John Drennan delights (as only he can!) in telling readers of the Sunday Independent that BSD are coming back and are going to address a meeting of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party on Tuesday night.
Sam Jeffers and Gregor Poynton from Blue State Digital’s London office are going to talk blogging and online campaigning and getting it to translate into offline electoral gains. Gregor joined BSD having previously worked as Election Strategy Manager for the British Labour Party.
They have their work cut out for them as Fianna Fáil are an ageing party in some financial trouble and their previous attempts at engaging online have not been successful or supported by all members of the party or senior staff. Never mind the fact that the country and the economy is in a mess and the electorate may just bite back if they are tweeted or facebooked at. Videos and blog posts and tweets are coming from head office on a regular basis but I feel they just hang out there in thin air. The website is over a year old and doesn’t feel very user friendly or inviting.
And then there is the curious state of denial that the party is in – Example no. 1 – The Galway Bypass – a campaign by a government TD for his government to do something.
Today’s blog post from Thomas Byrne TD from the Meath Regional Seminar shows how much learning has to be done – indeed the FF blog itself by whomever is dragged into write a post (or have it ghosted for them) is very poor. There are no attempts to engage with others inside or outside the party. For exampled why weren’t a few bloggers asked to come to the regional seminars to cover the events?
And why do they think that Blue State Digital are going to be able to teach them how to do all this? Because Barack Obama got elected? It wasn’t his website that got him elected alone. And no matter how many times Irish politicians are told this by those around them they continue to ignore it.
There doesn’t seem to be any party organised BSD event for bloggers, public relations types, guru wannabes this year – or if there is they haven’t told me about it anyway.