I have so often blogged here about being nominated and/or shortlisted for an award – from Stonewall’s politician of the year to Chanel 4 Rising Star. And have always been the bridesmaid – never the bride.
Today Orange changed all that. At the launch of their Digital Report on the election authored by Anthony Painter, they also announced the Orange Digital Election Awards.
Paul Waugh was there, Deputy Political Editor of the Standard and Rishi Saha, Head of New Media for the Conservative Party and Paul Farrelly, MP chaired were there to give the view from their perspective on the digital side of the election.
I won the top prize – ‘best use of digital campaigning by a candidate’.
I was really delighted. I have been blogging for about seven years. I had a new website designed in the last year for the election. I have been collecting emails for twelve years and now twitter and facebook are also part of the repertoire. So – to get acknowledgement for all of this was really heartwarming – particularly as this is an award awarded by the cognoscenti.
Simon Dickson of Puffbox built my site – and when we first met – he got it. He really understood what I wanted from the site (the life stream, the active nature of the site and he found an ace designer – Jonathan Harris – who understood what I wanted it to look like design wise too). And Mark Pack – my long time campaign manager and original web-master – was my technical adviser. Together we created the site.
There is no doubt in my mind that internet campaigning is now a must have – or rather – must do for those who enter elected politics. Particularly if they want to be elected.
But in the end the internet in all its forms is about communicating – hopefully two ways. It’s about creating a relationship between the politician and the people. Because in the end – you can’t market a bad product (well not for long) and you can’t use it cynically – just for didactic statements and vote getting (people aren’t stupid).
Politics is a people business – so in the end – this is all about that relationship. And just like any relationship – you have to work at it!
So – thank you Orange!