ELECTION campaigns see traditional businesses demanding tax breaks and less red tape – but what about the digital and creative industries?

Moves are afoot to encourage people in Dorset’s digital sector to make their voice heard ahead of polling day.

And there are calls for the area’s social media professionals to use their talent to encourage voting.

Gordon Fong, chief executive of Westbourne-based IT group Kimcell Ltd, recently had letters or visits from three candidates on issues facing the digital economy – Conservative Conor Burns, Labour’s David Stokes and the Liberal Democrats’ Jon Nicholas.

Writing on his personal blog, he said: “I regularly read and hear digital companies praising social media for raising awareness, getting strong messages out, fighting for just causes, conveying beliefs, being an effective communications channel and achieving very responsive engagement.

“I therefore can’t understand why social media, which is so popular among the demographic with a low voter participation rate, cannot be used to help reverse political apathy. I recognise there are many other ways to reach out to people, but as someone who runs companies in the IT and digital tech sectors, I question why we can’t apply the same principles and conversion rates when it comes to politics.”

His own concerns include the need for good infrastructure and the need to be able to attract talent from London to settle in the Bournemouth area.

Matt Desmier, partner in Think Create Do and a key player in the area’s creative scene, called for more participation from the young people who dominate the digital sector.

“These are young companies started by young people, employing young people and for one reason or another they’re disenfranchised and not necessarily trusting of the democratic process,” he said.

“They’re not involved in it. It’s kind of scary because it’s going to have a huge impact on it and they don’t appear to realise.”

Mark Masters of the ID Group, author of The Content Revolution, said: “We all have to be aware of the wider environment and how it affects us.

“This is about having the megaphone and moving it away from our mouths, but turning it to others so we can engage and pick up what matters.”

He added: “Our voices can be private or more public, but unless you find out what you stand for you are not an interesting person. The things that we believe in are what shapes us.

“If you have a cause that fits in with wider society, then businesses have a responsibility to get other people to vote.”