Monday, August 17, 2009

Labour Appoint 'Twitter Tsar'

The Guardian report this morning that Labour have appointed a 'Twitter Tsar' to encourage their MPs and candidates to embrace social media in the run up to the General Election.

After the success of last week's 'We Love the NHS' campaign, political parties are beginning to recognise the power of social media as a tool to engage with a disaffected electorate and to create a viral effect to take their campaigns into homes in a way never previously possible.

Political leaders have been heavily criticised in recent years for being remote from their electorate. Social media offers an immediacy and opportunity to engage that has been lacking, and an increasing number of politicians have been adopting social media independently.

It has taken the parties a long time to completely embrace this change. First signs came over two years ago, led by Barack Obama in the States but also by some parties in the UK. I first wrote about the trend in March 2007, here.

It will be interesting to see how effectively Labour, and their New Media Campaigns Spokeperson, Kerry McCarthy MP, use such tools, and how the Conservatives respond, despite their leader's recent public criticism of Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. I sincerely hope that he/she is under 30 years of age, with a short attention span...