It's now just over a week since you last heard from me, and I'm sure you'll all wondering, "What's going on in the world of campaigns?" You'll be pleased to hear that not only are we making good progress on improving our media relations, but we've also had several people step forward to help out with the various jobs that need doing -- and I'm also going to explain how our campaign's going to be organised. And don't forget the protest against the Digital Economy Bill next week -- be there and show our colours!
The Press Team hits the ground running
One of the big successes of the last fortnight has been the newly formed Press Team, thanks to a great extent to the efforts of Will "Duke" Tovey. Journalists are e-mailing the press address, and getting prompt press statements back. Great progress! All of our press releases are now accessible from the front page, and journalists can subscribe either to our new mailing list for press releases (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details), or to our press release RSS feed.
We're still looking for more help with writing press statements, of course; if you want to help out, check out the forum thread! Watching ten people simultaneously work on a press release on PiratePad as we rush to make a print deadline is both hilarious and awesome.
You can read the statements we've put out so far on the new press section of the party website.
"And they have a plan..."
Last week, I said I couldn't yet reveal our Grand Strategy for the general election. But now I can! The campaign will be driven at constituency level, with candidates and their local supporters working out how best to win votes and gain media attention within their area. When they come up against something they can't handle locally, they'll get in touch with the national Campaign Support Team -- lead by me, and working closely with the Press Team -- and we'll provide the support they need. This will let candidates have the maximum amount of flexibility in how they run their campaigns, while making sure they get all the advantages of the higher-level organisation too.
The campaign support team will also coordinate and encourage candidates to get involved in national initiatives, such as making interviews for the Pirate Podcast and videos about their campaign for theYouTube channel.
Here's an outline of what the schedule between now and the election looks like:
- 20th March: Deadline for prospective parliamentary candidates to post their candidacy proposals on the forums. See John Barron's recent blog post for more details.
- 22nd March: Final round of PPC ratification votes begin.
- 24th March: DEB protest in Westminster.
- 29th March: Final round of PPC ratification votes end.
- 29th March: Deadline for prospective candidates for local elections to apply for PPUK endorsement.
- 8th April: Deadline for local candidates to submit their applications to their local councils, along with their nominators' signatures.
- 20th April: Deadline for PPCs to submit their applications and deposits to the Electoral Commission.
- 1st-3rd May: May Bank Holiday weekend -- big campaign push!
- 6th May: Expected polling day.
The last week before the elections is going to be absolutely critical, especially with the Bank Holiday weekend to take advantage of! I'm hoping most PPCs will be able to take that week off work to concentrate on their campaign -- there will be more than enough to do! And, of course, this is where the new member of the Campaign Support Team comes in...
Lewis Sutton has kindly stepped forward to take on the role of Volunteer Coordinator. He'll be responsible for matching up volunteers with the constituencies and events where they're needed. In the next few days, he'll be posting to explain how you can help him with this important task.
And everything else...
And there's been so much else that's been great.
- Andrew Tindall has taken over administration of the SE England region from me. He's also designed a template for the print version of the manifesto.
- Stephen "Azrael" O has volunteered to take on posting out Project Postcard flyers -- more on that once the manifesto is released.
- Graeme Lambert has started a competition to design banner ads for advertising the party online.
- bushido13 has come up with some nifty presentation templates.
- We've ordered some t-shirts, and they'll be available to buy Really Soon Now.
Keep up the great work!
There is, as always, still so much to do. In particular, we're still looking for someone who wants to put their video production skills to the test and create some new material for the YouTube channel.
Digital Economy Bill protest
On the evening of the 24th March, there's going to be a protest outside Parliament against the Digital Economy Bill. This is a big event for us: not only is it an opportunity to show our opposition to this ridiculous legislation, but also to gain some public awareness of the party. For more information, please see the wiki page or the Facebook event I hope to see you there!
All in all, I'm pleased by the way the campaign is shaping up. Let's keep up the momentum!