Thursday, 30 July 2009

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

Lesson #4,944 is brought to you from the Conservative Party. Most readers of this blog will be aware David Cameron said on live radio yesterday morning "too many tweets make a twat". He wasn't having a go at Twitter as such but rather the tendency it has of encouraging off the cuff remarks, which is a big no no for politicians and party machines obsessed with media management. Still, it was noticeable how quiet the Tories were on Twitter yesterday.

But another new media gaffe AVPS readers may not have heard about came my way last night. It's worth quoting Conservative blogger,
Tory Politico verbatim:
Having heard the news that David Cameron had sent a letter to Gordon Brown asking for a clarification of Labour’s position on TV debates, I wanted to read it. So picking up the phone I had a rather painful conversation with said [Tory] press office.

This is now the conversation went:

Tory Politico: “Hi there I wonder if you can help me. I run the Conservative supporting blog Tory Politico at, and was wondering if you could send me a copy of the press release that’s just been issued about the letter send from David Cameron to the Prime Minister, seeking clarification on his position regarding TV debates.
Press Officer: “Who do you work for?”
TP: “”
PO: “So you're not a member of the media.”
TP: “No I am a Conservative party member and a blogger.”
PO: “Sorry I cant help you.”
TP: “Why not?”
PO: ”Bloggers don’t count as media so I cant send it to you.”
TP: “Right, so you don’t see blogs as important then, is that right?:
PO: “Yes.”
TP: “So what about the likes of Iain Dale and ConservativeHome, are they media? Are they seen as important?”
PO: “Yes we feel that they are representatives of the media, and yes we do see them as an important conduit.”
TP: “But you just said blogs don’t count as media.”
PO: “We see them as important conservative commentators not bloggers, we feel that independent bloggers do not provide an efficient means of communicating the Conservative message.”
TP: “Not efficient means of communicating the Conservative message - I'm a Conservative blogger, all I blog about is politics and the Conservative party, I think that’s evident from my blogs title.”
PO: “I'm sorry, but I have already told you that I cannot send you a copy of the press release you asked for.”
TP: “OK, can you add my details to the press release distribution list so that future releases and notices are sent to me?”
PO: “No.”
TP: “Because blogs are not important.”
PO: “Yes.”
The Cameroons might try to paint themselves as liberal touchy-feely types but it's good to see Tory snobbery and elitism alive and well in their press department.


nick tadd said...

Oh now this is priceless !!!

It's quite frightening really.


Phil BC said...

Beautiful, isn't it?

Paul said...

I'd be very interested in this story, but I'm afraid your blog's not as important as Tom Harris's, so I'm not.

Charlie Marks said...

It's obvious that the Cameroons are the Tory version (ahem) of the Blairites - out of touch with their party's base, they've made an effort to increase membership to outnumber the true-blues and PR-ify relations with the general public.

In Norwich North, the Tory vote actually fell, and it's clear that UKIP is a growing challenge for the Tories. The labour left had no established party to switch to when Blair took over - but the Tory right has UKIP...

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Glad to see the Tories are still down with the kids.

What next? Electricity?

FlipC said...

I find it interesting that of the three major parties only the LibDems have a "Media Centre" on their website where press releases can be found.

A quick search locates a Labour media centre, but that's for the Irish branch of the Labour Party. For the Conservatives the closest is ConFuture however that is essentially just a page with an email address - woo hoo!

ModernityBlog said...

Politicos of all shades are still trying to grasp modern technology.

Phil, you might include an update to the Tories EU link with neo-fascists in Poland.