Orange Digital Election Award – to me!

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!

0 thoughts on “Orange Digital Election Award – to me!

  1. Congratulations, very well deserved. I watched eagerly to see how politicians here in the UK, would utilise the incredible new tools at their disposal… so many failed or failed to even see how much could be achieved.

    For me, politicians on Twitter and blogs, become more multi-dimensional. I feel like I am seeing a broader profile than the snippets fed to me by news and this sense of finding the truth of a person, helps me to better informed opinions.

    Maybe it is also because the more I know of politicians, the more able I am to realise that they too are ‘we the people’?

    I wish you continued success 🙂

  2. OMG aren’t you mega pleased with yourself! Whoo hah the Orange (how ironic) award for electronic duplicity.

    One thing you are totally right about is vote getting and cynicism. People aren’t stupid.

    You can look forward to being neither bride nor bridesmaid but cut off single parent on no housing benefit or welfare. Oh silly me you don’t need it do you.

  3. Good grief, another excuse for self-indulgence, self-publicity and gratification. I suppose this will be used as another cringeworthy ‘header’- shamelessly draped all over your web-pages and ‘campaign’ literature in the future.

    When are you going to have real dialogue with your constituents about the big issues of the day?

    Please use your blogs for the reason they were intended, not just for telling us how great you are!

  4. Congratulations Lynne, it is well deserved.

    Indeed the electronic media is coming into its own, and is a good way for politicians to get their true views known to people who elected them, without the filter that the press and media tend to use to distort things to their own viewpoint.

    As one who uses the web a lot, I find the site is clean looking, well designed, and informative. I’ve even tried to model mine along same lines.

    Onwards and upwards. I wish you continuing success

  5. Adam, if I may comment – the reality is that the Labour government spent money it didn’t have and got us into this mess, which the current government now has to clean up. Difficult decisions have to be made, and the welfare bill, which is £17billion and counting, needs to be reduced. Its the largest expense for this country next to pensions!! Welfare dependency unfortunately is a big issue, and I for one would like to see us getting back to where everyone who is able, contributes to the wealth of our nation, and takes pride in doing so.

  6. Hello, Lynne – it’s a good site, so congratulations. I hope that you will no-longer be allowing yourself to be nominated for a Stonewall ‘gong’ given Summerskill’s disgraceful remarks on David Laws?

  7. Tumi
    I have raised issues numerous times since May 8th- as have many, many others (please check out the threads/history since last month)
    You will see that they go unanswered.

    Example, I wanted our MP to enter dialogue regarding the forthcoming decimation of public spending, despite her campaign to the contrary pre-election (see Wood Green police station link- and see the ‘reply’ that she posted).
    RE. your comment to Adam-the opportunity to claw back (cash) from the banks makes the welfare bill you refer to a mere drop in the ocean.
    Will the ‘coalition’ take this opportunity? Not a chance.

  8. Lynne

    Congratulations on your Orange Gong

    Being a lapsed member that has come back to the party and now considering standing in the local elections in 2011, I have been very impressed with your site, use of Faceache and Twitter.

    The ward that I am hoping to stand in has a University at the heart of it and I firmly believe it will be through such media that I may be able to follow on from the interest gained by ‘The I agree with Nick effect’ , and hopefully get those students that registered for the general election to come out again next year and vote in the locals

    I appreciate you probably do not have time on your hands for a bit of mentoring but any help and advice would be much appreciaited.

    kind rgds


  9. Barry

    Lynne can let you know how to run a campaign to keep the Tories out as they “can’t win here”. She did it very effectively in Hornsey and Wood Green. Mind you she has demonstrated how they didn’t need to win.

    You could start a website that says very little except how great you are (a lot) which is an excellent dialogue with the electorate and say (again a lot)that you are doing not saying (she does a lot of not saying). Our new local motto about how our lives are going to be is “not doing but sinking”. I’m sure you can arrange something catchy around that.

    Get some good pix of yourself. A natty military style beret is a sure fire winner.

    Finally probably best not to follow the “I agree with Nick” effect. If memory serves the great leader won fewer seats than the last bloke. Oh and he got booed by the students on the first campus he went to post his conversion on the road to Damascus into a not all that wet Tory.

  10. Adam

    Many thanks for your response, I note you have not volunteered your services as my election agent, Many Thanks again !!

    I will take on board what you have said and use your valueable response in my plan.

    On the subject of the student vote, see below the last poll that was conducted just prior to the general election at the said University

    Liberal Democrats are top by 47%
    Conservative 24%
    Labour 16%
    Green Party 8%
    UKIP 3%
    Independent 1%
    Other 1%

    When the ballot boxes were opened and the count completed the results proved that the student vote in this ward proved to be of consequence.
    The Lib Dem vote rose by approx 3%.

    Although we did not get a Lib Dem MP, i am probably to your shock/horror/ surprise perhaps extremely happy with the Coalition

    So if it is OK with you Adam, i will stick to my belief in the ‘I Agree With Nick’ effect wher I live and know my neighbours and their thoughts and feelings

    Many thanks once again for your response though.

  11. It’s a pleasure. Especially to find a lib dem with a sense of humour.

    One fatal flaw though. Your figures are pre-coalition.

  12. Adam

    The pleasure is all mine, I have always found a bit of healthy banter to be good, and yes a sense of humour is also a must!!



  13. Barry – good luck with your campaign and use of internet. It is a great medium. As you rightly surmised – no time sadly for mentoring at the moment. But am sure you will manage just fine. L

  14. Well done Lynne, it is always really good to win an award for the work you have done.
    I think this is well deserved and have been following your blog for some time which has been interesting, informative and real. It is useful to hear about what you are doing and the sucesses you have had. I enjoy reading your blog as I enjoy writing mine, keeping people upto date and evidencing where equality can be found in everyday life.
    However, I just have one reservation, that you do not get carried away with the delight of winning yourselve and remember that a lot of people will be feeling worried and insecure at the moment due to the announcments in public spending and the cuts in budgets etc. I think a lot of the comments on your blog have reflected that and although I think people can be very critical it is good to think of others as you have done so many times in the past. You cant please everyone as you know so enjoy your success it is well deserved.

  15. @ Tumi “the reality is that the Labour government spent money it didn’t have and got us into this mess, which the current government now has to clean up.”

    Labour had to act to get us through the banking crisis, they had to build hospitals and schools neglected through the Tories. As David Miliband said on weds – there are some deficits which are not only necessary, but moral. Cutting public services, rather than raising Corporation Tax to European levels is plain wrong.

    You have been suckered into believing that all these cuts are necessary – the Tories are using the deficit in the same way the Republicans used 9/11 – for their own gain. They want to reduce the size of the states, and take away public services for ever.

    I am very concerned that our excellent local library will not be here in 5 years time.

  16. Oh, and I’ve just read that child benefit will now be means tested which will lead to loads of low and middle income parents giving up work no doubt. ABSOLUTELY lovin’ the new politics Lynne. How does it feel to be a complete sell out?

  17. Congratulations on receiving your award. Your last 3 paras certainly show that you realise that politics is all about people. Ignore the comments here which have mixed up an award for methods of communicating with Govt. policy outcomes.

  18. Not ‘miseryguts’ Lynne, just wanted to highlight that your endless self-publicity seeking and pomposity is really starting to wear a bit thin these days as it grates so many people.

    What substance?…’Style over substance’ to coin a phrase!

    There are big issues at play here, which you (as part of the Government) now need to sit up and prioritise, instead of issuing these random, fluffy posts.
    Choose to be dismissive and bury your head in the sand if you wish, but it’s hardly doing you any favours with an increasing number of your constituents…is it?

  19. @Nick: would you like to run the country, then, or even be a Junior Minister? And then realise how careful you would have to be in public utterances. Give this govt a chance, please.

  20. Dreamingspire

    Everbody casts their vote at the ballot box for a number of reasons.
    Some because they’re aligned to an ideology represented by a party/MP, who have/has campaigned on a ticket that reflects this- often accentuating the other parties deficiencies, political shortfalls or plain moral corruption (which is extremely evident if you check the archives of this site).
    When you then wake up and find that the opportunity to put the brakes on an extreme right wing agenda by holding the balance of power in opposition has been foresaken for the thirst for power (and an apparent happiness to be patted on the head and fed the chump change), some/many of us have a right to challenge this about-turn as it is not what we voted for.
    When you look for responses from your local MP, who you helped elect, but get none, when Ms.Featherstone would rather blog about dog competitions than forthcoming education cuts (which will hugely effect millions of families including my own), or is (constantly) telling us all how wonderful she is rather than how she intends to fight against the agenda she rallied against in opposition- then sure, I have a democratic right to show immense disappointment with my MP.
    I grew up in the 80’s and saw Health & Education butchered. This current agenda is exactly the same. To appease and give this government ‘a chance’ is not only remiss, but extremely naive. If opinions cannot be espoused here, nor calls made for this MP to show a bit of backbone, make a stand on some of these ludicrous policies, and put pressure on Clegg (a la Simon Hughes), then it’s a poor show.
    It’s essential MP’s engage from the get-go, not be disengaged like the last Govt.
    But if you want everyone to bumble along in a happy clappy state of mind, everything ‘fab’, ‘lovin’ the new politics’ and spend energy on peripheral topics rather than addressing the big issues- then you’re entitled to your opinion too.
    Like many, many others, we expected more.

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