I think we would be correct in saying that Britain has election fever after the dramatic announcement this morning that we’ve woken up to a hung parliament.
The vast majority of people believed that the conservatives would be clear winners and we are of the opinion that they absolutely would have been, if it were not for the PR disaster they faced throughout this election. It’s important to note that the VerriBerri team are not voicing a political opinion by writing this piece but rather highlighting the errors that were made by the Conservative party, that we believed stopped them from winning.
So how did we get here and what PR disasters could have been avoided?
Without question Teresa May has suffered. In my opinion the biggest PR disaster of her campaign has been the lack of trust spawned from several U-turns she has made. There is of course the issue of her calling a snap election, which she categorically said would not happen, in fact her words were: “There isn’t going to be one. It isn’t going to happen. There is not going to be a general election,”
This was followed with a policy which was dubbed ‘Dementia Tax.’ On the Thursday, the Conservative party announced that the wealthy would be obliged to pay for the care that they need in old age; unless they had less than £100,000 in assets, which was inclusive of the family home. Within four days Mrs May announced than the care payments would be capped.
The Conservative manifesto hinged on the party being ‘strong and stable’ something that they simply could not back up with the number of U turns that they were making. They would have gained more respect, even if people did not agree with them, if they were to have spent more time considering what steps they were taking and not rescinding on decisions. Instead they looked feeble and impulsive and were dubbed ‘weak and wobbly’ by the British public.
Mrs May lacked the personality that resonated from Jeremy Corbyn. She barely met people and her stilted speeches in front of just 200 painted a stark difference to the mass rallies lead by the Labour party. It could be said she had an invisible profile and because she became so unrelatable people had no choice but to focus solely on the policies and consider her robotic and cold-hearted.
Someone from the Conservative PR party clearly picked up on this which spawned what we shall call ‘wheat-gate.’ You would think that her PR team would advise her prior to interviews and provide her with example questions. I can only imagine they missed a trick by not pre-empting this or Mrs May made a complete fist of what they advised her to say.
After being asked the ‘naughtiest thing’ she had ever done she confessed she used to run through fields of wheat, something the farmers weren’t too pleased about. Something that Social Media had a lot of – admittedly hilarious – fun with. Even Ed Milliband tweeted with the hashtag “#wheatandwobbly.”
News has recently broken that there has been one final blow to the Conservatives, with their own manifesto writer losing his seat in Ipswich.
As you can see; when you are in the public eye there is a huge risk to your reputation. Should you take wider view of the campaign, most of the criticism that the party faced would not have occurred if they had had stronger PR advice.
For the sake of 7 seats the scriptwriter wouldn’t have been sacked and people would have said it was a small minority but she had done it.