Over the past six years, under the leadership of Former Prime Minister John Key and The National Party, New Zealand has emerged as one of the brightest, most successful examples of conservative government success in the world.
Now, as National prepares to seek a third consecutive term in government under the new leadership of Prime Minister Bill English, they’re prepared to run the most modern digital & field organizing campaign in New Zealand history — having anchored their campaign infrastructure on NationBuilder’s platform.
Starting in November 2016, we worked closely with National’s Kiwi digital team to design, develop, and launch a top-notch website atop of NationBuilder’s platform. This complex, user-aware website personalizes its content to individual supporters, hosts pages for all National MPs, and will serve as a central hub for the party’s membership and grassroots engagement.
We’re extremely proud to be a part of National’s team for the 2017 election, and we couldn’t be more excited about how this site has turned out.
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.Read more
In August 2016, we received an unlikely phone call. Evan McMullin, an unknown former CIA agent and chief policy advisor to the Republicans in the US House of Representatives was running for President of the United States as an independent, and his campaign manager—Joel Searby—wanted to know if we would help.
I had been talking with Joel for some months about the possibility of an independent campaign, but now that possibility had become a reality. The campaign was launching on Monday, Joel said, and we had three days to develop all the digital infrastructure and strategy for launch.
Politics is a fast moving industry, for sure, but even by political campaign standards launching this sort of campaign in just three days would require a Herculean effort. Everything had to be done right, and there was no margin for error — no time for do-overs. Luckily, we had undertaken a similar effort for UK Prime Minister Theresa May earlier that year and knew it could be done.
Of course, we said “yes.” What happened next was nothing short of historic.Read more
As Americans head to the polls in 2016, they’re faced with two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in modern history. In fact, a majority of Americans — including 90% of millennials — want to see an independent candidate run. And the more people see of Clinton and Trump, the less they like them.
Better For America is out to give voters another option — one they can be proud of. BFA is building a campaign-in-waiting, clearing the way for a principled, credible, worthy candidate to step forward by securing ballot access across the country.
We partnered with BFA to infuse new energy into their branding, redesign & relaunch their website, and lead the digital advertising and email/fundraising efforts.
Theresa May is one of Britain’s most accomplished public servants and one of the Conservative Party’s most experienced leaders. She was elected to Parliament in 1997. From 2002–2003, she oversaw the Conservative Party’s HQ as Party Chairman. And since 2010, Theresa May has served as Britain’s Home Secretary — serving longer in that demanding role than anyone in the last century.
When Prime Minister David Cameron announced he was stepping down in the wake of the Brexit referendum, Theresa May announced she was stepping up.
We were approached by her emerging campaign team on a Tuesday afternoon with a crucial ask: could we develop her branding, design her website, and deploy her digital infrastructure by Thursday morning? Just 36 hours to get the job done. Well, the answer was “yes:” we could, and we did.
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. The case study describes what we believe are the most exceptional achievements of that collaborative effort between our agency (Hines Digital), Edmonds Elder, and the campaign’s internal team.Read more
Specifically, he shared a few tips when designing for political campaigns that I thought were spot-on to my experience:
- Plan ahead — Don’t overbuild: grow site as campaign team grows. Get donations, volunteers and contact info early on.
- These colors don’t run — If you are designing for a US presidential campaign, learn to love red white and blue.
- Details matter — Beware of bad stock images, unwise font choices, and don’t manipulate photos.
- Adaptive design is a given — Make the site responsive and adaptable to different screen sizes, especially mobile.
- Respect the Brand — Make the design as unique and meaningful as your candidate or issue.
I’ve long been a fan of Blue State Digital’s work, and I think it goes without saying that the branding and design work around the 2012 Obama-Biden campaign revolutionized the industry. If your work involves designing for politicians and nonprofits — or even just designing at all — I’d encourage you to give it a watch.
On a few recent projects, I’ve needed to design theme-level templates that are more complex than usual — and user customizable, to boot. Maybe the client wants to be able to hide or show a sidebar widget or add a custom field, but on a page-by-page basis. Whatever the use case, I needed to find a way to empower my clients to customize their page’s layout and content without editing the page-level template.
After some experimentation, I found the answer was to use page tags. Once they’re set up, page tags can be as simple to use for customizing page layouts as NationBuilder’s native checkboxes (Show Sidebar, All Comments, etc.). So how does it work?Read more
If you’ve been working with NationBuilder long enough, you’ve probably modified a page’s template. You’ve done it, right? Of course you have. More than likely, it was for something small: a tweak to the submit button, or maybe to add a custom field. It was quick, pretty easy, and got the job done.
Still, I want you to stop doing that. It’s bad for you, like pulling an all nighter to prep for a big exam. It may have worked that one time, but it’s not sustainable and — in the long term — it’ll do more harm than good.Read more
Every so often, you read a story about how a candidate’s site was found on Google prior to formally being launched. As a rule, this is extremely embarrassing to the campaign, because — at best — it’s unprofessional and makes them appear to be an amateur. At worst? You may have ended their campaign before it had the chance to start.Read more