Why the Labour Party also-rans could benefit from user research

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn knows his audience
As Jeremy Corbyn’s coronation as the new Labour Party leader draws ever closer, I’ve been amused by the whinging from those who are scared about the likely outcome.

As anyone who works in digital knows, your primary aim is to focus on the user/audience first, find out what they want, and then align messaging and organisational goals in tandem.

Ultimately, all the prospective leaders want Labour to present a credible opposition to the Conservatives and win the next General Election in 2020 – that’s the goals sorted.

Appeal to the audience
What I haven’t seen much of from most candidates is tailoring their messages to appeal to their audience, ie Labour supporters (both current, lapsed and prospective).

I don’t claim to have done much research of my own into these ‘users’, but the apathy being shown to everyone except Jeremy Corbyn pretty much shows that he’s been listening to his audience, and engaging with them on the issues that matter to them.

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The more subtle reasons that Jeremy Corbyn is winning support

Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leader hopeful Jeremy Corbyn
I’ve been watching and listening to footage of Jeremy Corbyn over the past week or so and – quite aside from his policies – I think I’ve identified other reasons for his apparently-surprise popularity among grass-roots voters.

His age
At 66, Corbyn has decades of experience and the gravitas he offers stands out.

Consider Ken Livingstone’s similar appeal which swept him into the London Mayoralty and the popularity of a similar-aged Alan Johnson.

There are times when relative youth just don’t cut it.
Continue reading “The more subtle reasons that Jeremy Corbyn is winning support”

Why we need to be more inclusive than ever in our daily life

After a General Election the one thing you can guarantee is knee-jerk reaction and hysterical responses by supporters of whichever parties lost.

And so we have seen following the surprise Conservative victory in the 2015 General Election.

None more so than the assertion by philosopher Rebecca Roache that Labour supporters should unfriend any Tory friends on social media.

Quite aside from the sweeping generalisations about people who support the Conservative party, Ms Roache’s suggestion will only serve to cement the problem that existed on social throughout the whole election campaign: namely that we surround ourselves with people who think the same as we do.

The shock to many (in which I include myself) on Friday was that we couldn’t believe anyone could vote any differently to us.

And here is where we fall into Nigel Farage’s oft-quoted ‘liberal metropolitan elite’. We don’t hear the opposing voices, or at least we dismiss them.

What we all – no matter of your political leaning – need to do is to spend more time listening to each other and understanding our concerns, hopes and fears.

We need to debate and discuss and talk through what each other thinks. Let’s actively seek out those with differing views.

Each of us may not manage to persuade the other to change opinions, but at least we’ll be less surprised by the outcome.