Posts Tagged ‘Boris’

Tell Boris what you think

October 18, 2011

That’s the heading of a letter/questionnaire I got in the post yesterday from the ‘Boris for Mayor’ camp. Well Boris, what I think is: this survey is a very clever way of drawing people in to support you.

It’s nicely designed and inviting, and it primarily looks like a survey with proper questions about what you think London’s key issues are. So you think ‘gosh, Boris really wants to know what I think’. Good start.

Plus his team get useful research feedback on priority issues for the electorate and can play the results back to us in their communication so we feel listened to. I predict in the future we’ll some ‘Londoners told us that … so we …’ in public communications and if they’re really smart I might get some direct mail acknowledging my answers and giving me some targeted information.

Then you realise they’ve cleverly begun a lot of the questions with an assertion of Boris’s achievements in that area: ‘Boris Johnson has secured the biggest upgrade of the Tube network on record. What is the next part of the transport network you would like to see upgraded?’. In so doing they get you to read about his achievements by stealth and, importantly, I think the mere act of ticking a box underneath in some way creates a level of acceptance of the assertion in your mind.

The question is constructed in such a way that you don’t get invited to consider whether you actually believe he can truly claim the credit for the Tube upgrade and aren’t able to have a whinge about the Tube upgrade (which frankly all Londoners would want to do) but rather you are encouraged to accept that he has ‘sorted’ the Tube and only asked to comment on ‘what next?’. I think that’s really clever.

I even like the way they call their campaign BackBoris2012: the alliteration, the acknowledgement that he’s a one-name brand and the purloining of 2012 as a strong Olympics-related equity that many Londoners feel good about. I am not a natural Tory at all but you’ve got to admit these people are good at marketing. The bikes are a brilliant way of getting re-elected. I feel I’ve heard nothing from Ken at all.