At 6pm last night the digital team that Kevin Rudd borrowed from Obama played a hand by throwing the PM directly into a Reddit AMA.
The results? Rudd responded to 14 questions ranging from issues relating to climate change to his beer of choice.
Given that Redditors having a reputation to being predominantly left-wing, the forecast was undoubtedly set for smooth sailing. As one aptly stated, Abbott doing a Reddit AMA would have probably served the Labor party better.
The execution of this tactic was slick. But then again you’d expect nothing less coming from the support team of Barrack Obama who pulled the same stunt in the lead up to the US election last year. This wasn’t their first time to the rodeo, and it certainly showed.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged but rarely capitalized upon that written-based communication affords a person the power to give ample consideration to any response that they might care to give. In other words, a person can quite literally curate their personality.
In this regard, Rudd’s responses were well articulated, to the point, and gilded with plenty of charm and internet-pandering “wit”. Then again, when you can navigate your own line of inquiry, you’d certainly hope it would be the case. Reading through the comments you can almost see the animated discussion occurring on Rudd’s end between him and his team as they took their pick of which comment to respond to:
“How can we dollop a shiny layer of charisma on this one?”
In this environment, comments would have been selected based on the opportunities they provided. A question related to mental health became an opportunity for the revelation of a new funding policy towards more Headspace centers. The question “how quickly can you down a beer” was an opportunity for the comment “Still not as fast as Hawkie” embedded with a link to this video. Isn’t that cute? There’s a subtle implication there that Rudd’s working on it.
That’s some sensationally planned spontaneity.
Beer, the great leveler of men was also addressed in Obama’s AMA last year.
The question as to whether or not this will actually win Rudd any votes was a hotly debated topic in the office this morning. However, the tactic was certainly well considered and masterfully handled. The team knew the Reddit environment and played their cards well. The lesson here? Know your audience.