I have spent the last few weeks as the clip board man, canvassing with a Lib Dem candidate in the Somerset county council elections. My man, Adam Dance, is 20; the sitting Tory councillor is 77.

A striking feature of the campaign has been the power of the local media. Adam, a local lad, has a knack of engaging the Western Gazette, the local paper, and the local radio as he tackles flooding, pot-holes, fly-tipping, cuts to local youth services: the full range of local issues. He has had a lot of coverage.

On the door-step people listen to Adam because they recognise him and his message is relevant. We will see if people vote for him on May 2 but so far he has had much greater impact than expected, not least on the sitting Tory councillor.

I draw two conclusions for Nelson Croom from this experience:

  • People will listen when the proposition is relevant

  • They are more inclined to listen when they recognise you as part of the community

Our objective for accountingcpd.net has always been to build community and last year we saw sales of courses grow by 150% in large part because accountants see the relevance of the CPD courses and the brand has increasing recognition in the CPD market.