Webcameron: cheesy, but strangely refreshing
Ecover washing up liquid in hand, the prospective Conservative Prime Minister of the UK addresses the nation... doesn't say much, but he's saying it on a YouTube-style video on his cheekily named Webcameron site.
As seems to be his style so far, the emphasis is on the form rather than the substance of his communication. He stresses it is important that the party finds new ways to connect with people.
The heckling from his children is pretty authentic. But, yes, it's pretty cheesy and stage managed. But maybe less cheesy and embarrassing than most political campaigns of recent years. The disingenuousness of most political comms turns me off - and most people.
I might claim that its ten years in PR that allows me to pick apart and reverse engineer a hollow soundbite or election stunt and sneer at the thinking behind it - sneer because it's trying to take me for a mug.
But I haven't got a preserve on spotting party political BS - most intelligent people (and most people are intelligent) can spot it and filter it out.
And as for Cameron's lack of something to say: in stressing conversation, connecting with people, promoting open discussion and dialogue about politics and issues in society he is being fresh and refreshing after the condescension of Labour's controlling style of communications.
I respect the Conservative more for their efforts at innovating and opening up their communications by experimenting with social media. It means giving up a bit of control, and for politicians, that's a new and brave thing to do.
And it is open - so far as I can see. They even have an "Open Blog" (good name, eh?) for people to make their own posts - subject to moderation.
There's even a tag-cloud widget promised that supporters can download to their own blog to show what issues are being discussed the most at the moment. Excellent idea. So is the del.icio.us linking etc.
We'll see how this pans out - but I good start - well done to the team there. Labour take note (please).
(And in case my Mother's reading this, no I won't be voting Tory, so please don't start planning an intervention.)
: : NB: With a blog as the front page lead on the Guardian today and the Economist running a special report on Second Life this week, the whole social media / web 2.0 thing is feeling very mainstream at the moment, ain't it?