A closer look at the Instagram presence of Jacinda Ardern reveals a strategy that combines the best of personal and professional fronts.
Jacinda Ardern had put up her first Instagram post way back on September 30, 2012. It was about a poetry event she was attending. A humble post with 202 likes and 79 comments. Over time, the political undertone in her captions and images have steadily strengthened, reflecting her progress as a politician and Prime Minister of New Zealand. Today, she has 1.3 Million followers on the platform. We take a look at the Instagram presence of Jacinda Ardern with lessons on political communication and strategy that leaders of the world can learn from.
People, work, people!
Since her early days as a person involved in politics and advocacy, Ardern has been documenting her interactions with the public. The intensity of such visuals, as it reflects on her Instagram feed, has increased over time as she grew as a politician.
As a Prime Minister now, a big part of her life is to ensure such visuals and work on a regular basis. She often shares glimpses of important events. During the battle against the ongoing pandemic, her communication centred around the efforts being undertaken, the resilience of her country and how she is proud to be their representative. Women in power find a significant presence on her feed.
Documenting it all
Ardern loves to document her life as a working professional. This has been a constant theme on her profile since 2012. She puts up pictures of the little things that are a part of her day. Often, these are mundane everyday things that help her put across communication as a regular person her followers (and voters) can relate with.
Criticism, frustrations and more
Before holding power in the office, Ardern often wrote about the things she felt the government was doing wrong, highlighting on things that needed improvement. These posts were critical and portrayed her frustration. They also helped give a distant glimpse into what the voters stood to gain if she were their representative head. Though she expressed her displeasure, there isn’t any aspect of explicit mudslinging or putting someone down.
On August 10, 2014, Ardern had shared a picture of a vandalised hoarding that featured her. It is a noteworthy post for she did so with the caption: “It’s all fun and games till someone loses an eye..” This variety of humour is something that is pretty constant in all her communication.
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Communicating with kids
For any politician, children are an important audience for communication. Arden understands this and has been documenting her progress of talking to kids about all things important since the last few years. She highlights her speeches and interactions in educational institutions, focussing on the importance of certain topics that the next generation should be well-versed with. These include climate change and the functioning of a parliament.
Humour you can relate with
One of the best ways to use Instagram, as a politician, is to put yourself out there as a person people can relate with, outside of their political ideologies. It is where they can converse as human beings, and humour is perhaps one of the best ways to form such a connection. It is a strategy that has perhaps been the most significant part of Ardern’s Instagram presence. And, it works magic!
The quality of the pictures Ardern puts up has sharpened over time and the tendency to add filters and edit pictures has gone down. The things that have remained constant is her smile, affection for people, the need to document, truckloads of conversational vibe in her communication and a lack of hashtags unless they hold a specific relevance to the post.
She is a mom and it reflects as a part of her identity on social media as well. Ardern also seems to be someone who loves paperwork, tea, food, media interactions, speeches and pretty much all things work. The overall persona is that of a person documenting and sharing their life, both personal and professional aspects. And, being casual at it.