Monday, 24 May 2010
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
From L to R they are Victor Chopin-John, Roger Howes, Anthony Fraser (team captain and Top Gun) and Graeme Doctor.
On a hot May day we joined 73 other Livery Companies at the immaculately-groomed grounds of Holland & Holland to test our skill against some hotshots - the Gunmakers' put in at least 7 teams. We didn't win any prizes, but we had great fun while contributing to the more than £40 million a year given by Livery Companies to charities.
A big thank you to Anthony, for taking the initiative. He even missed his lunch in order to dash across London to fulfil an Outreach commitment - a star indeed.
As always, I learned a great deal - some of it articulating what I knew but had never put into words, others a complete revelation. Here are some of them (a little tongue in cheek):
- We change our government more often than we change our mattress; except when we need a new one, we take little notice of our mattress; a new mattress doesn't always deliver the experience we expect.
- Programmes that "scrape" people's facebook pages, can pick up their sentiments by analysing their vocabulary. A different sort of opinion poll.
- The Americans approach their politics very differently from the Brits: they like to join up, to act on behalf of their party or leader, to belong to the movement. The Americans spend significantly more on communications than the Brits and spread out their campaigns over a much longer period. We Brits are more cynical about our politicians ("politics is a blood sport"), more reluctant to believe the messages and our voting habits are very difficult to change. We tend to use media of all kinds, and our network of friends and family, to reinforce existing views, rather than to seek out new data that might change our minds. So the "Obama effect" would be much less likely to be replicated in the UK.
- Typically 20% of seats change in a British general election. In marginal seats, typically 10% of voters are considered "swingable" and will find themselves heavily targeted. Over the 5 years of the last Parliament, the total Labour vote fell by only (very roughly) 1 million votes.
- Young people tend to use the internet for entertainment rather than research.
- All the parties had online strategies, but they failed in execution - not sufficiently flexible to respond to fast-moving events.
- The most effective, memorable messages were either fun (e.g. Duffy) or contained a surprising fact.
Monday, 17 May 2010
The Master and Dr Parmley had two important messages for us:
- The Livery needs to promote itself more strongly, communicating especially the extent of its charitable giving and its pro bono outreach work for charities, schools and other deserving organisations.
- The Corporation of London is keen to encourage liverymen to put themselves forward as prospective Common Councilmen and Sheriffs. Dr Parmley is willing to talk to anyone who would like to find out more. You can contact him at mailto:email@example.com
I'm sure that our own Alderman and Past Master, Sir Paul Judge, would also be willing to give advice.
To find job descriptions for the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen, Common Councilmen and others, go to this page and scroll down a little: http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/LGNL_Services/Council_and_democracy/Councillors_democracy_and_elections/corp_governance.htm
Friday, 14 May 2010
From the perspective of a business person, I am delighted to see politicians adopting teamwork in a way that is absolutely the norm in business life. Building coalitions of support for a shared objective is a key skill for any effective leader. Here's to 'grown-up' politics!
Monday, 3 May 2010
From left to right, Roger Hood, Brigadier Richard Rook, Steven Rowe (Chairman of the Regimental & Cadet Liaison Committee).
Bob and Claire are both members of the wonderful, professional St Bride's choir. I am delighted that when they wanted some help with (in a broad sense) publicising the choir, they turned to the Marketors. We shall be happy to respond.
In the course of the conversation, Michael mentioned that we now have 60 Outreach projects running, of all kinds. This is a significant number and shows how far we have come since the start made in Past Master David Collischon's year, and taken forward by (now Middle Warden) John Flynn.
I salute all Marketors who give their time pro bono for the benefit of others -it's what Livery Companies do and is particularly apt in the year when we shall receive our Charter.