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Breaking into Public Space – ICTs in Navalny Campaign

June 9, 2014 | by:

Catherine PatyulinaCatherine Patyulina talked about the internet campaign that she led for one of the candidates in the election for mayor of Moscow, Alexy Navalny in the final presentation held on the first day POINT 3.0 conference.

Navalny is in fact one of the most popular opposition politicians and bloggers in Russia, and is currently under house arrest because of litigation brought against him.

Patyulina said that the whole internet campaign was launched because of the inaccessibility of the Russian media, which are strongly controlled by the state, and in such a situation, the opposition candidate cannot get broadcasting space in them. Our goal was to have a strong campaign and get as many votes in the election for mayor of Moscow, but above all, to hear the voice of the opposition. The campaign was conducted in the streets with the help of many volunteers.

„Our motto was ‘Only Navalny, only hard work’, and thus the atmosphere in our headquarters was the same“, said Patyulina.

Campaign had three target groups, according to her.

“First one were volunteers who were actually working on the campaign, other one was voters who knew Navalny and supported him, while the third target group was passive voters that had to be fully acquainted with the candidate,” explained Patyulina.
According to her, the biggest challenge was to attract this third target group to give their votes to Navalny, and for that task they used social networks.

“The main principle of the campaign was that volunteers send key messages to those who support the campaign, and then they would send these messages to indifferent voters. This communication definitely ran in the opposite direction also, “explained Catherine.

Numerous tools to attract voters such as direct mails, banners, video messages and many others were made as part of the campaign.

Patuylina showed the entire structure of the team that led the campaign in her presentation, but also the structure of the electoral offices, and all the steps that have been taken during the campaign.

“Given that Navalny effectively began his career on the internet, the first thing was to connect all his followers on social media, which has been invaluable for us because we did not have a lot of money for the campaign,” emphasized Patyulina, adding that these people were key to attracting others who were interested in supporting the Alexei Navalny’s campaign.