Spending away a few moments on a doorstep whilst doing postal voter knocking up for Lynne Featherstone, trying to work out if that faint noise was someone coming to the door, a burglar, a neighbour or just my imagination, I realised how wrong my clipboard was.
Not just that it was a traditional clipboard rather than a Semikolon one. But also the positioning of the Liberal Democrat logo. As with pretty much every branded clipboard, the logo is on the front, not the back. Yet which part of the clipboard is most visible to the voter? The back, not the front.
(With a few more quiet doorsteps to experiment on, I did try finding a way to hold the clipboard so that the front is naturally more visible than the back. No success there unless you count discovering a new muscle in my hand to twinge a success.)
It’s as if the logo is designed to comfort the panicky canvassers who on finding someone answering the door momentarily forgets who they are and why they’re there, needing a big logo to remind them.
Or – to finally be a little more serious – it’s another little example of how often campaigning is designed with an insular outlook, failing to look at things through the eyes of a voter or a new helper. In the case of the clipboard, things are literally back to front.
It’s the common theme that runs through my 6 ways to treat your campaign helpers well – each tip is worth mentioning because of mistakes that commonly happen when people fall prey to that insular outlook.
So next time you pick up a clipboard with a logo on the wrong side, make that logo’s positioning useful – by being a reminder of how easy it is to slip into doing things that seem to make sense, right up until the point when you remember how those organisational details look to someone on the other side of exchange, whether it is a voter or a (would be) new helper.