All posts by Jeff Blay


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There was no shortage of news coming out of the 2016 NDP Convention this past weekend in Edmonton.

Party leader Thomas Mulcair was voted out of his leadership role with only 48 per cent of delegates supporting an extension. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley made headlines with her expressed divide from her federal party on several high-profile issues—including the Leap Manifesto, which ultimately garnered the highest sustained traction on social media.

Between April 8-14, there were 15,047 total tweets about The Leap Manifesto from 8,835 unique authors.

Geographically, posts primarily originated in Toronto (15%), Calgary (13%), Edmonton (13%), Ottawa (12%) and Vancouver (9%), while the male demographic dominated the conversation at 69% opposed to 31% female.


Naomi Klein led engagement with her tweet linking to an official statement on the Leap Manifesto from, generating 305 engagements. Rachel Notley’s tweet linking to her statement on behalf of the Government of Alberta, voicing opposition for the sections that address energy infrastructure also had high engagement.

National Post Columnist John Ivison’s commentary questioning the NDP’s ‘leftward pivot’ he attributed to the ousting of Mulcair and passing of the Leap Manifesto, gained high traction with 108 retweets and 200 total engagements. 

It was a high-activity weekend for the NDP, but it wasn’t Muclair’s unprecedented party vote loss that drove engagement social media—it was the controversial Leap Manifesto and the sub-storylines it created that carried the conversation.

The news coming out of the convention and turmoil within the party evidently hasn’t helped the NDP’s cause, either. A recent Abacus poll had the NDP slipping to 13% and the Tories to 26, and the Liberals rising to 49.

Jeff Blay, Enterprise Canada

Twitter: @JeffBlay

Jeff Ballingall, Navigator Ltd.

Twitter: @jeffballingall

Social Media Watch – Trudeau’s Balancing Act

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Justin Trudeau was in the spotlight once again this week—on social media and in international media. But as we’ve seen before, it wasn’t related to his politics.

An old photo of the Prime Minister doing the Mayurasana yoga pose resurfaced on social media last week and subsequently “broke the internet.”

But would the photo have gone viral if the media didn’t start covering it? 

Toronto yoga instructor David Gellineau first posted the photo to his Facebook page on March 24. It was shared 4,635 times and received 10,000 likes and 659 comments.

While those numbers are certainly impressive, by definition, it doesn’t quite meet the viral status. It wasn’t until nearly a week later, when media picked up on the photo, that it began to gain significant traction.

There was a major spike on Tuesday, March 29 as media began publishing articles about the photo. Traction continued over the days following as foreign press began to take note, with Mashable, Time Magazine, Buzzfeed and The Guardian all publishing articles on the subject.

Between March 29-31, articles related to Trudeau’s yoga pose were shared nearly 200,000 times on Facebook alone. Now that’s viral.


We can conclude that, in some cases, media play a greater role than we might think in deciding what content goes viral. One outlet picks up on a topic that was receiving moderate traction, and others latch on and take it into the stratosphere.

The Trudeau camp has seen this work to its benefit several times since the election. Media—especially in the U.S.—seem to love telling these feel-good stories about Trudeau, resulting in positive coverage that often gains more attention than negative political criticism.

Canadians may not be overly concerned about Trudeau’s ability to balance a budget, but they’re certainly impressed by his ability to balance in yoga.

Jeff Blay, Enterprise Canada