For previous elections, Fleishman had its own version of a “war room”, where staff would produce up to a four-page report for various clients about key election issues that might impact their businesses.
“But we weren't taking full advantage of our talent right across the country who were plugged into the war rooms, and who were able to offer insights that perhaps you can't always share as part of a corporate-branded piece sent to a client,” said Ron Guirguis, SVP and senior partner, Fleishman Canada. “But you can in a blog. This gives us the capacity for some of our political strength to shine through.”
Of the 15 bloggers in rotation, seven each support the Conservatives and the Liberals, and one the NDP. Among the bloggers is Duncan Fulton, Fleishman's GM and senior partner, who was the communications advisor and press secretary to former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Some of the participants will also be posting video blogs.
Guirguis said a number of the Fleishman bloggers are also posting messages on other blogs, including Andrew Coyne's blog at Maclean's and at The Globe and Mail's election Web site.
“We don't want to be just pontificating from our platform,” said Guirguis. “It is about social media, so we want to be part of the discussion in all of its forms.”