Tuesday, 19 April 2011

We're Gonna Be Elected

Just when I thought this blog was about to go bare today, somebody dropped some inspiration through my letterbox: a campaign letter for the local elections! Hurrah!

The election campaign is in full swing and the parties are out canvassing. Labour were the first to hear what I thought: that getting through my Cracker box set that Saturday afternoon was more important to me! 

Being a specialist in marketing texts, I welcomed this charming little leaflet which was offering me a free lesson in persuasive writing. In trying to win my vote it showed me a few do's and don't's.

Brownie points go to it for:
  • Homing in on people's main reasons to vote against other local parties. Some research has led to some decent copy.
  • Giving facts and figures.
  • Asking questions
  • Using simple language. There are some gorgeous phrases in there!
However, it gets parking tickets for:
  • 'Knocking' copy - though it's (rightly) taking a pop at other parties, it's also giving them free publicity.
  • A lack of anticipation - voters are cynical. Copy must address all possible objections.
  • Slightly sloppy punctuation - sometimes the rules can be ignored, others they can't. Funny old game is writing, innit!
Though this leaflet hasn't won my vote, it's certainly done my writing some good. The others will as well.

So hey, parties might not have figured out their purpose yet, but maybe they can still serve us. I just hope their election leaflets and letters are being printed on recycled paper though...

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