Five reasons why video is perfect for engaging with political stakeholders
I’ve been pushing the concept of using video to communicate via social channels with political stakeholders for more than four years now.
Back at the start of that journey, the typical reaction was: “Video and social media are great for communicating with young people, but not our audience of political stakeholders, they don’t engage with these channels.”
Today, there are still people who believe that, but thankfully they are far fewer. They are also wrong.
Here are five reasons why video works for communicating with political stakeholders:
1. Political stakeholders are on social
If we take the broadest brush strokes look at who are likely to be key political stakeholders. They would be AB adults, over 45 years old (obviously there are exceptions to this!) But I hope we can agree on this in principle? Good!
Well 36 and 37% of Twitter and Facebook users, respectively, are 45 or over. Interestingly this is the only growing age range on Facebook. And 72% of AB adults have a social media account as of 2016.
2. MPs are certainly on social
A decade ago, when I worked in Parliament, the idea of our MP accessing his own email was as terrifying as it was ridiculous. However, a lot has changed in 10 years.
Now 90% of MPs have Twitter accounts, (including 84% of Tories and 95% of Labour), and they are active on there with 272 tweeting at least once in the last 24 hours.
3. Video and social go hand in hand
82% of Twitter users are watching video content on the platform, 90% of those on a mobile. So although this doesn’t prove that MPs and other political stakeholders are watching videos, it gives a pretty good indication
4. Allows you to mobilise the public
If an MP passionately supports your cause on a personal level then that’s great, but unfortunately this is not a panacea. So normally the best way to get an MP’s support is through engagement from the public - ideally their public - the constituents. Sharing video content on social media allows you to draw the public’s attention to an issue, who can then call for action from MPs.
5. This is just a gateway
Yes, I know your messaging is nuanced, and every sentence of that 30 page report contains important information. But the reality is most people won't read it, and if they are going to they need to know it’s worthwhile. This is where animation is perfect, it gives the key messaging - which is ultimately what you want people to take in, and then directs them to find out more if they would like to. Videos don’t replace all the other great work that you do, they supplement it.