#FlipboardChat Summary: How to Curate a Campaign Magazine

Gabriella Schwarz / April 21, 2015


Every Wednesday evening, members of the Flipboard Club—an unofficial community of passionate evangelists—hold a Twitter chat about a Flipboard-centric topic and we summarize the discussion here. (Tomorrow night’s topic is “Using Flipboard With Students.” Join in the chat Wednesday at 7pm PT / 10pm ET via the #FlipboardChat hashtag on Twitter. If the time zone doesn’t work for you, join their Facebook group to stay in the loop.)

Last week, participants chatted about the ways politicians and political enthusiasts can use Flipboard. Here’s what they said:

Q1. In what way can election campaign teams benefit from using Flipboard as a tool?

  • Flipboard Mags provide a great visual way to present a candidate to the public.
  • To share, speeches, candidates position, showcase candidates personality.
  • Flipboard allows candidates to showcase their platforms and brand to an engaged audience, with great visuals!
  • This is a visual way to present a candidate/platform. For a lesser known one, a chance for people to get to know them.
  • Great way to package info: press releases + news articles + video/images + social + deep dive on the issue(s).
  • You really get an idea of the candidate when his/her story is told in pictures.
  • Imagine all the information you want in one magazine, rather than having to read tons of newspaper articles.
  • Curate mags to spread campaign messages. Use Flipboard topics to keep up with what other candidates are doing.

Q2. What kind of information in an election campaign magazine would engage Flipboard readers most?

  • People always like “stories.” I bet pictures that tell stories would spur comments.
  • Candidates speeches, videos, etc. would be engaging.
  • Thought-provoking articles, interesting images, never-before-seen info.
  • Strong/well formulated opinions and arguments; something that sparks debate…
  • Information and quotes from the electorate quoting what they want, not what they should have.
  • I love that—”thought provoking”—this also implies quality over quantity.
  • I think a personalization of the candidate with social media and relevant up-to-date articles would engage the Flipboard Club.
  • Videos of speeches and debates. Opinion pieces on hot button issues. Heart-warming photos from the community.
  • Images, articles that demonstrate the candidate’s stance on policies. Make it easy to understand and know the candidate.

Q3. What are some creative ideas for using Flipboard magazines to present an election candidate?

  • The story told on a blog site may be supported with a Flipboard mag rich with relevant info and topics.
  • Remember Clinton’s “A Man from Hope” film? A Flipboard mag could tell a candidate’s story with multimedia.
  • Seen some already! A family history mag or a “behind the scenes of a campaign” mag would be great views of a candidate.
  • How about a series of videos introducing the candidate? Each vid covers something different, either personal or issue.
  • How about the candidates bio in chronological order?
  • Some fun magazines about the candidate’s family history magazine, childhood videos, etc.
  • A documentary mag like Najib’s “Printing in the Past” w/ @SoundCloud audio laying out the candidate’s passions and ideals.

Q4. How can campaign teams use Flipboard magazines to connect with the community?

  • Behind-the-scenes! Show us what life is like on the campaign trail for the candidate and staff.
  • As the candidates travel the country, a mag can focus on the area where the candidate is campaigning.
  • Create a hashtag promotion and flip community content with the hashtag. How about “I Voted” selfies to get the vote out?
  • Create team magazines like Flipboard did for the World Cup with soccer teams.
  • Invite volunteers and members of the community to contribute to a group magazine with photos from the campaign trail.
  • Consistent updating with videos, images, interviews—show an active, engaged candidate instead of an aloof, removed one.

Q5. How can Flipboard magazines curated by members of a community make a difference in an election?

  • A community with no paid-for interest in the campaign they’re promoting is so passionate and trustworthy!
  • Studies show most people can’t be persuaded, but there are always “undecided.” A well done mag could swing the vote.
  • Your mag may be a factor that convinces someone to go to the polls. Voting rights are important, whichever side you’re on.
  • Sometimes it’s all about numbers. The more magazines a candidate’s proponents put out there, the more the visibility.
  • I can see some communities really driving an election, such as gay rights, Tea Party folks, etc.
  • People trust the opinions of those they know. When members of the community create mags they can be more influential.
  • It would especially help promote voting amongst current Flipboard users—and how many users are there again? #lots

Q6. Any type of content that should be avoided in Flipboard magazines for an election campaign?

  • What no candidate should have in a mag: Personal attacks on other candidates.
  • Misinformation or lies. Everything in your magazine should be absolutely true and verifiable. Also, nothing offensive.
  • Mags whose sole purpose is to be untruthful, stir up false issues, present lies as facts, etc.
  • Polarizing or judgemental content. Things that label people or attack/demean them.
  • Bad or low-quality content sources! Especially for news articles, blog posts, etc. Do thorough fact-checking!
  • Any political magazine needs to be moderated because people feel strongly and will post very hateful speech.

Q7. What should campaign teams take into account when choosing cover photos for Flipboard magazines?

  • High-quality images that reflect the candidates positions, no Photoshop and fake stuff.
  • Impact and expression. A cover shot of a candidate with a nice expression will build trust.
  • The cover is what most people will see so it should be of maximum impact, image should reflect the campaign positively.
  • Make sure the title and description don’t cover the candidate’s face.
  • Make the image match and appropriately represent the mag content! Don’t try to be cutesy or overly clever—be genuine.
  • Let’s maybe avoid all the glamor shots. High-resolution photography of candidates in action.
  • Also, the campaign should keep in mind it will need more than one mag. So covers should align with content.

Q8. What are your best overall tips for campaign teams that want to curate Flipboard magazines?

  • Have a specific focus in mind. There are probably lots of mags for your candidate/party. Why should I follow yours?
  • Work in sync; each person is assigned a task; no one should zap the other.
  • My pet peeve: dedicate a person to keeping mags updated with fresh and relevant content on a daily basis if necessary.
  • Use great pics, good stories, and update, update, update.
  • Show why the candidate should be supported, what they offer. Keep their info fresh, frequent flipping! Check Analytics!
  • Curate multiple magazines with very strong points of view and keep them updated regularly.
  • Also, if people are commenting, then the team needs to engage with them.
  • Think outside candidate-focused only to hot-button topics, history of candidates/issues, voters’ stories etc.
  • Use the Flipboard features and flip strategically—if traffic shows your audience loves certain content, flip more of it.
  • Make sure you let people know you are using Flipboard. Utilize other social channels to share their mags.
  • Connect with MagMakers that are creating mags about their campaigns.
  • Reflip content from supporters’ mags to engage them. Create a metazine of best mags for your campaign by the community.

Don’t forget to join the #FlipboardChat this week: the topic is “Using Flipboard With Students.” Start chatting on Twitter on April 22, 2015, at 7pm PT / 10pm ET, or come back to this blog for an update.

~GabyS on behalf of the Flipboard Club