Shaun Bailey, the Conservative candidate in the Batttle of the Bush, does a lot of work with young people. He is after all co-founder of MyGeneration, a charity that works with young people in North Kensington. So it should come as no surprise that he is au fait with technology, in fact very au fait.
He's just become the first parliamentary candidate to launch an i-Phone app about himself and his campaign!
Available from the iTunes application store, the app features news updates from the Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush campaign along with videos, social media links to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and other contact and supporter information.
Commenting on the app, Shaun said, “Whether it’s knocking on doors, delivering literature, making campaign videos or developing iPhone apps, politics should be about connecting with people. Here in Hammersmith, broadband penetration is higher than the national average – we are truly a digitally connected community. A short walk down Hammersmith Broadway or around Shepherds Bush Green will show you that lots of people here are using iPhones. This app allows iPhone users to connect with our campaign in a way that is familiar to them.”
Alexander Trewby, a self-employed software engineer from Hammersmith, developed the application for campaign after hearing Shaun speak at a local event. “I remember being impressed with Shaun and the ideas he had. I approached him with the thought of developing an iPhone app for his campaign. He loved the idea and we started working on it almost right away. A few months later here we are. It’s great seeing it finally available for download.”
Commenting on how it would work for his campaign Shaun said: “As a candidate in Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush, I want to win people over with our ideas for change, not just how we communicate them. This application represents another way for us to get our message out. We need a change in the leadership of our country. I want to be part of that change.”
Whether you agree with that last sentiment or not he does deserve some credit for being the first to develop this. Although I would say this wouldn't I we're already seeing blogs and other forms of new media, particularly social media, taking on an increasingly important role in this campaign. Extending it to smart phones is another step forward. You don't have to wait a day or even a week to see the story and you can be part of it by engaging with it. So politicians who 'get it' are likely to reap the rewards.
Not being an i-Phone user myself I can't use it but interested to hear any reviews..you can download the app here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/shaun-bailey/id361284535?mt=8
17th March UPDATE: The Sun featured this story here