Ed, speak human!

July 2, 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 Blair says the West must be prepared to work with Putin and the Egyptian military

    Blair says the West must be prepared to work with Putin and the Egyptian military

    Tony Blair may not have been Prime Minister for nearly seven years now, but his views – particularly on foreign policy – are always newsworthy. This morning he gave a wide-ranging and controversial speech at Bloomberg’s London HQ on the Middle East, urging the West not to pull back from the Middle East as an unsolvable problem, but to engage. Although despite the billing, this was as much a speech about faith as it was about geo-politics. At the roots of Blair’s […]

    Read more →
  • News Labour set up rapid rebuttal unit for election campaign

    Labour set up rapid rebuttal unit for election campaign

    Labour plan to step up their media monitoring process in the run up to the 2015 general election, according to The Independent. A team will be in charge of rebutting negative media to avoid a re-run of the 1992 election, where an onslaught of attacks from the press played their part in a unexpected Conservative victory. Michael Dugher, the MP in charge of Labour’s communications, is this week in the US discussing strategy with new appointment David Axelrod and other political […]

    Read more →
  • Featured UKIP, England and St George

    UKIP, England and St George

    Labour tends to view UKIP like Nelson viewed the signal at the Battle of Copenhagen. He held the telescope to his blind eye and said, ‘I really do not see the signal’.  Our image of  UKIP is a protest vehicle for disaffected, older, right wing Tories in the South. But UKIP represents more significant trends than this caricature suggests. UKIP is a symptom of the deep social and economic changes that have taken place over the last thirty years. Its […]

    Read more →
  • News Why are the Lib Dems so shy?

    Why are the Lib Dems so shy?

    Regular readers will know that we’re always keeping an eye on Lib Dems leaflets. Their local propaganda sheets are always good for a questionable bar chart, or forgetting the name of the generic place their text is for – but they can also be quite shy about their party affiliation too. For example, take the “Islington Chronicle”. Sounds like a local paper, and there’s no Lib Dem logo and barely a splash of their trademark yellow. But it is, in […]

    Read more →
  • News Scotland Seats and Selections Have the Tories given up on Scotland?

    Have the Tories given up on Scotland?

    This morning we noted that the Tories haven’t selected candidates in nearly half of the most marginal Labour and Lib Dem seats. But what’s particularly telling is that in over 60% of target seats in the Midlands and the North they have so far failed to select a candidate, while the Independent claims that in Scotland there are no Tory parliamentary candidates at all. However, Mark Wallace over at ConHome notes that the Tories have in fact selected a total of two […]

    Read more →