Ed, speak human!

2nd July, 2011 11:39 am

ed speaks human.jpgBy Vincenzo Rampulla / @VMRampulla

“Message discipline, just remember message discipline” – I can easily imagine the advisers intoning this to Ed Miliband for his recent BBC interview. It is what communications professional always advise. So why didn’t it work?

Putting aside whether the position was right or not (that’s a totally different blog post) – there was a cogent position but the team failed to get it out properly.

Shane Greer’s already tackled the challenge of modern media consumption sets for this type of technique. But the wider point is that all the tactics, the strategy and effort should be based on letting Ed ‘speak human’.

If anyone could turn to me and convince me that the reality is that “put aside your twittery and online chatter, the public understand what Ed’s saying” then that would be fine. But that is manifestly not the case.

If anything ordinary people now just see Ed being castigated by his supporters for being robotic. He hasn’t come out as a leader, fiercely independent and able to fight his own battles, he’s come off as just another politician.

Surely it could have been different…

I’m no expert but, hindsight apart, where was the well crafted opinion column in The Sun before the strike talking to normal people outside of the Westminster bubble?

He’s done it before. It is Sun readers that the ordinary people Ed should be looking to speaking to.

The blog post on the June 28th wouldn’t of and didn’t have the same impact.

On the day of the strikes the feeling was probably that he needed to face down (or maybe fan) criticism, so where was the blog on LabourList? Time was spent crafting “I wanted to respond to people who disagree with me about today’s strike” but the post could only have been read on the margins.

That post should have been dropped in the midst of Ed’s natural community (on LabourList or wherever), and cast as Ed facing down his critics on their own turf.

Finally, it was the right decision to do a BBC spot and to speak for himself.

Yet presumably his people knew the basis of the interview and knew that Ed had a cogent position that he’d be articulating in his LGA speech a little later. It wasn’t a combative or aggressive interview. So he could have ignored the interviewer’s questions and just spoke around the same points as in his speech.

‘Message discipline’ just means don’t get pulled away from what you want to say, it doesn’t necessarily mean at all times repeat yourself ad nauseam. Hopi Sen has a good post on this here.

But what do I know is this – I want Ed to speak human.

Comments are closed

Latest

  • News Seats and Selections Geoffrey Robinson u-turns on retirement – he’s standing again on May 7th

    Geoffrey Robinson u-turns on retirement – he’s standing again on May 7th

    In recent days there were reports that Geoffrey Robinson was set to step down as MP for Coventry North West (at incredibly short notice), with Miliband aide Greg Beales reportedly a frontrunner for the seat. Then yesterday, reports emerged that Robinson might have had a change of heart, and could stay on as MP. An emergency meeting of Coventry North West CLP had been called for this evening, but LabourList understands this was cancelled early this afternoon, when local members […]

    Read more →
  • Video 36 years later – Michael Foot’s speech on the vote of no confidence

    36 years later – Michael Foot’s speech on the vote of no confidence

    As Scottish Labour’s latest video shows, it’s 36 years since Jim Callaghan’s government was brought down with a vote of no confidence. This was won by one vote, in which the SNP supported Margaret Thatcher and the Tories. Here’s Michael Foot’s speech from this day:

    Read more →
  • Comment The Tories won’t deliver a 7-day a week NHS, they’ll cut it

    The Tories won’t deliver a 7-day a week NHS, they’ll cut it

    With forty days to go, David Cameron is desperate to run away from his dismal record on the NHS. After five years in Downing Street, he stood in Manchester today and had the cheek to make all the same promises on a seven-day NHS. No-one will be taken in by it. People know that not only did this Government not deliver a seven-day NHS, they spent five years taking it backwards. It’s now harder to get a GP appointment from Monday to […]

    Read more →
  • News Video Scottish Labour’s latest video: 36 years today since the SNP voted with the Tories to bring down Callaghan’s government

    Scottish Labour’s latest video: 36 years today since the SNP voted with the Tories to bring down Callaghan’s government

    Today it is 36 years since Jim Callaghan’s government was brought down by a vote of no confidence, resulting in the general election months later that brought Margaret Thatcher to power. The government lost the vote to the Conservatives by one – 310 to 311.  Scottish Labour have produced a video showing that the 11 SNPs at the time voted with Thatcher, helping to usher in 18 years of a Tory government. Here’s the video in full  

    Read more →
  • Featured Labour demand explanation for Tories’ proposed disability cuts

    Labour demand explanation for Tories’ proposed disability cuts

    A document has been leaked revealing which benefits the Tories are considering scrapping. This is part of the £12bn cut to the welfare budget they would implement by 2017/18 if they were to win May. It suggests that disability benefits and a regional benefits cap would be at the top of the list. The BBC have found that the document, prepared by civil servants at the request of the Conservative party, suggests restricting the number of people eligible to claim […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit