Last week someone asked me on twitter, “when are you planning to start your campaign?”.
I started writing to newspapers, launched this website and set up my campaign e-mail address, Facebook and twitter accounts in August 2014, so this surprised me a bit. A number of people have asked me if and when I will be knocking on doors, as this, apparently is a standard way to show you have started your serious campaign in the run up to the election.
Well actually, I wasn’t going to knock on doors. I won’t rule it out, but from a non-career politician’s point of view, I’m not sure I see the value in it. It seems a lot like disturbing people’s privacy and interrupting their precious free time and family time, just to try to demonstrate that I’m “taking it seriously”. And it might even be dangerous, I certainly don’t think it would be a good idea to go alone… I did some door knocking for Marie Curie, just up and down my own street, during the years I was living in my flat off Dee road in Tilehurst, and that is not an experience I care to repeat. I think I managed to collect about £2 and one “neighbour” even threatened to set their dog on me if I didn’t get away from their door fast enough.
If anyone really wants me to come and knock on their door please comment below or e-mail me at SuzieFerguson4MP@gmail.com. Otherwise I plan to rely on keeping this site, and supporting social media accounts, as well up to date as I can and organise and attend meetings, which will be advertised on-line, with flyers and, hopefully, in local papers. I have hustings with the Federation of Small Businesses (30th) and with Churches in Reading (19th) in the diary for April, already.
I like that people can find out what they want to know at a time of their convenience using so many different means in 2015. Invading people’s privacy just doesn’t seem necessary.
My campaign is progressing… I have found a fantastic photographer; Frankie Cox, here in Dubai, recommended by a colleague. Frankie has very generously donated his time, skill and resources in the form of a photoshoot and post processing towards my campaign. Frankie’s company, Bink Photography, is available for freelance work in Dubai, working with families and individuals to create special memories. Please check out his ‘hire-me’ page at www.bink.photography. He also has some stunning work available for purchase up there, like the header picture I have used, so I was very lucky to find him!
A couple of Reading local businesses will be helping me with flyers as soon as I have put the right words together with Frankie’s great pictures, so hopefully I will soon have some information available around Reading which is not exclusively via the internet!
On the note of printing paperwork… I have enough funds, and offers of campaign support discounts, that I should be able to manage something like 2000 flyers. However, with more than 70,000 registered constituents in Reading West, that probably will not go very far. So I have set up a Paypal account associated with “SuzieFerguson4MP@gmail.com” so that, should anyone wish to contribute towards my campaign, then here is a way for them to do so. This account is not linked to any personal banking etc, I will pay for printing directly from the Paypal account and publish everything I have collected and spent. We need transparency like this for MP’s to have any hope of regaining people’s trust!
The only funds I really need are for printing costs, which run at approximately £70 to £100 for a batch of 2000 flyers. The rules also state that donations of £50 or more must be recorded and declared with donor information, so I will only be accepting donations below £50. Now I just have to work out how to put a “donate” button on my site…
I would also like to thank the same colleague who put me in touch with Frankie Cox; Andrea Kelly. Andrea simultaneously manages to be a Lifestyle Coach, Online Marketer and all round social media guru, which she fits in around the day job as an engineer. It is Andrea who has introduced me to the additional platforms of Instagram and tumblr and the supporting apps for managing multiple social media accounts, like Crowdfire, PicLab, TagsForLike, Iconosquare, MailChimp and more. Please check her out if you need some help with your accounts for promoting your business; www.Andrea-Kelly.com (Instagram, andreak3lly; twitter, AndreaK3lly; Facebook, AndreaKellyMLM).