Lucy Lomas, Director of Luma Marketing, shares some reflections on the General Election campaign.
Phew! It’s been a busy month…
I’m a passionate believer in democracy and our civic duty to cast our vote… but this is the first time I’ve actively participated in a general election campaign.
I supported the Women’s Equality Party campaign to get a candidate – the awesome Sally Carr – elected in South Manchester. Yes, I’m a feminist*.
We knocked on doors, engaged with social media and the press, delivered leaflets, held events, canvassed tram stops…. and so much more. We are exhausted and still reflecting on the results: we didn’t get our candidate elected, but we did secure more votes than either the Green Party or UKIP in their first election. We also attracted a great deal of abuse.
So what did I learn from my first election campaign?
I learnt that politics is all about volunteers – armies of them. The Liberal Democrats get up at 4am to deliver leaflets before voters have their breakfast!
I learnt that politics is about data. The Labour Party’s use of social media and big data transformed their campaign – it’s become the norm.
I learnt that politics is about clear messaging. The average voter is less interested in the nuances of your manifesto (he or she certainly hasn’t read it) and just wants one or two ideas to consider. That’s why the Conservatives’ “strong and stable” message resonated with so many people: one clear statement.
Mostly, I learnt that politics is very like marketing:
Know what you’re trying to say and to whom. Monitor the data, react and adapt your campaign as the environment changes.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the campaign and have developed a taste for politics. In marketing, however, you’re less likely to be abused on the street or receive death threats for your work…
Lucy is taking a few days off.