Saturday, June 17, 2006

Making myself known

When I am out and about in my ward, going to fetes for instance, how, if at all, should I make myself known to local people as their local representative?

Today I went to a school fayre, where my bloke works, in my ward.

I told him I wanted to go with him to support him and also to be there for local people. I spent four hours on a stall selling cheap plastic items to kids whose pocket money was burning holes in their said pockets.

I did not tell anyone, children or parents, that I was their councillor, I did not have a sign or notice which said this.

A few people recognised me and introduced me to friends and neighbours with casework which was great, because I can get going now on their problems.

But this is bound to happen loads of times again.

What is an innovative and interesting way to meet people and residents at fayres without getting in their face but ensuring they do know I am there and approachable?


Jim N said...

How about getting some cards or flyers printed with your contact details? All you need to do is wander around and hand them out. Make sure your photo is on them. People can then take it or leave it rather than feeling forced to chat because you have done the formal introdution thing. Even if they don't stop and chat they will recognise you have been there.

LouiseB31 said...

Thanks Jim

That is certainly worth thinking about, I need to some business cards as well so perhaps a stationery order is called for!

I recall in 1997 in Batley and Spen the Labour candidate and his team had padded jackets with his name and "Labour" on the back. I thought that although this was naff, it was effective.

That was a different era though, when just saying you were Labour was guaranteed to bring smiles and hugs of encouragement. You probably could not get away with that today, nine years of government brings inevitable dissenters, and it might be a personal safety issue in some places.

Another thing I was thinking of was getting a proper Labour Party stall kit with a banner and having my own stall where people could approach me if they wanted to or walk quickly past if they were so minded.

Stuart Bruce said...

We are just about to get some Labour branded clothing. But it is going to be very discreet branding with the emphasis on the place so it will say something like ROTHWELL Labour here to help.

LouiseB31 said...

Stuart, let me know how you get on with it. I might try it if you think it works!

Another big fun day tomorrow and still I dont really know how to let people I am there.