What makes trade union representatives like Mick Lynch such good communicators?

What makes trade union representatives like Mick Lynch such good communicators?
Mick Lynch calls Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss 'hard right'

A fresh round of rail strikes are taking place on numerous dates throughout the month of December as members of the RMT union walk out over pay, jobs and terms and conditions.

The strike action follows a number of actions throughout the year, including the biggest rail strikes in 30 years over three days in June.

With that being the case, those for and those against the strikes have been summoned by the broadcast media to state their case and you know what that means - the return of Mick Lynch.

Lynch, RMT's general secretary has become the breakout star of the strikes, consistently praised by his supporters for his clear communication style and for getting one over his opponents with blunt politeness.

He's left Piers Morgan, Kay Burley, Richard Madeley and Robert Jenrick quaking in their boots and he doesn't even try when it comes to social media.

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And he isn't the only union representative who has garnered praise; Eddie Dempsey, senior assistant general secretary at the union, similarly went viral when he gave his two cents on the strikes.

So what makes them such successful communicators?

Jo Marie O'Reilly, a digital PR manager points to their authenticity and their ability to engage young people. "They probably don't know it but, Mick Lynch and Eddie Dempsey 's current online virality is likely all part of Gen-Z backlash against influencers," she says.

"Young people are turning away from the overly polished fake sponsored con posts of platforms like Instagram to the more authentic, unpolished reality of apps like TikTok and BeReal."

"It's just so different to the status quo," she adds. "It also makes for naturally great video content that can be memed montaged and shared widely.

"Young people are looking for political representation and they are searching for it online, and currently it’s RMT reps who are winning their attention and their retweets. The Labour Party should be taking note!"

Meanwhile, Emma Burnell, a political communications trainer and practitioner said how "comfortable" they are in their arguments pays off. She says:

"They are both not just giving a recitation of their points. They are comfortable in their skin and in their arguments.

"They believe what they are saying not just because it is their organisation but because they have clear rational logic so they can answer 'gotcha' questions easily because they are comfortable that they know their issue better than generalist journalists. So they give off the confidence of someone saying something that is just obviously true."

And for Ayo Abbas, a marketing consultant and director, it is their engagement with "real world issues" that resonate with people like the cost of living crisis and the decline of democracy.

"Eddie Dempsey and Mick Lynch use real-world issues as examples such as the cost of living, well-being and they couch their pay rise demands as a way for their union members to counterbalance what is happening in society," he says.

"They depict the proposed changes by the rail companies as bad by illustrating their arguments with examples that play to the public's greatest fears such as proposals for no staffing at stations and the impacts on areas such as safety.

"They also back up their statements with statistical evidence. Another masterstroke is tying the potential banning of strikes by the government as a threat to democracy; another fundamental cornerstone of our society that they feel is being eroded."

Further RMT strikes are planned at the end of December and going into January after latest negotiations failed.

Whatever your views on them, we expect to see a lot more of characters like Lynch and Dempsey dominating the internet.

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