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Campaigns Officer Nomination - Rebecca Rae

Hello!

As the title suggests, this post is my nomination for the position of Campaigns Officer for Pirate Party UK.

I’m a relatively new face to the party; I’ve been a Pirate Party UK voter and member for around 18 months.

This year I became more involved, becoming campaign manager for Cris Chesha – Gorton Candidate (full disclosure: Cris is also my partner). It became a joint decision to work as a team in Gorton because if one of us weren’t to stand in the Gorton constituency, no one would be able to vote Pirate in that area.

Although I’ve always had an interest in politics, it’s never been so strong that I’ve wanted to be involved. I’ve always felt that politics wasn’t a place for me. It seemed so bureaucratic and complicated, but the Pirate Party changed that for me. I talk more about that on my #whypirate blog here. (#whypirate was one of my campaign ideas while working on the 2015 campaign).

So why do I want to stand for this position?
I’ve always been an activist. I feel I can bring my experience and skills to something that can make a difference – something tangible. From helping a Community Interest Company build a website, running events helping social enterprises or just general volunteering, I’ve always found time outside of my job to input to causes I believe in. But they’ve been so disparate and opportunistic, making me feel like I could be concentrating my efforts to make more of a difference.

After working on the Gorton campaign, attending the count and generally being much more involved with the party over the last few months, I’m not frightened of politics any more; the Pirate Party covers so many of the issues I feel passionate about including freedom and human rights issues, but also preserving society. And really importantly, we do it in an accessible way: one that not only makes me feel I can get involved, but also that I have the right to be involved. I want to help more people feel this way.

And what can I bring to the role?
I’ve worked in the digital industry for nearly 10 years after switching from a job in avionics engineering, via a Design Management degree at Salford University. During my career I’ve mainly worked in marketing and research covering SEO, social media, PR, content marketing but I’ve also more widely taken a strategic role in projects concerning new technology, marketing and web and app builds. I’ve worked with quite a few well-known, ‘blue chip’ corporations. For the past four years I’ve also moonlighted as an associate lecturer at both Salford Uni and Manchester Metropolitan University in branding, marketing, events and digital marketing.

Over the years, I started to really struggle with the conflict between my personal ethics, and my work life. On the one hand, I was working with charities, and people trying to make a positive impact in the world; on the other, I was earning a crust working for large, heartless corporations. So I actively moved into working 100% with pro-social organisations. I now work full time leading a Strategy & Insight team for Manchester digital agency Reason Digital. Reason are a social enterprise who work towards using the web for social good.

My depth of experience has led to me becoming a well-known figure in my industry and I am often a speaker at conferences or in the media. I feel that my extensive knowledge of both online and offline campaigning and my involvement in the digital industry can bring a lot to the role of Campaigns Officer.

Based on discussions on this forum, I’d like to point out that I am also eager to help create diversity within the party. I am very interested in diversity issues across the board, and I have actively studied the field of diversity management as a practical skill. My roles running teams have meant I have needed to apply this in the work place, and I have also worked with many female and/or marginalized community groups across the UK.

You’ll find I won’t be your typical politics bod, but I think that could be the key to recruiting other people who feel disenfranchised with politics. It shows that real people are represented amongst parties. I’ve never been a typical suit type and it’s not stopped me reaching senior outward facing roles in a variety of organisations. In fact, I’d argue that it’s helped me reach those roles and reach out to partners and clients. I’ve come to learn that the phrase “people buy into people” (rather than organisations) is true, and you can’t see people behind disingenuous suits and rosettes. You also won’t remember them if they all look and sound the same. The Pirate Party UK brand is strong and memorable and only needs a bit of tweaking and pushing to be sincerely and honestly reaching out to the right types of people.

What will I do if I am elected?
I will start mapping out the next five years including key points where we will need campaigns. But my immediate focus will be a dual membership and issue based campaign – recruiting new members will be incredibly important to the future of the party and then enabling them to spread the word even more so.

But while this is going on we can’t forget an outward facing campaign fighting against the erosion of freedoms that the current government is implementing as we speak.

Thanks,
Bex

Find out more:
Linkedin
Twitter

PS: Jack Allnutt has also agreed to second me, that still OK Jack?

And I'm out of the country for the next few days with limited access to the internet. I will be better equipped to respond to any questions when I'm back but feel free to ask away.

Comments

  • PS: Jack Allnutt has also agreed to second me, that still OK Jack?
    I'm more than happy to second you - I think you would make an excellent campaigns manager after seeing your work on the Gorton GE campaign. In fact if you hadn't have put yourself forward I was going to suggest that you stand for an NEC position!
  • Thanks Jack :)
  • Hey Drowz0r, To clarify: I've never joined a party before being a Pirate or been involved with a party any more than just voting for them. So yes, I had voted before being a Pirate but no, had not been any more involved with any party other than that.
  • very enthusiastically seconded! :)
  • Do you have views on an August campaign targeted at school leavers around exam results time?
  • Hi @trevj I think targeting that age group will be very important and it's a great idea to think of an event where we can target them all at once. The only thing I would question is the timing, is there a particular reason you suggest exam results time? I know I had other things on my mind around that time.
  • Thanks for the support @aretoulaki :)
  • There was a brief attempt to focus some efforts on students which included putting an advert in a student magazine (one all freshers get, I think?) as well as a students specific webpage (still knocking about at http://legacy.pirateparty.org.uk/students/ ).

    It never really amounted to much because of the very limited amount of pro-active efforts from the Party to go beyond these efforts in approaching and specifically appealing to students.

    I think targeting students is a good idea - but there is a heck of a lot of hard protracted work in that simple statement!
  • The only thing I would question is the timing, is there a particular reason you suggest exam results time? I know I had other things on my mind around that time.
    Good point. I must've had other things on my mind at that time too. The reason for the timing suggestion was really based around numbers physically present as a group and because it might present an opportunity to a) talk about what we'd like to see improved in education; b) reinforce the importance of registering to vote in order to choose those who represent us; and c) learn even more from the younger age group about their desires, aspirations and frustrations.

    If not so much a physical campaign (emotional students, limited party finances) then perhaps an online campaign at this time might still be worth considering. But such a discussion is probably best left for a more appropriate time, so thanks for your answer anyway!
  • @azrael indeed. I have quite a lot of ideas around university students - such as being more active with societies and what not, but the practicalities around this basically equal enormous amounts of time. I think a lot of my campaign planning will be around prioritisation based on resources so it can be practically implemented for most impact.
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