WE transparency / social illumination

Trudeau takes a WE Day

The WE scandal continues today for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the WE Charity and its network of corporate organizations. Canada’s Members of Parliament returned to a hastily scheduled regular sitting yesterday with some flying in from across the country. However, the anticipated opportunity to hold the government to account was limited by the PM, who took a personal day. For her part, deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland promised co-operation with Parliamentary committees looking into the scandal which has grown to involve two members of cabinet, the PM’s chief of staff, a key Liberal spinner, and members of Trudeau’s family.

Meanwhile, journalists at Postmedia have been looking into the extensive and unusual property holdings trading hands in the Kielburger network.

Dark Social

One of my favourite newsletters, Exploding Topics, today highlighted the term “Dark Social” as a search term gaining prominence on Google Trends. Dark Social refers to the social sharing that is done via direct message, instant message, SMS, and private workplace apps such as Slack.

Webmasters are left in the dark, guessing about the origin of referral traffic coming to their websites. Indeed, Google Analytics just lumps these hits in the “direct” category, which is the same as copy/pasting the url into your browser.

Political content is some of the most highly shared content online today and shares via dark social make it difficult to determine the origin of traffic. As the upcoming Presidential election will be highly scrutinized after the 2016 controversies over foreign manipulation, both marketers and election watchdogs are busy working on tracking solutions.

At the same time, we should be mindful that advocates for privacy and democracy note that dark social sharing rises in countries with a correlated decline in press freedom.

Email is still king

And finally, a special welcome to the new newsletter. In politics, email is still king and for those in politics and media, it provides about the right level of interruption.

The Conservative Party leadership race is ongoing and candidates are still annoyingly relying on robodialing, IVR polling, and telephone town halls. These automated calls with voicemail drops are surely aggravating party members new and old.

With new leadership, there’s an opportunity to bring in new methods and techniques. Relying on what has worked in the past but what continues to provide diminishing returns is no long-term plan.

I can’t be the only one who has added the robofirm’s 613 phone numbers to my do not ring/do not answer contact list…