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Labour to Rospars: Our Election's Smaller, Different, But Still Innovative

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 5 2010

In a comment here on the ol' blog, Mark Hanson of the Labour Party's new media wing takes issue with Joe Rospars' declaration in the Guardian that Britain's impending election has failed to live up to the high standard of participation and peer-to-peer citizen collaboration set up the 2008 Obama campaign, for which Joe ran the new media component:

Firstly, we’ve actually been on a journey for nearly two years now and have implemented a web strategy based almost entirely on motivating and involving our activists. All the ROI for the new media campaign is about the impacts it has on real-world actions; largely doorstep contacts, phone banking and event organising. It’s important to note that we have treble the number of weekly doorstep contacts (approx. 450,000 a week) versus the same stage in the 2005 election at a time when, you could argue, it’s harder for us to get our people out knocking on doors.

There has been no single shiny initiative that’s led to all this, rather it’s indicative of a core thinking at the heart of the party organisation that has invested in the right technology e.g. virtual phone bank tool that has generated 60,000 calls (a big number in a UK context), the kind of CRM system that catches any indication of interest in joining and volunteering online by ensuring a human being contacts that person and gives them real-time information on what they can do in their local area to make a difference. This leads to immediate real world actions.

More good perspective from Mark, who's on the front lines of this thing, here. Also, the word "treble" should, in my humble opinion, find much wider usage here in the U.S. It's just a great word.