ALP: How we lost the online war

A campaign review has faulted Labor's digital strategy. (Photo: ALP, Facebook)

Labor’s lack of a digitally dominant campaign strategy was among the reasons for the party’s 2019 election defeat, a scathing internal review has found.

The review says Labor’s failure to embrace an effective digital campaign left it “flat footed and falling behind its opponents”.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Read the full Labor report here

Appearing on Radio National Breakfast on Friday, the former South Australian Labor premier Jay Weatherill pledged that the party’s defeat in the online battleground would not happen again.

“Look, every now and then one party gets a technological advantage on the other,” Mr Weatherill said.

“For a long time, we were regarded as ahead of the game in terms of technology stakes and there is no doubt though that the coalition leapt ahead of us at the last election.”

Labor’s spending on digital advertising was up 160 per cent, the report says. But due to the digital team’s lack of proper authority, the campaign was seen to amplify content rather than shape online conversation.

The review says a significant explanation for the top-down, risk-averse culture lies with the lack of digital literacy within the party’s senior ranks – with few, if any, party officials having expertise in digital platforms.

Mr Weatherill said Labor would lift its digital game before the next election.

“Obviously that’s something that we have to sharpen up on and it won’t happen next time,” he said.

“Of course, there will be another technological leap so you don’t just need to catch up you then need to go forward and that of course is what we will be thinking about.”

About Georgia McMillan 5 Articles
Georgia McMillan is a student studying journalism at Macleay college in Melbourne.