POLITICS

There's Nothing More 'Innovative' Than Ed Husic's Snapchat Campaign Diary

The Labor MP is snapping his way around the trail.

16/06/2016 3:34 PM AEST | Updated July 15, 2016 12:54
Fairfax Media
Labor MP Ed Husic Snapchats with the camera crews before a press conference in Sydney.

Snapchat is the new hottest social media tool in political circles. Once merely a controversial app to send raunchy pics or share selfies, Australian politicians are jumping on the technology in droves... to share selfies.

The app, which lets users send photos and videos to their followers, has been adopted by the likes of Liberal MP Ewen Jones; Labor figures Terri Butler, Graham Perrett and Sam Dastyari; deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop; and, just last weekend, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. It is a powerful tool.

It is estimated two million Australians are on Snapchat, and with its audience skewing much younger than Facebook or Twitter, it's a potent way to reach young voters; connecting with a selfie (dog-face filter or face-swap optional) is likely to have more success attracting young people than a TV ad or opinion piece in the newspaper.

Labor MP Ed Husic -- Member for Chifley, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition Assisting with Digital Innovation and Startups -- is one of the most avid pollies on the platform, and an early adopter among his Canberra colleagues.

"It is the method young people are rushing toward. People under 25, they've moved on from Facebook, not a lot of them use Twitter, but it's all on Snapchat," he told The Huffington Post Australia.

Ed Husic
A Husic snap, from the Labor campaign launch

Husic said he jumped on Snapchat in May, at the urging of fellow Labor MP Terri Butler, and has enjoyed learning how it works. He posts a mix of behind-the-scenes peeks at the campaign trail, getting ready for TV appearances and speeches, meeting with local constituents, touring facilities and his own musings on sport and news.

"My general approach with social media, since I first started using it, was that it wouldnt be boring. People don't want it to be a media release, they want to see what you're like as a person, your interests. You can still talk about the things you want to talk about in a political sense, I still sometimes weave that in, but in a way that won't be ultra boring," he said.

"It gives me a chance to muck around, have a laugh, show politics isn't all dull. It has opened my eyes to how powerful it is as a tool to communicate, particularly to reach people who have no idea about politics."

He kindly kept a Snapchat photo diary of a few days of adventures on the campaign trail, from community events to meeting with fellow MPs and appearing on television, which we present below; filters, face-swaps, memes and all.

(Husic's Snapchat handle is @EdHusicMP, if you'd like to follow him yourself)

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