Open letter to Headington election candidates

Dear @MarySareva @Old_Marston @delia_sinclair @RoziRogers @markb_gt @MarkLygo

The County elections are coming up and campaigning has begun. Anybody in the mainstream media will tell you how significant social media are for keeping up to date with breaking news, sounding opinion and engaging in dialogue with other users. You all have twitter accounts but all but one or two of you don’t use them. Why is this? Why are you shy of social media? You turn out doggedly on the doorsteps of Oxford in all weathers but you miss the opportunity of getting your message out to electors from the comfort of your own living room.

Is there a rational explanation? Have your party spin doctors declared that time spent on social media is time wasted? Are social media users a demographic you know you can afford to ignore? There are plenty of your colleagues in other parts of the country who disagree with you. Have you got research and statistics to back you up?

You local parties aren’t much better. Their social media presence is sporadic, laboured, ineffective, out of date. I don’t understand. Enlighten me. Please.

Tony OX3

2 thoughts on “Open letter to Headington election candidates

  1. Perhaps I prefer knocking on doors in all weathers and speaking to people face to face as opposed to being a faceless entity behind a computer screen? 🙂

    I think that local politics has to be more proactive than social media. It isn't enough to expect local residents to go out of their way to find you on it.

    We have a Facebook account that you might be interested in: I personally find twitter to be an annoyance though because I often have more to say than 140 characters.

    Ian Macdonald
    UKIP Oxford Chairman
    Candidate for Barton, Sandhills and Risinghurst

  2. Thanks for your thoughts Ian. There's much that could be discussed sometime. I'm not saying candidates shouldn't bother meeting people face to face, but I do think they miss opportunities to interact with and influence voters by using other channels too, including social media. Personalities do come through after all – one local candidate with a twitter account has lost two votes I know of (and I'm not talking of myself) by not bothering to reply to tweets while a rival candidate has.

    I think too that social media can give candidates more freedom and flexibility to put their case than the rather stylised election leaflets we get through the door. Production costs are zero, and updates can be done any time!

    And a last thought for now, which I hinted at in my original piece: I think candidates would probably reach a different demographic profile through social media. I haven't any evidence for this but I'd be astonished if the main parties at national level haven't researched it.

    By the way, you say you find twitter a nuisance. Do you have an account that I've missed in my search for tweeting candidates?

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