I had this letter sent in from Gary Corbett, Commercial Director of Oxygen8 Communications. As you know I’m delighted to receive and publish ‘letters (or emails) to the editor’ so let’s see what Gary has to say:
We saw unprecedented use of new media in the recent UK General Election, with the Internet, Twitter and the TV debates all heralding a new age in how political parties communicate with the public. However, the UK political parties still missed a trick by overlooking the role of the mobile phone as a ubiquitous device that can facilitate mass communication and interaction.
We are already seeing examples in Africa where political parties are utilising the mobile phone as a way of engaging with voters. This has ranged from public information campaigns for health, education, transport and environment initiatives in East and South Africa, to full blown campaigning by some parties in South Africa.
Without question, the adoption of new technology in the UK General Election was a huge step forward, but UK parties can learn a lesson from other African countries when it comes to mobile campaigning.
Thank you Gary. I totally agree with you. I expected to see so much more use of the medium rather than all the focus on the likes of Twitter. Maybe next year. Or in the next 5 years, if the coalition lasts?