TC Moscow 2013: Navalny the Start-up

December 9, 2013, 17:30


The results

“The campaign was very brief—we got to work in the middle of July, while the elections, as you remember, were held on September 8. But in the interim we were able to achieve solid results: Navalny’s rating among the electorate grew from 3% to 28%”.

“We built a good infrastructure for those who wanted to support us. Our headquarters developed quickly, and no worse than a start-up, as our staff grew from eight to 300 people”.

The difficulties

“The basic problems we faced were that we did not have access to the traditional mainstream media and the fact that we had to come up with a campaign during the summer, which is when everybody leaves the cities. It wasn’t easy getting in touch with voters. The combination of these factors helped us understand that we had to think up a blended offline/online approach”.

Online vs. offline

“We understood that we would be leaders online, as the young audience supported us, but also that that wasn’t enough. If we were going to bring in only the youth vote, we would get only 30% percent of the total figure. We had to take the online campaign offline, for which we had two months. At this stage there was nothing for it but to use start-up applications”.

How it worked


“We specified three primary audience segments: volunteers, support groups, and people who just didn’t care. Accordingly, we needed three strategies. For the volunteers we put together an infrastructure, while we did our best to make support groups members into volunteers. We told the rest who Navalny was and why they should vote for him”.


“We thought up a large number of services that could involve voters in the campaign: cubes and sms-cubes, Mosvpiska, Navalny@home. We also put together regional chats where people could coordinate their activities on site. Finally, we improved our work with internet entrepreneurs and bought a large number of media ads, primarily on the internet”.


“If you bring in motivated people and set up strict time and resource limitations, they can achieve a lot. We thought up how to activate people in Moscow and outside it and how to use both those who wanted to devote their time to the campaign and even those who didn’t. Start-up mechanics work!”

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