Social media training at Glasgow Conference

At last month’s Edinburgh TV Festival, Kevin Spacey’s McTaggert lecture warned television execs to ‘embrace online or die’.

I don’t imagine that I will be changing how I watch Borgen anytime soon, but I can see from my own children how technology is changing the way they watch television.

As Liberal Democrats, one of our strengths has always been our sense of duty to communicate; since the very first Focus leaflets were sent out. As an MP, I think that the technological developments that Kevin Spacey was discussing raise important questions about how technology is changing the way we engage with local people.

For the past twenty-four years I have set up a stall on my local high street, one Saturday nearly every month, rain or shine. It was, and still is, a great way to keep in touch with many of my constituents. But times have changed in the last 2 years and while residents can still find me standing in the High Street handing out literature, they can now also find me online: via Twitter, Facebook and my popular e-group.

For me, social media compliments rather than replaces more traditional ways of communicating with voters and allows me to reach constituents in the spaces where they are most comfortable. Just last week I was stopped in the street by someone who thanked me for answering her grandson’s message via Facebook. I now often hear from people who have a better understanding about my role as their local MP, because they are able to see what I do on a daily basis by following me on twitter.

Social media is not difficult to use and although you don’t need to be an IT expert, it can be helpful to learn a few simple techniques to ensure that you are engaging as effectively as possible with people. That is why, if you’re looking to get elected or help others to get elected, you should come to the Digital Lib Dems training session at Autumn Conference.

The training session, run by Rob Blackie, will take place on Sunday 15th September 4pm, Morar SECC on Sunday 15th September. For more info or to let Rob know you are coming, email [email protected]

* Tom Brake was the Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington from 1997 to 2019.

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