LY Elects ’13 Interviews: Steven Haynes

Why did you decide to run?
Essentially it boils down to the fact that there is still work to be done. LY has come a long way in the past few months but our communications strategy is only really just getting going and we need to ensure that we have someone who knows what they’re doing so we can continue making progress. As I work in online marketing and am the current Comms officer I can guarantee consistency in our attempts to improve things.

What will be your number one priority if elected?
Developing the Liberal Youth brand.

It sounds a bit like its marketing lingo, it’s because it is, but it’s also very important and something that needs to be done.

A brand is essentially an emotional attachment that people have to an object, or organisation, or person. If we want raise more money, get more policy into government, recruit more members then we need to work out how we can get people to develop that positive attachment to LY.

What is the one reason people should vote for you?
Because in Communications and Marketing the one thing that you need is consistency and the desire to actually see things improve. I can provide both.

Where next for Liberal Youth’s communication strategy?
The communications strategy needs to be about reaching out to people. Not just members of LY but potential members as well. That means we need to be a totally outward facing and a campaigning organisation.

By that I don’t mean we just deliver leaflets and knock on doors for the Lib Dems. It means we choose things to campaign on an campaign on them nationally and locally. Lets take Rape culture as an example, if we run a campaign on that we need to set up achievable aims that branches can engage with and once those aims have been achieved the comms officers job is to help them plot out how they can make the most of it, by helping them get into local papers and mentioned on websites read by people local to their area. If we want to be a meaningful force that means we need to look for coverage in areas where the people we want to recruit will be reading.

So it’s about identifying websites, publications, news papers and journalists who are likely to be open to reporting us and showing us in a positive light and then  having systems in place to turn people who are interested in what we’re doing into members.

What are you plans for the website?

The Website needs to be about 3 things:

  1. Recruitment
  2. Fundraising
  3. Engagement

Whilst the site is now better than the old one on these things there’s still a lt of work to be done. For instance, just last week I looked at the Google Analytics stats and found that a couple of dozen people had viewed the donation page, but few of them actually donated. We need to look at how the site is laid out so that we can make it as easy as possible for people to complete the actions we want them to.

Part of that just boils down to how we write copy on the site, but also it could involve us having to look at how the site is structured and laid out and possibly re-designing it’s look from the bottom up, but it depends on exactly what the new exec wants out of the site.

How will members tell if your term of office was a success?
Positive press coverage is probably the best way to judge success. Not just nationally, but locally as well. I’m planning to work quite closely with the England Convenor, Membership Officer and Campaigns to ensure that branches and regions know what they’re doing and how they can get coverage for their activities.
Steven Haynes is running for Communications Officer. You can find out more him and the other candidates here.

All candidates were invited to be interviewed.
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