Think local and target non-political media to reach pro-EU voters, says former Miliband adviser

Businesses looking to engage with people likely to vote for the UK to remain in the EU should think local and look to get their message into non-political media, according to a former spokesman for Ed Miliband.

James Stewart, now an associate director at Ogilvy PR, worked for Miliband between 2012 and 2015, including on the Scottish independence referendum.

In an Ogilvy report, Get Involved: Recommendations for Businesses to Engage in the EU Referendum Campaign, published today, Stewart gives a number of recommendations for reaching 'remain' voters, the first being focusing on the groups most likely to vote 'remain' - women and young people.

He also advises businesses to think local, and focus on local aspects of the campaign. "British businesses are part of the communities where they operate. And employees make our communities what they are. Disrupt a business, you disrupt the community," he writes.

Using non-political media outlets is also a good opportunity. Stewart says: "Generate interest with outlets that don’t typically cover politics, from ITV’s This Morning to Woman’s Own. To do this, you need to identify issues that will resonate with their audience and reinforce the need for a 'remain' vote, such as the impact of Brexit on your product’s prices."

Businesses should also be sure to focus on the right issues - immigration is the big concern for 'leave' voters, but 'remain' supporters and undecided voters are more interested in the economy.

Using macroeconomic language, which will not be familiar to much of the public, creates more uncertainty and the inability to understand what facts should be taken into consideration when voting, the report warns.

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