I don’t watch Countdown and I have a sneaking suspicion that neither does Gordon Brown, so it was a little surprising to see this clip on YouTube he recorded last year.
I don’t want to get into the rights and wrongs of whether the PM should be recording such congratulations but I do believe that politicians should use their own “voice”. In this clip Gordon Brown grins, grimaces, lifts his voice, gets serious within seconds of each other making him look as though he is in the panto. The point is that if you’re going to talk directly to your constituency do so in a voice that they will recognise as you and that you can use consistently.
As part of the same introductory seminar on October 18th 2007 I was asked to provide an overview of the tools and technologies that were available on the internet to help councillors engage with their constituents. I condensed a long list (created with help from the DOWIRE membership) into 10 basic types. This Top Ten was ordered based on the control that the councillor had over the tool. No.10 (Community Tools such as WriteToThem.com) is completely beyond their control whereas No.1 (Blogs) is their personal space to develop as they see fit. For each of the tools I marked whether they were Good/OK for Talking To, Hearing From, Discussing With, Listening Into or Being There For: constituents.