Act to use technology to bypass mainstream media bias

In the third in our series on political parties using technology in their general election campaigns, IDGNet talks to the Act Party.

In the third in our series on political parties using technology in their general election campaigns, IDGNet talks to the Act Party.

The Act Party hopes technology will help it overcome some of what it perceives as bias by the mainstream media against smaller political parties.

"We're running streaming video on our site from the [Act Party] conference and will do more of that during the campaign," says communications manager Gavin Middleton.

"It's a good way to bypass mainstream media and get our message across."

Middleton says Act uses a Sales Logix database for its electoral roll information to better target voters.

"We get age range, gender in most cases, their geographical location. From that we can pull out all the 18- to 22-year-old females living in large cities and send them information that's relevant to them. That sort of thing."

That database can also be tied in to information taken from Statistics NZ, which adds an extra layer of detail, says Middleton.

Act is currently looking a number of options for an online advertising campaign - unlike most of the other parties, Act may advertise on sites beyond its own although the proposals are still at an early stage says Middleton.

"We're also looking into email newsletters in a big way. Richard [Prebble, party leader]'s letter from Wellington is one of the biggest email newsletters in the country with around 30,000 readers." Middleton says the party has looked into text messages but decided not to go down that road for fear of being seen to spam cellphone users.

"People can sign up for these things without realising it and get messages they don't want. We don't want to do that to potential voters."

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