So Pam Corkery has been hired as Laila Harre’s press secretary. Apparently Ms Harre discovered this while on air, which, if true, makes one wonder who’s running things at Internet Party HQ. Certainly, this tweet from Jessica Williams (@mizjwilliams) suggests an air of back room disorganisation:
And then after she got off air, Laila Harre made a phone call and found out that it IS true and pam IS her new press sec. lol.
I guess Ms Corkery’s new role makes sense in a ‘good fit with the leader’ kind of way, both Corkery and Harre being former Alliance Party MPs together, back in the 1990s, before Corkery retired in 1999. And I guess she’s got good media contacts, having been a broadcaster for many more years than she was an MP.
But isn’t the defining feature of the Internet Party’s upcoming election campaign supposed to be that it’s about being tech-savvy and online, pulling in those young, previously disinterested voters who will suddenly flock to the ballot box and support Kim Dotcom’s multimillion dollar vehicle of revenge? Both Laila Harre and Pam Corkery are dinosaurs from another political age. I just cannot see how Corkery’s involvement, especially in an important campaign role, can possibly be of benefit to the Internet Party. She’s the antithesis of the Internet Party’s message.
Of course, press secretaries are not the face of a party. How many people (beyond the very worst political junkies) could name John Key’s or David Cunliffe’s press secretaries, let alone Peter Dunne’s or Jamie Whyte’s? (Mind you, how many people could name Jamie Whyte, let alone his press secretary?) However, the press secretary is supposed to be coordinating Laila Harre’s and the Internet Party’s media image across all media. That includes the internet, which is already an area in which the other party’s press secretaries are failing miserably in (see my good friend Matthew Beveridge’s blog, Social Media & the 2014 Election for a daily account of our political party’s social media failings). Why would another old-school media hack like Pam Corkery be any different?
One would hope that the Internet Party has a highly competent team handling the online side of things, and that Ms Corkery isn’t expected to provide them with too much direction. Otherwise, the party’s goal of going for the so-called “Missing Million” online isn’t going to gather a great deal of steam.
Frankly, I think that Laila Harre’s appointment has already put paid to that goal. The Internet Party needed a Richard Branson, not someone intent on creating the Alliance Party Reborn.