Getting the mechanics right
By Mark Pack Author, 101 Ways To Win An Election in Liberal Democrat Newswire
That branding, of course, won't work if it doesn't have the substance behind it to substantiate it. Attracting people to be a part of the fight for causes they believe in requires the party to continue to step up its running of issue-led campaigns - most notably the Stop Brexit campaign.
It also needs to fit with the rest of the party: both to tap the extra capacity to recruit and service supporters that comes from doing so and also because the best use of supporters is to tap them to help deliver our overall strategy of building up a grassroots campaigning movement. That means fully involving the grassroots in the supporters scheme.
It's also the way to broaden out the party's diversity - having a registered supporters that party bodies who reach out to particular communities can recruit into.
After branding, therefore, comes data: the data from the 200,000 secret-ish club plus that for the various ad hoc local lists around the country, not to mention party bodies who do outreach, need to be joined up in an integrated way that supports multiple parts of the party using it. One shared scheme rather than disparate, unintegrated and not mutually supporting schemes. That requires some hard thought on the best database(s) to use, the best way to share data and any necessary updates in the party's data rules.
It should also involve copying that Canadian Liberal tactic mentioned above: if some data needs to be protected in order to maximise the fundraising potential for the party, then it should be done on the basis of local parties and party bodies who know what they're doing and can show they can run excellent comms getting access rather than a blanket ban.
This will play to the different strengths of different parts of the organisation much better:
- using volunteer capacity to add to what can be done and using local knowledge to improve the communications and opportunities to get involved, and
- giving all parts of the party a stake in the scheme and so an interest in recruiting to it, whilst also
drawing on the technical expertise at HQ in how best to get people signed up to campaigns and how best to maximise membership recruitment and fundraising