Labour appoints Twitter expert as it aims to capitalise on voter communication ahead of election

News by Dan Raywood

The Labour Party has appointed Kerry McCarthy MP as a 'Twitter tsar' to encourage other MPs to use interactive media.

The Labour Party has appointed Kerry McCarthy MP as a 'Twitter tsar' to encourage other MPs to use interactive media.

The MP for Bristol East, who was voted the most ‘influential MP' on Twitter by The Independent last month, has almost 2,000 followers and will be the party's new media campaigns spokeswoman.

Following the government's efforts to defend the NHS via the Twitter ‘We Love the NHS' campaign, it is now aiming to move ahead of Conservative Party leader David Cameron who has used various interactive means of new media to win voters.

In an interview with LabourList, McCarthy said that new media campaigning was not that different to traditional campaigning, only the setting was different. She was keen to make sure more of Labour's own people know what tools and platforms are available so that they can use them to the full.

McCarthy said: “New media is just so empowering in the way that people can find each other and act as a group to achieve change when so often people feel either there's no point in protesting or that no one will listen.

“Not only can they bond with other people, swapping personal experience and news links, they've also had interaction with politicians on there, have made the news headlines, effectively grouped together to attack those who have rubbished the NHS, and even had input into the debate across the Atlantic.

“I think the key point for my colleagues to take away is that this is the first election where people don't have to wait for politicians to come to them – to knock on the door, to deliver a leaflet or to do an interview. Voters will increasingly be searching the web to find out what we think about the issues, what we've actually been doing in the locality and looking to see what we sound like. That's where YouTube comes in. All our candidates need to start building up that online collateral from now.”

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