The Socialist Alliance is finally getting its act together as it seeks to transform its image from that of ideologues in donkey jackets into media-friendly community activists.
The Alliance’s website now offers activists a guide to handling the media. If followed it could amount to a cultural revolution on the far left.
Brush your hair and wear a clean shirt. It is a good idea to be presentable if you’re going on tele.
Know what your talking about. You must be prepared, you’ll be unable to take in notes with you, or quickly look anything up so you must know the score before the start of the interview.
Relax and smile. A hectoring or hostile approach comes across really badly. No matter what pressure you’re under do not get shirty. Stay calm and you’ll come across well and be in a better position to use your time on air more effectively.
I don’t know which will be toughest for the new generation of activists to adapt to – brushing their hair, knowing what they are talking about or avoiding hectoring?
It gets worse for the Trots: Even if you are locked in debate with Anne Widdecombe try not to come across as a hate filled dogmatist – no matter how much that might reflect your real personality!
At least the writer knows his audience.
So who are these activists who can be transformed into the new media-friendly face of Trotskyism by becoming local press officers?
A press officer needs to be level headed, literate, informed, motivated and have the ability to lay on a touch of schmooze. A press officer cannot be (a) a maverick that represents themselves more than the branch, (b) quick to anger and potentially destroy precious relationships with the press, (c) drunk, stoned or otherwise unsuitable to be the public face of the local S.A.
Oh I don’t know.
Note: A few hours after this post went online, the Socialist Alliance removed the document from their website. However thanks to the joys of google a cached version can still be found here.
Why so touchy comrades?