ALP's Labor Herald news service branded lucrative content marketing exercise

Content and digital marketing industry pundits says Australian Labor Party's decision to launch its own content services service needs a strong strategy to work

Several content marketing and communications experts claim the Australian Labor Party’s contentious decision to launch a ‘Labor Herald’ news service could be a winning brand exercise provided it is backed up by a strong, long-term strategy.

In an email to supporters yesterday, national secretary, George Wright, revealed the ALP’s intention of launching its own news information service and called for donations in order to hire editorial resources.

Describing the Labor Herald as “Labor’s own Crikey”, Wright said the daily bulletin will feature party and community facts, articles and video content, as well as the best content submitted by the public.

According to Wright, the party has significantly grown its online community over the last 18 months, with 10 times the number of people now involved than in mid-2012, but said it was time to do more. He cited the opportunity to deliver ALP’s key messages without mass media filtering as a major driver for launching a dedicated news service, and said the Labor Herald will be “no nonsense”.

“You’ve told us you want more factual information about what Tony Abbott and his government are doing and you want the opportunity to have your say,” Wright stated in his communication to supporters. “You’ve told us that you can see the Labor message isn’t making it through the mainstream media and we have to produce our own news service.

“I agree. The catch is we don’t get the big corporate donations the Liberal Party gets and we need to hire someone experienced as an editor so we can do this properly. It’ll be their job to write useful, interesting articles for the site on issues like cuts to pensions and the Commission of Audit.”

Founder and CEO of Australian content marketing agency King Content, Craig Hodges, said the ALP’s plans highlights how brand of all shapes and sizes – even political ones – need to work out ways to better engage with audiences and consumers.

“We believe that best way to do it – and so it seems does the ALP – is to engage in content marketing and use journalists to tell those stories,” he told CMO. “But I would sound a note of caution: It would be great to be less reactionary and develop a solid strategy to maximise donations for the position.”

Hodges also highlighted the ALP’s reference to developing its own ‘crikey’ as an example of the growing trend for brands to invest in their own channels for communication and engagement.

“This in essence is the idea of brands becoming publishers and developing content that drives engagement on the ‘owned’ assets rather than renting space on someone else's media,” he said.

Director at Sydney-based content marketing agency Edge, Fergus Stoddart, believed Labor’s content plans to be exactly what it should be doing.

“From a content perspective it’s the most obvious play for them since there’s such passion in politics,” he said. “A strategy like this will leverage this passion and create a voice using a central resource that can curate opinion in one place and then use it as a source of influence.”

Stoddart predicted the industry will start seeing this news-led approach to content distribution grow in scope, and cited similar trends particularly among cause-related marketing initiatives.

“There is a shift away from relying on relying on traditional media to share a brand’s messages towards using content platforms that embrace connected consumers and owned content,” he continued.

“One form of this is brand newsrooms. Put simply, brand newsrooms are the answer to the real-time marketing challenge. Today, a brand can create their own media and distribute quality content that engages audiences much more easily and cheaply than ever before.”

But head of content at Sydney content marketing agency Storify, Lauren Quaintance, warned that ALP's success would come down its ability to earn credibility with constituents.

"To be successful the ALP will need to put the needs of their audience first and provide useful, credible information," she said. "Content marketing is not advertorial or PR puffery, but whether the ALP understands that remains to be seen."

CP Communications director, Catriona Pollard, agreed that if executed well, the Labor Herald could be a very successful step in rebuilding the Labor brand.

“When you have a cohesive content marketing strategy, it builds reputation and creates an atmosphere where conversations can take place. Labor needs that,” she commented. “Traditional media filters stories, so content marketing works for brands that need to own their messages and create community and ownership around their stories.”

The ALP is now looking for a news journalist with experience online to run the service, which Wright expected to cost about $95,000 year. To get things off the ground, he estimated the ALP will need 350 people to donate $22.60 a month.

“I believe it’s really important that we do this. We need our own news and we need a place where we can hear each other’s views,” he stated.

The news has already generated a flurry of comments on Twitter under the hashtag, #laborherald, as punters debated what the news service would cover, as well as joked about current and former politicians running its editorial ranks. Below, we share some of the more comical highlights:

Read more: Kinetic Super looks to content marketing to drive engagement with superannuation

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Data has the power to build or burn brands

A brand can be severely wounded by use or misuse of any of its assets and you could say data has the greatest power of all to inflict damage.

Lucy Acheson

Head of data strategy and customer experience, LIDA

Totto and your inorganic future

At Cannes Lions this year we’ve been treated to many artificial intelligence (AI) insights. It’s one of the major discourses of our time.

Richard Brett

CEO, opr

Personas of one and the rise of ‘always there’ marketing

I’ve got some bad news. The ‘always on’ marketing approach that many companies have only just fully implemented is already out of date.

Nigel Roberts

Founding partner and strategy lead, Yell

I enjoyed reading your article. It all starts from creating a persona of your ideal customer. Once you understand the needs then you can ...

Ardie Cash

4 skills needed for a marketer to sit on boards

Read more

A very prestigious list. Cant wait to see who ends up in this years list. Cheers!!

Diganto

CMO50 2018 is now open for submissions

Read more

Hi, where can I read about the results of the recent Salesforce Digital Advertising 2020 report? I would very much like to look at the an...

Milla Cross

Salesforce chief strategy officer: Why it’s a transformative time for customer service

Read more

I have had that scenario with the mail happen so many times! I never thought anything of it, maybe because I have become desensitized. I ...

Diana Da Silva

Data has the power to build or burn brands - Data-driven marketing - CMO Australia

Read more

Hello! Thanks for the informative article! I would like to know how much this article https://reply.io/sales-emai... objectively reflects...

Zhanna Partfinenkova

Salesforce chief strategy officer: Why it’s a transformative time for customer service

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in