For those of you who’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, the ‘Brexit’ has been a huge talking point for anyone and everyone. However, before I continue I must make it clear that I am no politics pro. In fact, I am barely even a novice, which is why I’m writing this post from the viewpoint of how successful have campaigns tactics been in engaging someone who isn’t that knowledgeable in politics.I researched many campaign tactics for both parties but only included those that ‘came to me’ as opposed to me finding them as those are the ones gaining the most coverage…
Like most debates there are two sides; for and against (you can read more about the pros and cons of those here) and both sides have used countless tactics to persuade the British public to vote for their argument. Here’s what I think were the most effective and ineffective for either side…
In the digital age, using print as your medium is an unlikely tactic to use, especially when that print medium is The Sun, an outlet that should always be taken with a pinch of salt. However, the declining readership of print newspapers doesn’t necessarily mean that that all newspapers should be written off completely. In fact, the digital age may perhaps have inadvertently helped ‘team newspaper.’
Since we have become a generation consumed by our mobile phones, in most cases we are more likely to glance at a headline in our local supermarket and believe what is wrote as we can’t be bothered to read more. Although The Queen is meant to have a neutral position on politics therefore a statement that she ‘backs the Brexit’ is unlikely to be true- despite The Sun’s editor in chief stating that he is ‘completely confident’ in it’s sources- there is still a chance that the story could have boosted ‘out votes’ for the short time.
Score; 2/10 An article published by a newspaper known for it’s love of sentionalism is highly unlikely to sway the British public in the long term especially when all ‘sources’ deny knowledge of this ever happening.
A speech is paramount to a political campaign as it allows spokespeople to inform and persuade their target audiences face to face, creating a more personalised relationship with the public. However, unless you hold a huge interest in politics, speeches tend to be long and boring. As someone not interested in politics usually I would ignore said speeches and instead read the magazine headline about it the next day. Which is why I was shocked and amazed to find myself watching Boris Johnson’s most recent speech.
I was amazed to hear that Boris Johnson told supporters to interrupt Channel 4s Michael Crick’s live broadcast on Friday. I was even more amazed to then see a supporter approach Crick and tell him to stop talking. Although such behaviour is completely unprofessional, it most certainly created press coverage and caught the attention of those who may have not watched the speech otherwise.
Score; 4/10 Although I would never advise such behaviour, especially at an important political event, the idea of a ‘stunt’ at an otherwise boring speech definitely created coverage and caught my attention.
AGAINST THE BREXIT
Who doesn’t love a heart warming social media campaign? In my personal opinion, it is the perfect way to make people feel involved by making them a part of a positive community and it is exactly what #HugABrit does. Part of the larger ‘Please Don’t Go’ campaign- a pro-EU movement for EU citizens living in the UK- the social media campaign asks people to tweet photo’s of themselves hugging a Brit (pretty self explanatory) in the hope that by showing them love it will convince them to vote to stay. The campaign has been a huge success even gaining the support of opponent and Brexit supporter Nigel Farage.
Score; 8/10 The ‘make love not war’ approach will always be my favourite and social media is an excellent way for such campaigns to go viral! Only way it could be improved is to target it more at Brits as opposed to just other EU country citizens…a thought for the future!
LETS TALK LEAFLETS
Leaflets…some say cheap and efficient others say more than likely thrown in the bin after one glance. As a self employed promotional worker who’s witness a thousand leaflets be thrown in the bin, I am slightly biased and agree with the latter. I feel that there are a thousand more creative ways to engage with your publics especially when they have cost the taxpayers £9million. Unfortunately, the price of the leaflet has created more coverage than the content itself. David Cameron speaking on this matter branded it ‘necessary and right’ however Michael Gove branded it propaganda. Either way, it seems that the content will be overlooked, even more so after a petition has been made against the production of the leaflets.
Score; 6.5/10 despite the leaflets causing such controversy I feel like they are the most convenient way to get all the information in one place that voters may need to help them decide.
Celebrity endorsements have been used for almost everything and politics is no different and although it is unlikely the campaigns will have chosen these celeb’s to be affiliated with them, such ambassadors can equally help or hinder their argument. Both campaigns have seen the importance in this and although it is unlikely that a celebrity will be able to sway someone who has decided who they’re going to vote, there is a chance they can influence, particularly younger voters.
Brexit followers include Mick Jagger, ex-footballer Sol Campbell, Dragons Den’s Duncan Bannatyne and Katie Hopkins. Whereas the pro-EU side have the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Baroness Karren Brady and equality champion Trevor Phillips as well as the support from Greenpeace and WWF.
In my opinion I am much more likely to vote for a campaign whose supporters are affiliated with positive things than negative as it puts doubt into my mind in regards to ‘Do I hold the same beliefs as Katie Hopkins or Sir Richard Branson?’ You can read some more interesting articles about celeb influence on politics here and here.
Score; 5/10 Brand Ambassadors can’t persuade people directly to change their minds however I feel that they do subconsciously influence my decision through association.
With Team Brexit scraping a pitiful 6/20 as opposed to the pro-EU ‘s party’s 14.5, I believe that the latter have been the most successful so far. However, there is exactly one month and one day until the ‘big day’ and the tables can still turn…