Earlier this week a survey from the UK’s Conservative Party dropped onto our doormat. Opening it, I discovered climate change and the environment were not on the list of the things the Party felt were ‘important’.
Hm. The message came through crystal clear: we don’t care about climate change and environmental issues are not a priority.
Scary levels of @Conservative Party ignorance
In a week where climate change was confirmed as almost exclusively human-driven and the IPCC’s 5th Synthesis Report on Climate Change fired a frightening shot over the world’s bows, the survey came across as alarmingly arrogant and ignorant.
‘Disgusted of Brighton’ at their negligence, I Tweeted @Conservatives to ask why they’d left climate change out of their list of important things to tackle. As a Twitter user I fully expected a response straight away. An hour or so passed… silence. I Tweeted again, asking whether they were going to reply. No response. Three days later, I still haven’t heard from the Conservative Party.
The internet supports political activism
Before the internet I was politically inactive. Now that I can make my feelings clear through social media, email MPs and contact Parliament with ease, I’m much more interested in making my thoughts and feelings heard. Along with millions of others, I relish the new-found protest opportunities delivered by online life.
I keep Twitter open on my desktop all day. I pop in and out regularly. If someone Tweets me, retweets my stuff, replies or sends me a direct message, I reply quickly. That’s what the medium is all about. It is not about delaying or forgetting to respond, leaving the people who want to engage with you hanging.
Who manages the @Conservatives Twitter account?
I can only imagine the Party doesn’t manage its own Twitter account. In my mind’s eye I can see some poor sod in a digital marketing agency tasked with tweeting on the Party’s behalf. Too scared to engage direct with someone asking awkward questions – or not having the authority to do so – they’re probably forced to forward sticky queries like mine an administrator or other senior bod, who in turn has to get answers from the relevant MP. If that’s the case the process is taking far too long and they need to pull their socks up.
Maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps the @Conservatives account is managed by a real, live Member of Parliament. Maybe they take turns or draw straws. Maybe the fight amongst themselves for the opportunity, maybe they don’t give a monkey’s. Who knows? All I know is they seem to be doing a rubbish job of it.
My next step? Sadly for the Party I am not going to let the matter drop. I want to know why they’re so disinterested in climate change and the environment. And I won’t stop ’til I pin the buggers down.
I’m going to Tweet them again and ask the same question. I wonder if I’ll get a reply. I shall report back. In the interim the moral of the story is this: If you’re using social networking to promote your organisation, you need to embrace social media fully and stick to best practice. It isn’t rocket science. It’s no more than people expect and deserve.
PS. Update 19th December 2015: I never got a reply from@Conservatives. Not a word. How disappointing is that!