Credit where its due. David Cameron was on a tour of Manchester yesterday to feel people’s pain in this economic whirlwind.
As well as the usual interview with local paper and TV news, Cameron maxed out on multi-media, including an attempt to connect to Manchester’s social media glitterati via a live blog with queen bee, Sarah Hartley aka @Foodie Sarah, aka Manchester Evening News journalist, and a debate on the economy with a live audience and Tweeted/texted/emailed questions through Channel M, Manchester’s cable news channel.
To be fair this wasn’t Cameron’s idea. The Channel M format was the MEN’s idea (owners of Channel M) and the live blogging was Sarah’s own initiative, but it’s telling that Cameron’s team were happy to play ball. Eighteen months ago the minders would have felt it was too risky for not enough reward. Don’t forget the Tories also ‘reached out’ to Birmingham bloggers around their conference in October, although I’m not sure to what extent the Tory big-hitters really got behind it.