Digital Politics – Growing during in this recession

March 1, 2009

With a general election no more than 13 months away, and the recent history of Obama’s ascent to the White House on the back of digital marketing, fundraising and broadcasting, it looks like that digital politics is one area that is going to experience massive growth during this recession.

I was recently talking with a Director of Marketing at a major governmental organisation, who said budgets are incredibly tight, but is yet hiring a couple of digital staff, including a Head of Digital.

A recent article by the BBC highlighted that whilst MPs in the UK are happy to broadcast their views online, they have’nt yet worked out how to use the medium as a ‘listening post’.

Conservative Home and LabourList are pretty influential blogs already in the political space, however they are pretty self serving – how are they reaching out to contact those not interested in politics (or more to the point those that don’t think they are interested)?

Community building, segmentation by issue, geography, demogaphics as well as developing the type of contact strategy that marketers have been using for years, could prove highly effective in terms of both building political support (and as Obama showed the not unimportant issue of political funds) but also provide a channel for influencing key marginal seats as well.

These techniques are not limited to elections. eGovernment should change the way in which our public services are delivered, the way in which our local and national politicians are accountable, and our access to involvement in debates. This is what I take from what the BBC article means about listening.

All are possible with pretty simple and standard techniques.

I started my journey in digital with some eGoverment work. It was developing self service strategies and technology for the Local Government Association, mixing the use of kiosk technology toghether with innovative apps to provide accessible services.

Given that the government is the only one spending right now, this could be an area where this recession could allow us to spend time and resources help improving public services, through (yes you’ve guessed it) Digital Transformation.

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