UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from Davos Notebook:

Davos: Can social media make a difference?

The Davos meeting organisers have made a huge push into social media this year. From interviews on Facebook to geo-location services using Foursquare, it’s an impressive use of social media tools to bring the closed-shop that is the WEF to the masses.

In the video clip below, Reuters correspondent and Davos veteran Ben Hirschler shares his thoughts on the impact this will have on this year’s WEF.

“They’ve made a big effort to show their involvement with the outside world,” he says. “The question is… to what extent is this just PR eye-wash and to what extent is it something serious?”

from The Great Debate UK:

TweetTracker shows Nick Clegg most liked

Paul.Afshar

- Paul Afshar is senior account manager at public relations firm Edelman. The opinions expressed are his own. -

A famous German writer once said "personality is everything", which could not ring truer for the UK's General Election, and particularly "likeability" on social media.

from The Great Debate UK:

Old traditions die hard in UK election campaigning

number10A study of constituency-level campaign techniques undertaken by Brunel University ahead of a general election expected in early May shows that direct mail is by far the most common method of contact used by politicians to reach potential voters.

Of the 27 percent of the electorate contacted by one of the three main political parties in February, about 90 percent received some form of communication through the post via direct mail, the study shows. Some 92 percent said they had been reached through mailings from the Liberal Democrats, 89 percent from the Conservative Party and 81 percent from the Labour Party.

from The Great Debate UK:

Rory Cellan-Jones on virtual democracy

Direct, real-time communication among politicians and the public through social media platforms is reshaping democracy and the news media, but questions remain about how the fabric of society might change as a result, argued a panel at an event hosted by the BBC on Tuesday evening at Westminster.

The Web provides a de-centralised opportunity for users to communicate from various points on the political-economic spectrum, but gatekeepers are emerging who try and curtail the dissemination of information they find objectionable, suggested panellist Aleks Krotoski, who recently completed work on the BBC series "Virtual Revolution".

Election TV debates or social media to have biggest impact?

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There are at least two new factors in the coming election — the first-ever televised prime ministerial debates and the first full-on deployment of social media during a British election (Facebook was a year old, YouTube had just started and Twitter didn’t even exist back in 2005).

In a City University panel discussion on the ‘new media election’ Picture 9on Tuesday, host Evan Davies of BBC’s Today programme framed the debate in terms of which would be most influential:  The old, controlled media in the form of the three 90 minute TV debates to be broadcast by Sky, ITN and the BBC? Or the new, uncontrolled variety in the form of anyone with access to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube et al?

from Mark Jones:

Is social media killing the election poster?

Billboard political advertising is a mainstay of election campaigns the world over. A generation ago, the 'Labour isn't working' poster was credited by Conservative party Treasurer Lord Thorneycroft with winning the 1979 election for Margaret Thatcher. But might the advent of social media mean that its days are now numbered?

Alastair Campbell, Labour's director of election communications at the last election, thinks political advertising is losing its effectiveness:

Will social media influence your voting intentions?

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brown_cameronA couple of government ministers, Andy Burnham and Chris Bryant, let the cat out of the bag this week that the general election will be in May.

So if the inclement weather has darkened your mood, cheer up — you’ve got a few months yet of political jaw-jaw and shadow electioneering as Britain’s political parties try to ingratiate themselves into your heart in a bid to snaffle your vote on election day.

from The Great Debate UK:

Send your questions to Alistair Darling

darlingDo you have a question you would like to ask Chancellor Alistair Darling? Now is your chance.

At 1:30pm British time on Wednesday, October 21, Reuters is hosting an exclusive Web 2.0 interview with Darling and we want you to send us your questions to put to the top man from the Treasury.

from Mark Jones:

Towards the web 2.0 interview

On Monday, Reuters arranged for UK Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg to be interviewed live by the social web.

We've been edging towards this with previous social media segments in Reuters-hosted NewsMaker events like those with Conservative leader David Cameron and World Bank President Bob Zoellick who have taken questions from Twitter and the like after making public policy speeches.

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