On Message: Election 2017, who’s winning the comms campaign?


The General Election campaign is a test not only of policy, but also of communication strategy. In the latest episode of MHP’s On Message podcast host Adam Batstone is joined by Pete Digger, Kate Pogson and Ian Kirby to discuss which messages and moments have stood out and give some tips on avoiding campaign calamities and media meltdowns.

In this episode of On Message

The panel discusses the ups and downs of the 2017 general election campaign. The focus is not on the political arguments or policy issues, but more on which parties are using communications most effectively to get their message across.

Inevitably the campaign has been overshadowed by the Manchester attack, which left 22 people dead and prompted a suspension in active canvassing. We look at how you can get your campaign back on track when the landscape has changed.

Theresa May’s mantra “strong and stable government” had been her response to almost any question, much like “take back control” became the slogan of the Leave campaign in last year’s referendum. The panel considers if political campaigning has been boiled down to three word slogans.

Also under scrutiny is the main parties’ use of the media, both mainstream and social. Was Theresa May right to duck out of a TV debate? Is Jeremy Corbyn’s claim to be a product of principle rather than PR true or just a clever strategic device? And what is the future for UKIP with a new leader and a message which may seem redundant post-Brexit.

The discussion finishes by considering how politicians should respond when confronted by an angry voter and a camera crew. And what can you do to avoid a Diane Abbott style live broadcast “brain fade”?

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  • MHP Managing Director, Pete Digger has almost 20 years corporate communications experience, gained in a range of in house and consultancy roles. He has a track record of success in applying integrated government affairs, media and campaigning solutions to complex regulatory, reputational and commercial challenges.
  • MHP Managing Director, Ian Kirby worked in the Westminster Lobby for over 15 years, with 13 as Political Editor of the News of the World. He has a unique grasp of British and international politics, and of the mechanics and priorities of the media. Ian now advises on media strategy, campaigns, insight and analysis. He also runs our media training.
  • MHP Managing Director, Kate Pogson has spent ten years working in the health sector helping clients from pharmaceutical companies to small charities to get their voices heard


  • MHP Director, Adam Batstone has a 25 year journalistic career covering newspapers, radio, TV and most recently the BBC News website. He joined MHP with a brief to use his extensive editorial experience to help clients frame their messages in a way which would have maximum impact for both traditional and new media channels.


On Message is produced by Tom Gillingham and edited by Nick Carter of Mixsonix Audio Production

If you have any thoughts or comments about this podcast do please get in touch via email: contact@mhpc.com