RPS Elections – your opportunity to meet candidates for the RPS Boards

by Neal Patel, RPS Head of Communications and Engagement

Every year the RPS asks members and Fellows of the Society to stand as Board Members in England, Scotland and Wales. This year we have elections in both England and Wales, but not in Scotland.

To allow all RPS members to find out more about the candidates in Wales and England we are holding an online question and answer session – also known as ‘hustings’ – between 7pm and 8pm on the 17th of April.

This year, following feedback, we are using a new platform to allow members to connect with the RPS Board candidates more easily. (Yep, we’ve tried Twitter before and feedback was mixed)

Telegram is a really easy to use chat app that can also be used on desktop computers.

The point of the hustings is to allow people to have real time conversations with prospective RPS Board Members on specific topics for a set period of time. I’ll be online during these times to help guide some of the conversation as best I can and take make sure everyone sticks to the rules.

Some people have asked if we could keep this group going but we know many candidates are already using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and their own personal Telegram accounts to talk about the reasons they are standing. By means of an analogy:  if it was 1985 we would hold a face to face meeting for people to physically attend and ask questions at set time, in a set place. We are replicating this digitally. We’ll be closing up at 8pm and allowing conversation to continue on other platforms.

We will encourage all candidates to post their social media handles during the event so you can follow up afterwards with comments of questions – or you can follow #RPSElections to catch up with the debate online.

The point of the Telegram group hustings is to allow as many people as possible to meet candidates and ask questions during a set period of time. Once you’re on Telegram, here’s the link to the hustings group.

We also invite candidates to write letters to PJ and post videos as part of their campaigns to get elected, so hopefully you will have lots of opportunities to get to know the people who would like your vote.

How is it going to work? On the night, myself and colleagues from RPS, will ask each candidate for brief introduction and to answer two generic questions. This should take around 20 minutes. This will be followed by a 40 minute Q&A session open to all RPS members. As I said, I’ll try and keep order but part of the fun of this format is that people will be able to have direct one to one conversations if they wish. We will try and capture questions posted in advance of the meeting too.

It goes without saying that personal attacks and abusive comments will be deleted and those users will be permanently removed from the group. We won’t allow anonymous comments either, so please use your full name when posting questions to the candidates.

We’ve got plenty of guidance on using social media if this is new to you.

Hope to see you on the 17th at our virtual hustings.

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