External Communications Manifesto!
We believe there are five key priorities we must address if, with your support, we are elected as the party's External Communications Co-ordinator:
1) Bold messaging across all channels: The Green Party has at times been too timid this past year. The Party needs to be willing to take some risks and get criticised at times: we will know that we are doing the right thing, if we actually matter enough to get criticised! As the Ext Comms team, we will lead on harnessing the anger of the British people on the financial crisis, the sleaze crisis, and new crises as they emerge, and position the Green Party as the Party with the ethical credentials and the vision that can actually rescue our country (and our world) from the terrible hole it is in.
Consistency of (emotionally-powerful) messaging will contribute hugely to our chances of success in 2010. Consistency also means core messages that can be used in leaflets, blogs, banners, interviews and press releases. Political messages are different to commercial branding, "Think again" didn't recognise this key point. We will use our political expertise to support the generation of solid, active messages for our party.
Reactive press releases aren't enough. We will set a clear timetable of themes we want to cover that build the vision we have for this country. We refuse to cede issues like rail infrastructure or renewable energy to other parties. With action plans, reports and actions by our existing elected Greens we can show the country what Green policies mean.
2) Rapid response to major developments: The Party's response to Haltemprice and Howden was halting, whereas the LibDems' response was instantaneous. The modern media environment demands more rapid response than the Green Party has been used to: we would work with the leadership team to ensure genuinely rapid responses to emerging situations.
3) Professionalising our Ext Comms operation: Letting staff do their jobs. We want to help set the direction of travel, not micro-manage. The Party has lost the majority of its staff over the last 12 months (especially in the Press Office), and more departures are imminent. We would place a very strong emphasis on not losing any more staff over the next year. We want to ensure that the Green Party is a great environment for staff, and would place a high premium on sensitive line-management.
4) Saving and enhancing the Party's freepost operation: It ought to be a priority for External Comms to make the most of the excellent freepost-scheme that we as a Party have in place, but in fact Mark Hill's freepost-operation is at risk of being severely pared-back (by GPex) and may as a result fold altogether. We would reverse this trend, by saving the freepost scheme and working closely with the freepost staff to ensure that the General Election freepost takes a step forward from any previous Green Party freepost operation. The best-ever freepost will play a key role in raising votes country-wide, and in winning seats where we are in position to win.
5) Doing what it takes, to win: This is probably the most important year in the Green Party's history. We must win seats at the General Election. There is no fallback position; winning a million votes would mean nothing, if we don't win at least one MP. As two activists who have shown they are dedicated to the cause, we will be extremely committed to this role. We know how to work smart and delegate effectively. We will do everything we can to support an effective party focussed on Westminster victory.