LONDON: UK PR firm Blue Rubicon has rolled out a new political engagement drive on behalf of Facebook, in a further extension of the agency’s growing business with the social networking giant.
Yesterday, Blue Rubicon launched a live online interview with Labour leadership candidate Ed Miliband, on Facebook’s Democracy UK page. The agency has been working on the Democracy UK political campaigning project since March of this year, when it also took charge of Facebook’s corporate and public affairs PR activities in the UK.
According to Blue Rubicon digital chief Rob Blackie, the Ed Miliband interview represents the next stage in Democracy UK’s efforts to engage people in the political process, and raise awareness of Facebook’s utility to politicians and political stakeholders. It follows a slew of initiatives – including polling and live debate ratings – that ran during the UK general election campaign earlier this year.
“During the election we had a huge amount of engagement on Democracy UK – that was very much about the public talking to each other about politics,” said Blackie. “The next stage was to give the public the opportunity to interview politicians on Facebook.”
“Things like this tend to work much better on Facebook than other platforms,” added Blackie. “People having a real identity encourages them to be more reasonable because their friends can see it.”
Blackie added that the project is hoping to run interviews with all of the Labour leadership candidates. Yesterday’s Ed Miliband Q&A attracted more than 600 comments and questions in its first half-hour.
“This level of engagement has encouraged the new Government to establish a groundbreaking partnership with Facebook to engage the public in the best ways of getting value for money from public services,” added Blue Rubicon deputy MD Chris Norton.
Last year, Facebook brought in Nelson Bostock to handle consumer and product PR and its press office after splitting with Bite.