Turning politics viral. ABC staff explain how to do it.
This is Kieran Ricketts.
ABC Program: ABC News Online
Kieran Ricketts is a journalist and producer at ABC News Online who specialises in video projects and social media strategy. He began his career with ABC1′s flagship public debate forum Q&A and went on to work on the founding season of Andrew Denton’s hybrid current affairs program Hungry Beast. Kieran has also worked as Associate Producer of TV News at ABC News 24, where he helped pioneer the channel’s move into social media newsgathering.
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INSIGHT INTO HOW THE ABC IS RUN
The ABC displays its priorities here - it has chosen to present a "Featured Post" within the "How the ABC is Run" page and here it is. It's been number one since September.
Why did we then or now need a taxpayer-funded collective to decide which stories it would favour with actions like this:
Turning politics viral
Kieran Ricketts explains how seeding content in the right places at the right moment has helped the ABC reach a wider audience during the election campaign.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s strident and passionate defence of his decision to change tack and back gay marriage is continuing its viral rampage across the globe.
The clip of Mr Rudd’s remarks, made on Q&A on Monday night, is likely to hit half a million views before election night on Saturday and has also made international news.
Q&A was in election mode in Brisbane this week to present a one man show with the Prime Minister.
It brought together a politically balanced audience of 400 people who gave the PM a vigorous grilling on everything from his first term record to his post-election future – with a swathe of policy covered in between.
Mr Rudd was asked about his views on gay marriage by a local pastor and radio host and said he believed that people did not choose their sexuality.
“If you accept it to be natural and normal to be gay then it follows it is not right for two folk who love each other to be denied marriage,” he said.
Reaction was swift: Twitter peaked at 757 tweets per minute – or to put it another way (as @Jason_Chatfield did) “and with that, Twitter imploded”.
The NewsOnABC YouTube channel averages one million plays per month, but during the election campaign that number has risen to 1.5 million.
An estimated five years worth of continuous viewing time has now been racked up on NewsOnABC during the election period alone.
About 1.1 million Australians watched Q&A on TV, but after the broadcast Mr Rudd’s response was picked around the world, with headlines in major news organisations, including:
Before midnight on Monday, the heat was already being felt on the Australian arm of aggregation portal Reddit – and the tweet point to the YouTube clip got hundreds of retweets on Twitter despite the late hour.
Since last year, ABC News Digital – the online arm of the News Division – has been pursuing a strategy of seeding key video news content from across the corporation to YouTube, led by journalist and producer Kieran Ricketts.
Last year, Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech had 2.5 million hits for the News Division’s YouTube offering and made vast international ripples.
Other highlights over the election period have included:
- Liberal candidate Fiona Scott links asylum seekers to traffic jams
- Antony Green rips into ‘strange people’ on Senate ballot papers
- Leaders Forum: Does this guy ever shut up?
Q&A has built a strong social media presence over the last five years and leads the way in Twitter engagement and integration generating an average 21,500 tweet comments around the program each week.
Kevin Rudd’s Q&A appearance smashed the previous record (set by the Q&A debate between Cardinal George Pell and Professor Richard Dawkins in 2012) by generating over 60,000 tweets from more than 10,000 distinct users.
No one has left a reply yet. Since 5 September. Why do we employ Kieran Ricketts at taxpayer expense to work out how to turn politics viral?