Edward Staite is an international communications consultant and campaign adviser. Follow Ed on Twitter.
What are you doing now? I know you are reading this article but you’re probably doing something else too. That’s the way we live and work; multi-tasking - so our minds are rarely focussed on one thing.
When George Osborne delivers his Budget next week few will be totally focussed on what he is saying. Other MPs will be tweeting and e-mailing, as will journalists in the House of Commons gallery, while those watching at home will soon become reliant on the TV graphics rather than the Chancellor’s words.
After, political journalists will form a “huddle” with one of the Chancellor’s economic advisers to find out what the Chancellor has just said. Within minutes, commentators will focus on one or more of the Chancellor’s announcements as the political jousting begin. Whatever theme has been given to the Budget in advance will become lost, forgotten.
The Budget is invariably an opportunity missed. Politicians crave getting ‘air time’ and securing ‘cut through’. The Budget should be an open-goal with as much ‘air time’ as the Chancellor wishes. The problem comes through a poorly constructed speech, lacking a theme, continuity or showing a common touch which guarantees no ‘cut through’.