Will James Shaw try to narrow Greens message?

11 June 2015

When it comes to political campaigns, successful parties have a clear message they use to attract votes. National is about responsible economic management and Labour is traditionally focused on giving workers a fair go.

But the Greens have two areas. Obviously the environment is one, but left wing economics is just as prominent. That means they can’t focus specifically on one area like other parties.

So what should they do?

In my view they need to work out whether they are a socialist party or a green party. Once they have done that, they can narrow their message and focus.

The problem with a double message is that you get less time to get your core message through to voters. There are also many people concerned about the environment, but would never consider voting Green because of their economic policies.

If they decide to become a Green only party, they could also have far more bargaining power on election night. They would simply go with the party that has the most environmentally friendly policies, or accepted the most of theirs. They would no longer be at the whim of the Labour Party.

Everyone would know exactly what the Greens stood for because they would spend 100 percent of their time communicating that. I would also image that they would get lots of votes from those disaffected by the two major parties.

While the Greens have done quite well as a minor party over recent elections, I can’t see them becoming part of a government until they narrow their message to focus on the environment alone. I feel James Shaw may be thinking along similar lines.

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Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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