Monday, October 29, 2007

What Politicians Can Learn From Kate Garraway

Image from Strictly Come Dancing website

I am a huge fan of Strictly Come Dancing. The costumes and camp make me very happy - and the judges... Well, I just adore my ickle Bruno and Craig is very tough and manly in a camp sort of way. I gives me fuzzy feelings to watch it, and I'm loving the fact it is now on twice at weekends. It's just a nice way to spend the weekend.

Imagine though the horror at last night's results show. Penny and Gabby in the bottom two. Penny and Gabby? Possibly two of the best dancers in the show. Not the rubbish dancers like Kate Garraway or Kenny Logan or even John Barnes. Frantic text messages went flying about saying little more than "No" "God" and "Are you watching this?" Then after poor Gabby flipped her last flip the vitriol started - Kate Garraway was evil personified. How dare she still be in the show? All thanks to muppet GMTV viewers who blindly voted for her despite the fact that she dances like a rhino on heat. But without the grace and elegance.

Then I started thinking about it and actually Kate is playing a blinder and the exact campaign that politicians should.

Have a simple message - Kate's message for her GMTV viewers is really simple - "I really want to stay in and achieve my potential. There's so much more I can do."

Repeat your message ad nauseum - I watch at most 15 minutes of GMTV in the morning while flicking between SKY, BBC and Everybody Loves Raymond and I've heard Strictly Come Dancing mentioned every day

Third Party Endorsements - not only does she get the message across on a regular basis, but her co-presenters do too. Ben Shepherd is a little star at this.

Know your audience - I could be wrong but Kate hasn't trawled round other shows to sell her message. She has her audience and she is targeting them ruthlessly.

Ability isn't everything - We've all watched election results and thought "But they're useless, how did they win?" Voters don't always care about ability, especially if you minimise how important it is in comparison with trying hard and being likable.

Be nice - There's no point being the best at something if you come across as arrogant, and that was Gabby's downfall. In the end Kate is just more likable.

Be aspirational - Kate focuses on how much can still be achieved. So much better than - oh I did this wrong.

So it might not be fair that Kate is still in and Gabby isn't but that's what happens when democracy is allowed to run riot. An inferior candidate with a good campaign will beat a good candidate with a rubbish campaign. Look and learn politicians - just don't wear the sequinned tops...


Mark McDonald said...

I think you may be underestimating the fact that Anton Du Beke is probably the most popular of the professional dancers, and is probably attracting a fair amount of votes as well.

Yes, I am a Strictly fan also, for my sins :)

Louise said...

A very good point. And something else to learn - align yourself to a popular ally....

And her dance this week wasn't bad so there will be no mean comments.