Julia Gillard to connect with voters through knitting

Julia Gillard to connect with voters through knitting (All Star)

Australian prime minister Julia Gillard has come up with a novel way to connect with her female voters, by sharing some of her personal life online.

As part of her digital election campaign strategy, News Limited reports that the premier will soon be Instagramming pictures of her pet dog, posting knitting patterns to her Pinterest account and tweeting to parent blogs.

Ms Gillard's director of communications John McTernan explained how internet memes and viral campaigns run through social media were a fantastic way to reach out to Australian women, many of which were angered by her October 2012 misogyny speech.

He said: "We're using Facebook to communicate to women voters, to single women, to mums."

"The misogyny speech created a momentum around a set of issues and we're using social media to shape that momentum into a movement that supports the prime minister, just as Obama used women's issues to pull voters forward," Mr McTernan added.

One of the main ideas in the strategy includes the prime minister pinning photos of her various knitting projects to Pinterest, in the hope of creating a dialogue with the predominantly female user base.

Her communications aide explained that her social media effort would feature "the kind of content that hipster Instagramming people like," including "knitting patterns, things she's knitted" and her first dog Reuben.

He went on to say: "When people on Facebook say they like something they pass it on, they share it and like it, and their friends are far more likely to pay attention to the message than if they get an email or a leaflet through their letterbox, or a letter that comes from an MP they don't necessarily know."

While it remains to be seen just how talented Ms Gillard is with wool and a pair of needles, there are sure to be many people logging on to social networks to check out just what the Aussie PM has been up to, or perhaps even offering tips on how she can neaten up her knitting patterns.

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