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The new political communication Pt 1 – don’t bullshit me, I’m not stupid

Whether you are a politician or a business person or a spokesperson for a cause or a media adviser – we can all learn lessons from the recent Queensland election where the conservative government (with a massive majority) was kicked out after one term.

As I write this, votes are still being counted – but it looks like Labor is in and the conservative LNP is out.

qld votes

One of the reasons for voter dissatisfaction with the LNP – was (perceived) arrogance and poor communication.

I have friends (and even candidate friends) on both sides of politics. I respect various performers on both sides of politics for their communication skills – yet I see why the LNP was unpopular with a majority of voters.

I share my views in this series of posts about what’s needed for the new style of political communication that shows greater respect for the audience.

Different commentators will have different views. My view is based on my experience as a media adviser to the Shadow Attorney General of NSW and as a television reporter (often asking questions of politicians).

As I watched the TV coverage of the election, I carefully studied how different politicians answered questions and responded to the grilling from panel guests (often other politicians or former politicians were “tougher” than the journalists!)

qld votes 2

As I watched, I imagined viewers around the state shouting at their TVs:

– “Answer the bloody question” and

– “Bullshit!”

In my opinion (I’ll stop saying that now – but letting you know that others may have differing views) the key to effective political communication these days is to:

1. anticipate questions
2. come up with an honest and plausible answer or explanation (that is not damaging)
3. treat your audience with respect – Don’t bullshit them.

1. Anticipate questions

Polling suggested that the LNP leader Campbell Newman would lose his seat (as he did)

Questions to anticipate included:

Who is likely to be the new leader?

If the Premier loses his seat, will YOU be putting be putting up your hand for the job?

What I saw again and again was the old tactics of (obviously) ignoring and avoiding the question or ( worse) outright BULLSHIT!

We/I haven’t even thought about that.

Tonight, I’m focussing on…

As I said, tonight my focus is on…

In part 2, I’ll share how to come up with an honest and plausible answer or explanation (that is not damaging)


TB Media mosaic

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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious business communication tips.

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These days, lots of people and organisations need help with how to COPE with too much work, too much information, too many meetings, delivering difficult news, business writing, effective e-mail, e-mail overload, cross-cultural communication, better social media engagement etc. I like to help people COPE.



One comment on “The new political communication Pt 1 – don’t bullshit me, I’m not stupid

  1. efangelist
    April 21, 2015

    Reblogged this on efangelist.

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