus on the use of a Facebook page called 'Ross Caldwell for Woroni Editor'.
 
This Facebook page would be the main source of information for people supporting my campaign for editor. From here I would post graphics, respond to questions, and engage with supporters.

Based on the prominence that Facebook places on image posts in its News Feed algorithm, I decided to focus on developing a page branding and series of graphics to be posted which would be likely to be viewed by supporters & shared across Facebook. It was also important that I run a successful online campaign as one of my key policies would be to improve Woroni's online presence.
The Page Branding:
Prototype Logo Branding (B&W and Colour Variations)
Once the main branding font, Langdon, was found I began the task of constructing graphics for the Facebook page. The above logo is the draft logo which was eventually refined into a simpler logo. The draft logo was too wordy, had poor composition and would not suit its end use as a Facebook profile picture & simple identifying mark of the campaign.
Final Logo Design
Clockwise from Top Left: Plain, Forum Variation, Concert Variation & Chancelry Variation (unused)
The final logo design that was settled on was simple & could be easily used on Facebook for page branding. Three main variations on the logo were designed, where photos taken by myself were used in the background. The variations were used as profile pictures for the campaign's facebook page.

Throughout the campaign the Forum and Concert variations were used, while the Chancelry variation was not. The Chancelry variation of the logo & other media was used considered for use during the campaign, but it was eventually rejected as it did not convey a welcoming atmosphere.
Facebook Page Cover Photos
Top to Bottom: Forum Variation, Concert Variation, Chancelry Variation (unused)
Before launching the campaign's Facebook page, I developed a series of cover photos that could be used in combination with the page's profile pictures. These cover photos adhered the the overall campaign branding & had a matching profile picture. As with the profile pictures, the Chancelry variation was never used.
Other Facebook Cover Photo Variations
Top to Bottom: Black Page Variation, Black Gradient Profile Variation, Black Block Profile Variation, Blue Gradient Profile Variation
In addition to the cover photos produced for the page already shown, numerous variations were created for each background image. These include the Black Page, Black Gradient Profile & Black Block Profile variations which were all mocked up. 

As I was creating some graphics, I thought that using a black background instead of the campaign blue background would be more aesthetically pleasing, but ultimately I decided against the variations using the black & red colour palette as it ended up looking uninviting and harsh rather than the gentle tones of the red & blue palette.

Some cover photos were made in a different layout where the text is situated on the bottom as opposed to the middle (e.g. Black Page vs Black Block Profile variations). This was done as when cover photos are displayed on a Facebook page, they are shown completely, but on a profile page only the bottom section is shown unless the viewer scrolls upwards to see the photo. The variations which were designed for profile pages on facebook would ensure that when someone opened a profile with the cover photo being used, they would see the person's profile picture & the "Ross Caldwell for Woroni Editor" tagline.

Unfortunately when I began using the cover photo design for personal profile use, I discovered that Facebook overlayed a subtle black gradient & the profile name over the top of the cover photo. This resulted in the "For Woroni" part of the tagline being obscured. Faced with this issue, I decided not to redesign that variation but rather to use the variations designed for use on the campaign's page. This was done as it became apparent that other people would not be using my campaign cover photos as their own and only I would. When using the campaign cover photos on my own page it would display my profile picture, my name & the "For Woroni Editor" part of the graphic, so the overall purpose of the graphic would be accomplished.
The Policy:
Even before being nominated to run for a position as a Woroni editor, I had wanted for Woroni to become an organisation which:
 
1. Had a greater online presence
2. Delivered more student news, and
3. Sourced more articles about things happening around Canberra which would be of interest to ANU students. 

So when I began campaigning, I quickly decided that those three things should be the core parts of my policy platform, and they should be referred to as much as possible when campaigning. 
The Graphics:
My Plans for Woroni:
My Plans for Woroni Facebook Graphic
Clockwise from Top: Final Version, Draft 2, Draft 1

Accompanying Text on Facebook:
"With your help we can make Woroni the best it can be. SHARE this image to start making a better Woroni."
Early on in the campaign I produced a graphic for Facebook which would articulate why people should vote for me. The design went through several drafts, with the 1st and 2nd drafts being rejected as they felt too bland & lacked depth. The overall goal for the image was for it to be shared and a striking image which was aesthetically pleasing would serve the greatest chance of being shared.

The final graphic was the first to be posted on the Facebook page and was viewed over 750 times across Facebook.
Got a Question?:
Got a Question? Graphic

Accompanying Text on Facebook:
"Got a question about my plans for Woroni? Submit your questions now at http://ask.fm/rosscaldwellforworonieditor or post them here!"
As part of my campaign, I thought it was important to engage with supporters & encourage discussion of ideas. Early on in the campaign I developed a graphic to encourage people to ask me questions about my plans for Woroni. The post on facebook included a link to an ask.fm page where people could ask me questions and view others that I had answered.
Got a Question? Graphic Notes
The design began with a simplified wording for the graphic, with most of the text to go in the body of the Facbeook post. When I started making the graphic, I found that I didn't like the original conception of the graphic and moved towards a graphic which was simplier to read & more aesthetically pleasing.
 
