When Jeremy Corbyn drops by
My week faced an unexpected turn on Thursday. I was sat peacefully at my desk when a really short, concise e-mail came through. It was announcing just that Jeremy Corbyn was coming to The Station, as part of a Labour meeting we had going on.
I couldn’t really believe it. I’m definitely a Jeremy Corbyn fan girl at heart and yes, I’m a bit ashamed of it. But every time a new breath of fresh air comes to politics, I can’t help it, I’m drawn to the underdog that’s speaking the truth.
I had the privilege of walking around and taking photos of Mr Jeremy and it just so happened that he was speaking on the EU referendum and his mission on the day was to get young people registered to vote.
If it’s not obvious from my name, I’m not British; I’m European and pretty darn proud of it as well. So the issue pulls at my heart strings. Not only because the UK leaving the EU would bring about so many problems for me, but because I love the UK. I really do love this country. It’s brought me so many opportunities.
I got a better education than I could have gotten in my country. I got job after job doing the things I’m passionate about (helping young people, campaigning on mental health, being a radio producer, advocating for women’s issues). I couldn’t do that back in Romania; there just isn’t a market for it yet and it would be impossible to get paid for what I do there.
I think I’ve given back plenty to the UK as well. I’m paying back my student loan, I’ve been paying hugely inflated rent for 4 years now and I brought with me my parents’ hard earned Romanian money and spent it here, contributing to the economy. That on top of the normal stuff like tax and the skills I bring to the table.
Can Snapchat convince young people to register?
So my argument is this. In an issue that is going to impact so heavily on young people, Jeremy Corbyn is actively seeking to engage this audience. He was one of the first people I followed on Snapchat because a politician (and a high profile one at that) using that platform means one thing to me. He’s trying. He’s trying to have a conversation in means that the political landscape doesn’t yet understand – social media. And a very hard to use for brand engagement social media platform.
Snapchat is new, fresh and unknown. It’s really hard to make an argument for using it for any brand or organisation. But Jeremy Corbyn and his team aren’t afraid. They went where their audience is. Young people are on Snapchat. And they want to hear from leaders on the platforms they’re already using.
Does Jeremy have a long way to go from posting photos and videos and putting emojis over there to convincing a young person to register to vote? Yes, of course.
However, he’s decided that it’s worth it. It’s worth his team’s time and effort to do it because he cares. I see that as progressive as it gets.
That’s why you should follow Jeremy Corbyn on Snapchat. We need more leaders who care about us and are taking digital and social media seriously. Give it a shot, you might end up in one of his stories if next time he happens to drop by your office.