One Staffer’s Journey

Politics will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s where I cut my teeth. In 5 years, I worked on grassroots campaigns, propped up parties at the provincial level, and even produced advertisements for Prime Minister Trudeau. Having been inside the machinery, though, I see politics from a different perspective than most people. I know why there are so many cliche advertisements featuring politicians kissing babies. I can tell you why candidates deliver stump speeches filled with fluffy rhetoric.

I can provide clarification on why certain messages get sent up the flagpole and others don’t. For years, having a grasp on these things was my job. Although I’ve moved on to a new chapter in my life, I’m not ready to leave politics behind. Instead, I want to try approaching it from a different angle. Using the knowledge I gained as an insider, I want to help likeminded people manifest change from the outside-in.

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The Missing Ingredient: Creativity

If it’s true that politics are a living, breathing organism, then it’s also true that, much like the human body, there are moments when the different parts don’t talk to each other. To the detriment of everyone, the political appendage that gets left out of the loop most frequently is the creative team. In politics, creatives are often treated as gophers, mere camera operators and photo shop users, asked to bring to life messages we’re fed by communications teams, who were fed these same messages by pollsters.

In reality, creatives are problem solvers. We need to be in the room to shape these messages in the first place. Our input makes the difference between designs that seem like they’re pandering for diversity and designs that actually connect with the demographics they’re intended for; it’s the difference between purely negative attack ads and ads that actually stand for something; it’s the difference between legislation being passed and being stalled in purgatory. Knowing nothing gets done right without us, I’m on a mission to empower creatives in politics.

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