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As an occasional feature, this blog is going to ask people involved in local government as well as other communications practitioners to answer one – or both of the following questions:

1: The elevator pitch

You step into a lift and find yourself alone with a local government minister / spokesperson of your choice (could be an opposition spokesperson?). You see you are both travelling up all 26 floors of the building and you are likely to be uninterrupted. The person concerned recognises you (you had the chance to introduce yourself earlier and outline who you are and what you do).

You have 150 words to make your ‘elevator pitch’. What is it? (try and limit yourself to 150 words, and give me the 50 words that the person concerned was told earlier just for a bit of context please? Here’s the first example of an elevator pitch.

2: My ideal local councillor
Imagine you could ‘configure’ a perfect local councillor for the ward you live in, and that you could decide how your council makes its decisions. What is your ideal local councillor going to be like? (The following ideas are pointers only – no need to consider every point, but these are a few questions that may help to shape your reply)

Would you pay them? How much per year (roughly)? Would you expect them to work full time or part time as a councillor? What sort of work would you expect them to do? Just policymaking? Studying local government policy options? Or are you looking for someone who will take a high level of responsibility for a particular policy area?

Would you like someone who made an effort to get in touch with the staff at your council and understand the ‘nuts and bolts’? Or what about someone who explains local government to the public and involves them a great deal in deliberation?

Most importantly, what does the balance of all of this look like?

What background would your ideal councillor have? Would they be entrepreneurial, professional, retired, blue-collar, unemployed etc? What skills and experience would you like them to have? Do you think that a private income is essential – or is it undesirable?

What personal qualities would you look for? Would you want someone who goes and asks people what they want and tries to give it them, or do you prefer a bit of leadership – someone who listens to people but then makes their own decisions?

What perks would you like them to have? And what sanctions would you like to have applied to them if they were bad at their jobs?


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