Saturday, 17 April 2010

Content is king, even and especially during an election

There are three contentious issues most people tend to avoid, religion and a woman's weight being two of them. The other is politics. Though I have no comments on the election campaign at hand here on the twin island state, or the leaders or their parties, I stumbled across the Opposition Leader's Facebook page yesterday with over 5,000 fans. I immediately thought "Yes, She Can", in light of the Obama links running around.

The People's National Movement, in addition to their website, also has a Fan Page and a YouTube channel.
So, yes they are, but the question is CAN THEY?

Nothing really jumps out at me from either party's initiatives thus far. Photos from events, updates on meetings. The UNC page has some notes from meetings and news reports but nothing new. It's a social calendar as far as I see, and a space to post press ads and news articles.

I remember back in the day, there were a PNM and National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) manifesto on every coffee table, with the details of what each party hoped to achieve if elected.

Manifesto = what is my unique selling proposition?

Does the electorate even ask for this anymore? Do we even care? So while it is great that we are getting social and political parties reaching out, it's not that fantastic if it's the same old song and dance and nothing solid. I have not seen anything yet that will influence me in either direction. There is nothing really that I cannot access from picking up a paper or turning on the television. So far it's a lot of speech posting, ad posting, meeting schedules.

In much the same way that customers look to brands for rich content about what they do, about performance, new and upcoming initiatives, and look for brands to offer something different, especially when using the new tools, I think we should expect the same from our politicians and not get caught up in the tribalism. And this goes way beyond social media now.

I would love to see us get back to basics. Let's get the basics right - comprehensive information, information which pushes your political brand, your mission, your vision, your strategic direction. No sense upping the ante and using technology if we aren't really saying anything. Content is King, yet the content I have seen thus far is far from regal.

One thing I would really like to see happen one election year in the near future, though I doubt it will happen this time around (if ever) is the televised debate. Give us our leaders and their take on the issues and their plan for the country, minus the flag waving, minus the branded supporters, minus the campaign trail mudslinging. I really enjoy these. With an experienced, assertive and brilliant moderator, debates can be rich viewing.

The Brits had their first ever election debate this week and what is most interesting with this is that the televised debate has given Nick Clegg and the Liberal Dems in the UK greater visibility and perhaps a greater chance in the polls (not predicting that they will win eh). Nick Clegg, by most accounts was brilliant. The first past the post electoral system, which we chose to keep as a souvenir from the Queen, effectively maintains the "strength" of the two established parties. Nick Clegg possibly emphasised the limitations of this system in the UK's first ever televised debate, giving the traditional Labour and Conservative party leaders a run for their money and opening himself and his party to segments of the electorate he may never have necessarily been exposed to during the normal campaigning. The debate provided an avenue that the electorate would not have had before to hear the views of all the candidates, outside of the myopia of blind party allegiances.

I don't know about the rest of the population, but I want this type of debate, and this type of content from our leaders, not just the allegations and "in my back pocket" mysteries about candidates. These are the types of communication channels that we should tend to first, before we dabble in others, without giving us anything substantial to "feast on". Perhaps now that the election date has been announced we will get to the meat of the matter as far as manifestos are concerned. Let's hope so. If not, then I am not really interested in the myriad of communications channels available. They all mean nothing, if they say nothing.

As for a woman's weight, I will not even touch that...not even with a 15ft pole!

Nick Clegg on Facebook
David Cameron on Facebook
Nick Clegg on Twitter
The Conservatives on Twitter
Labour Party on Twitter

Funny review of the Brown/Cameron/Clegg debate here as well.


my problem, if you would call it that, is that many of the links or descriptions of content posted is sometimes the same GUTTER rhetoric heard on the platforms... they also have to realise that some of us really dont care for those tactics in this realm... not that its approved IRL either...

and they cant debate when all they tend to do is lambaste each other... tho i too would like to see/hear it...

Exactly! Not all of us are interested in that. But the sad thing is, it seems that some of the electorate are content with what is thrown out at them and not demanding more sensible and important information.

I don't know if the electorate are content. Between the politians who refuse to speak to the media, and media managers with an agenda, or a lack of trained staff etc etc, our politicians have a bit of a free ride.

I think we don't see the value in personal activism. but we love slacktivism. Cuss about issues in the bar and at the TV, but not in a letter to the MP. Because the costs are so high, going against the grain in T&T can cause you more pain than it's worth. At least in the short-term. By being so passive, we are complicit in our long-term suffering.

The older I get, the more I hate the political pappyshow.

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments and questions!

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More