The TL;DR Version
Hines Digital has been selected as a finalist for five categories in Campaigns & Elections Magazine’s 2017 Reed Awards, including:
- Best Online Fundraising Program;
- Best Website For Presidential Campaign;
- Best Website Overall;
- Best International Website; and
- Best International Firm.
Today, Campaigns & Elections Magazine formally announced the finalists for the 2017 Reed Awards in Las Vegas. We’re incredibly honored to have been recognized as finalists in each of the five categories in which we chose to compete — including several of the most prestigious and competitive categories in digital consulting.
These nominations follow Hines Digital’s 2016 successes at the Reed Awards, where we were the winners of Best Overall Website for our work with Bill Bryant for Governor and Best Website for an Independent Expenditure for our work with The Republican Party of Florida.
This year’s recognition comes primarily as a result of our work on two projects: Britain Stronger in Europe and Evan McMullin for President. And while each of these efforts proved ultimately unsuccess at the ballot box, they also reset expectations for what’s possible in a digitally-centered campaign effort.
Best International Website: Britain Stronger in Europe
In August 2015, we were approached by Edmonds Elder, who ran the UK Conservatives’ groundbreaking 2015 digital campaign, about becoming part of what would eventually be known as The In Campaign Ltd. Later known as Britain Stronger In Europe, or just “the Remain campaign,” this group had a monumental task: conceive of and build out the national organizing infrastructure for the campaign to preserve Britain’s place in the European Union.
Ten months later, the people of Britain had their say. And while the vote ultimately did not go our way, the margin was close—and we left nothing on the field. Indeed, over these past months, The In Campaign built one of the most impressive digital grassroots organizing efforts in the world.
We were proud to have been a part of that effort, playing a lead role in designing & deploying the campaign’s digital organizing infrastructure, as well as an ongoing support role throughout the campaign. By the end of the campaign, the team had successfully leveraged the website we developed to create more than 11,000 individual pages — most of them local events—and drive hundreds of thousands individual sign ups.
All told, more than 2 million people engaged with The In Campaign through its website, with the bulk of that traffic coming in the final three months before Polling Day.
Best Online Fundraising Program, Best Presidential Website, and Best Website Overall: Evan McMullin for President
Our work for Evan McMullin’s independent, conservative presidential campaign was truly groundbreaking and showcased what’s possible in conservative politics when a campaign puts digital at the heart of its strategy.
From start to finish, the McMullin campaign lasted twelve weeks. It was a pure sprint, and that pace started even before the official Day One of the campaign. We had just three days — from the day we learned that Evan had committed to running to the day we publicly launched the campaign — to design, build, and launch the campaign’s digital infrastructure, and we hit our target.
Launching such a complete and robust website and engagement infrastructure out of the gate helped the campaign to project the level of preparedness and professionalism necessary to be taken seriously. A campaign or organization’s website is often how it makes a first impression with prospective supporters and donors, and a strong, launch-day digital rollout conveys to those early stakeholders that their early adopter support is not misplaced.
But what happened after launch was just as important: in just twelve weeks, and starting with no email list and no “name ID,” we helped the McMullin campaign raise more than $1,500,000 online. That total accounted for more than 96% of the campaign’s total fundraising; it’s fair to say that there would not have been a McMullin campaign if it had not been for the success of its digital fundraising operation. It truly set a new standard for what’s possible in conservative politics with a digital-first campaign strategy.
We’re incredibly honored that our work for Evan McMullin has been recognized by Campaigns & Elections. We’re very proud of it, and we’re excited to take the lessons learned forward into 2018 and beyond.
Best International Firm
At Hines Digital, we’re incredibly proud to be a truly international firm. Since 2013, we’ve worked with clients in Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Malta, the United Kingdom, and the United States — and we plan to expand that footprint in 2017.
In 2016, we were a core part of the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, supporting the government’s efforts to preserve Britain’s role in the European Union. But Brexit means Brexit, and a few short days after the referendum we were working hard to elect Theresa May as the next leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Now, the Prime Minister is deftly managing Britain’s exit from the EU and has put the United Kingdom first in the queue to reaffirm its special relationship with the Trump Administration.
Elsewhere in the world, we played a key role as a digital partner with conservative candidates and parties — helping them bring cutting-edge American digital strategy to their local and national elections. In France, we developed and deployed the NationBuilder-powered infrastructure for Alain Juppé’s cutting-edge campaign for president. And in Australia, we were a key partner for The National Parties of New South Wales and Western Australia.
While most digital agencies are solely focused on American state and federal elections, at Hines Digital we recognize that the fight for conservative values must be fought simultaneously throughout the world. Our friends in Australia and the United Kingdom are fighting similar battles against big government, secularization, crony capitalism, and Islamic Terrorism. We’re proud to stand alongside them, and for that work to be recognized by this year’s Reed Awards.