I was blogging last week in response to green.tv’s suggestion that there were too many climate campaigns. My view was that it wasn’t that there were too many, but that maybe they weren’t reaching the right people.
Last week the website BeThatChange.com were pushing hard on a campaign on Twitter,#pm2un, trying to persuade Gordon Brown to commit to go to the COP15 Climate Conference in Copenhagen. At the time this seemed like a great example of a well-targeted campaign.
Though it’s not that unusual for leaders not to commit to attending this sort of conference until the last moment, BeThatChange had cleverly spotted an opportunity there. It looks rubbish for Brown to be claiming to be leading the agenda at Copenhagen when he’s not even committed to going himself. A couple of days after BeThatChange cranked up the heat with their #pm2un campaign, @EdMilibandMP tweeted a survey on his Ed’s Pledge site, asking visitors what their priorities for Copenhagen were. Miliband offered the following options to chose from:
1) the Prime Minister attending Copenhagen to help deliver a deal
2) doing more to provide home insulation in the UK
3) more government support to create green jobs
Whatever you think about the yeas and nays of deliberative democracy, when I looked on Friday, “the Prime Minster attending Copenhagen to help deliver a deal” had received 93% of the vote. How much of that was due to the BeThatChange.com campaign is hard to calculate, but I suspect that the question was even on Miliband’s poll suggests that the original #pm2un campaign was bang on.
If anything, I suppose it’s possible the Labour Party saw how potentially embarrassing such a campaign could be if it gained much more momentum, and instead turned it to their advantage. Either way the news came through late last night, less than 48 hours before BeThatChange’s next #pm2un twitterstorm:
Whatever did happen behind closed doors, it was nice work all round, really.