Unfortunately the post failed to resonate widely with people & only two questions were submitted throughout the campaign. Despite this, I still believe that in future online campaigning there should be ways for voters to easily ask questions of candidates is a process worth pursuing. If done successfully, it would provide an easy method for voters to see a candidate's view on issues & allow for them to ask further questions and feel included in the democratic process.
Voting is Now Open:
Voting is Now Open Graphic
Clockwise from Top: Final Version, Draft 2, Draft 1
Photo taken by Sheridan McElligott

Accompanying Text on Facebook: 
"If you want more online publishing, local news and student news then put a 1 next to Ross Caldwell when you go to VOTE!
SHARE to let your friends know you're voting for a better Woroni."
This graphic went through a number of iterations before it came to its final published form. It started as a text only graphic and changed multiple times from its first conception.
Voting is Now Open Graphic Notes
The original plans in the journal notes had a graphic which revolved around the use of a "1" in a box that would signify how people would be able to vote for me. As I started constructing the graphic I decided that it was too wordy & dense in that conception, and moved towards the simpler "Voting is Now Open!" text. 

In the end, I was unhappy with the text-only graphic and decided to use my candidate photo with a fake banner overlaid over the top. This would give the graphic a more personal feel, would help associate my face with my name, and would also be more eye-catching when coming up in the Facebook News Feed.
 
Unfortunately there were errors with setting up the online voting system early on in the campaign, and a second voting form had to be set up to fix this. This resulted in the shortened URL found in the graphic linking to the wrong voting form, so I decided to pull the graphic from Facebook to avoid confusion until I could recreate a version with the proper link.
Vote 1 Ross Caldwell:
Vote 1 Ross Caldwell Graphic
Photo taken by Sheridan McElligott

Accompanying Text on Facebook:
"If you want more online publishing, local news and student news then put a 1 next to Ross Caldwell when you go to VOTE!
SHARE to let your friends know you're voting for a better Woroni."
Following the issues with the original online voting form which resulted in a new voting form being made, this graphic was made to feature the correct link & promote the fact that people could now vote for me. 

Unfortunately I was only able to make this graphic after voting had already opened, and I felt that it would be better to abandon the "Voting is Now Open" tagline as it was out of date. This graphic also had the added benefit that it would always be current throughout the voting period, unlike the Voting is Now Open graphic which would seem out-of-date towards the end of the voting period.

This graphic ended up being viewed over 600 times throughout Facebook.
The Result Announcement:
Announcing the results on Facebook
Originally I had conceptualised for my post about the announcements of election results to be in the form of an image accompanied by a message about the results. After drafting the messages & sketching out some ideas, I decided that it would be better to post a link to the official announcement by Woroni. This would have the bonus of directing people to the Woroni website where they could view other content and find out about the full results.
My notes about ways to announce the results
The Unused Graphics:
Numerous graphics were planned for the campaign, and some were made but ultimately not used. The reasons for this range widely and here are some of those unused graphics.
General Concert Graphic
One idea I had while creating the various graphics for the campaign was to have a series of graphics made in the style above which featured different photos of mine. My main contribution to Woroni prior to the election was my role as the Photography Sub-Editor. By using photos I had taken for Woroni I aimed to provide examples of my past work for them & remind them of my past involvement with Woroni.
 
In the end I decided against this style of graphic and the idea of generic posts being regularly made. I felt that while they might show off my work, they didn't have any substantial use for campaigning and people would not have had a compelling reason to share the image and promote me to other people at ANU. 
I Support... Series - Online Publishing Graphic
Another idea that I had for the campaign was to create a series of graphics which would centre around the three main ideas I had for Woroni. This idea was used during the 2013 Federal Election Campaign by the ALP with various profile pictures being designed and people were encouraged to change their profile pictures to the issue that they felt most strongly about. Various graphics were conceptualised, and this graphic was mocked up. 
I Support... Series Notes
Ultimately, I decided against this strategy as the graphics were aesthetically unpleasing in their original conception & I felt that the time spent on this series of graphics could be better spent on other campaigning ideas. Despite this, in future online campaiging efforts this would be an idea worth pursuing given a wide enough supporter base that would be willing to share issue based posts and/or use them as profile pictures.
Thank You for Your Support Graphic
One idea I had for a graphic was one thanking my supporters for their work once voting had closed. I eventually decided against this graphic as I felt the thanks could just be made when the results were announced. While it could have promoted my page, the page would not have any use once the results were announced so the promotion was not necessary.
Conclusion:
Overall, my campaign for Woroni Editor was a success. 
 
The online campaigning that I did relied on a non-intrusive form of campaigning where people were not annoyed & pressured into voting, but rather were encouraged to share content which they liked & agreed with. While the page only recieved at its peak 155 likes, many of its posts were shared by fans with the page having a peak reach of over 3000 unique people.
 
It is worth noting that the most popular posts were photo posts, followed by links, then followed by simple statuses with average reaches of 437, 235 & 210 unique people respectively. This trend was also reflected in which types of posts recieved more clicks, likes, comments or shares. Throughout the campaign there were opportunities to develop more graphics which were missed & the data reflects that having made graphics to accompany more posts would have lead to more reach on Facebook.

While there were some missed opportunities & hiccups along the way, this campaign ended in a positive result and was a valuable learning experience.
Note: All images & photos used were created by Ross Caldwell unless otherwise indicated.