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Listen to ‘Politics for Drummies’, a new podcast dissecting democracy-shaping marketing

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By Richard Draycott | Associate Editor

December 20, 2023 | 4 min read

The Drum has launched a new podcast called Politics for Drummies to explore the marketing techniques of political parties and movements throughout 2024. Rob Blackie, the Liberal Democrat candidate in the 2024 London mayoral elections, stars as the debut guest.

Politics for Drummies

Politics for Drummies set to lead the conversation on the marketing of politics in 2024

With an estimated 40-plus elections set to take place globally in the coming year - including a London mayoral election, a US presidential election and a UK general election due by next January - 2024 is expected to be a year of intense political campaigning as parties and politicians posture to win the hearts and minds of global voters.

To guide readers through the next 12 months of intense campaigning, The Drum has joined forces with the co-founder of The Co-Learn Collective and confessed politics nerd Alastair Duncan. As the host of Politics for Drummies Duncan will interview politicians, political campaigners, brand experts, polling specialists, creatives, digital platforms, think tanks and media owners to get under the skin of modern political marketing strategies.

The monthly show will help listeners understand the changing nature of political communication, explore why specific campaigns decisions are made and how it all ultimately impacts the marketing sector.

Featuring in the first episode is Liberal Democrat MP Rob Blackie, who is running for London Mayor in the election in May 2025 and is looking to replace current London mayor Sadiq Khan, who Blackie believes has failed massively on crime during his seven-year tenure.

Other issues Blackie touches on in the podcast include his route into politics as an advisor to former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy, his anti-censorship campaign in Russia that has seen him run 400 million online ads to give Russians the ‘real’ news on the Ukraine/Russia war and also his grave concerns on the quality of current and future political candidates.

Discussing the quality of modern political candidates, Blackie says: “It’s easy for a politician to go a long way today without being very good at policy delivery if they are entertaining. Boris Johnson is a good example of that; he got all the way to the top before his weaknesses became clear, and that is true of many politicians, unfortunately.

“To anyone seeking to be elected, you have got to be interesting. That’s the minimum bar so you can explain to people what you stand for. But you also need to be serious about getting things right, serious about your policies. The big danger right now is not many politicians are both serious about policy and good at being interesting enough for people to engage with them.”

Coming up in January 2024, in a two-part special, Politics for Drummies will be talking with advertising heavyweight Rory Sutherland to get his thoughts on where political marketing is at as the year kicks off.

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