Within hours ofNancy Pelosi proclaiming, “After a year of debate and hearing the calls of millions of Americans we have come to this historic moment. Today we have the opportunity to complete the great unfinished business of our society and pass health insurance reform for all Americans that is a right and not a privilege.”
TheRepublican National Committeelaunched a web site called “FirePelosi.com” aimed at raising money to campaign against 40 House Democrats. The 40-hour fundraising campaign (recently extended for 24 hours due to the initial success) has raised $1,297,597. This fundraising effort underscores the Speaker‘s falteringapproval ratings.
What is truly remarkable about this effort is that the Republicans are showing their new media expertise. If we reflect on the last year and half, the campaigns of Virginia’s GovernorBob McDonnell, New Jersey’s GovernorChris Christieand Massachusetts’ SenatorScott Brownutilized the new media tools and fundraising efforts revolutionized by the campaign of President Barack Obama. The leveling of this new technological playing field means that 2010 will be very interesting.
"Chalk Board" Humor
Perhaps we are about a week late touching on this topic, but in case, you have not seen this clever idea fromMoveOn.org. Glenn Beckhas become somewhat of a polarizing figure in the political debate in America, especially on the left side of the aisle. Therefore, the MoveOn.org crowd in cahoots withBrave New FilmsandSEIUhas created a personalized web video that puts your name on the infamousBeck “Chalk Board.”(Click the previous link for the application) The site also posts automatically to your Facebook account if you choose. Regardless of you political leaning, it is a humorous application.
If you think about it, it’s pretty amazing what Texas Governor Perry did to win the Republican primary outright this past Tuesday. With Senator Kaye Bailey Hutchinson, a well-known and fairly popular sitting United States Senator and Debra Medina, the Libertarian candidate in the race, the conventional wisdom was that no one would get the 50% plus one to avoid a run-off.
Last week, Matt Bales, Cornerstone’s New Media and Political Director, blogged about Governor Rick Perry’s social media prowess ---which was indeed a significant part of his campaign. And while I think the good governor did some things online to help win; it was his message that won the day. (It’s always the message by the way).
Governor Perry‘s message zeroed in on jobs and the economy. He artfully relayed to voters that, under his leadership, Texas has billions in the bank, has gained jobs this year (while most states have no money in the bank, and have lost jobs this year). He added icing on the cake with an anti-Washington sentiment which everyone responds well to these days. Put it all together, and there was something for every Texas Republican primary voter---from the most conservative to the moderate. For example, here’s an add TV ad he ran.
What Perry did online, along with other online trailblazers like Governor McDonnell in Virginia and Senator Brown of Massachusetts, is impressive and part of the on-going evolution of the modern day campaign. But like Brown and McDonnell, Rick Perry had a good message. The point is, there simply is not enough online or offline tools and tactics to make up for a bad message (or a poor candidate). It’s the fundamental part of a campaign that will never change.
We work hard with all our clients---candidate, ballot or corporate---to make sure they have a solid message. We spend a lot of time and effort crafting the message. Having a solid message that resonates is the foundation from which every successful campaign is built.
Posted Feb 22, 2010 by Chris Sinclair |
Comments ( 1 )
| Filed in: Social Media
3.5 billion. That’s the number of pieces of content shared by Facebook users every week, around the world. Even more staggering is the 2.5 billion photos uploaded and the 3.5 million events created monthly on Facebook*
It’s hard to imagine that this social media juggernaut didn’t even exist six years ago. And, from what I can tell, it’s only going to get bigger. On this month’s cover of Fast Company, one of my favorite magazines is Facebook’s Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and he says the company is just getting started. (Really?!)
No doubt, Facebook has changed the way we live. It’s allowed us to keep in touch with friends from afar, catch up with old acquaintances, reignite old friendships, and –for some---increase market share and brand awareness.
It’s likewise changed the way campaigns operate, and is a dominate force for political and issue advocacy campaigns---especially with the ease to access the platform using your mobile phone.
What I really like about Facebook is it’s incredible ability to spread a candidate’s or organization’s message so easily---not to mention its innate ability to organize an event or meeting. Throw in the capacity to add custom applications, to collect critical data or harvest emails, and advertise to gain more fans, and you have an instant recipe for social media success---all for pennies on the dollar.
In short, Facebook is an excellent tool for campaigns to take online action and easily translate it to offline “boots on the ground” action. Witness what Bob McDonnell in Virginia---and most recently Scott Brown in Massachusetts---did with Facebook.
With 2010 shaping up to be a monumental election year, and campaigns and candidates looking for economical ---value add---ways to organize and spread their message, you can bet the Facebook will play a key---and strategic---part of every campaign, from Congress to county commissioner.
So what do you think? Is Facebook the dominant political social networking tool? Is there a better tool out their or campaigns?
Much ado has been made concerning the successful integration of social media and online outreach (“new” media) into political and issue advocacy campaigns. This is neither a fad nor a generational thing. Social media and online outreach, in my opinion, will replace aspects of the traditional campaigns as the technologies continue to evolve and the audiences continue to grow.
According to Pew Internet and American Life Project, 74% of all American adults (18 and older) use the internet and this number has been growing rapidly ever since 2000. There are countless explanations as to why the shift from traditional media to “new” media is occurring. Whether it is, people’s lives are busier and turn to the online world for convenience sake or the ability to multitask on the internet, the transition is happening and it is happening quickly. Thus, it is better to embrace this shift than be left in the dust.
What does this mean if you are a candidate that is considering running for public office or the executive director of a trade association trying to defeat a piece of unfavorable legislation? It means you need to invest time and resources into “new” media. I am not advocating investing all of your resources into this platform, but it must become a serious consideration in the allocation of funds. The record of accomplishment of new media is exceptional, if utilized correctly. In the past two years think about Bob McDonnell’s campaign or the golden standard of Obama’s campaign.
Again, I am not advocating the abandonment of traditional marketing avenues, but strongly favor integrating “new media” to supplement the efforts. “New media” is cheaper to use and allows your message to be spread in real-time. That being said, it also means you must be in defense mode at all times and must establish a sound strategy, otherwise your efforts could be for not. For my parting thoughts, if integrated correctly, “new media” campaigns can provide a high return on your investment for your efforts, but it will take hard work and lots of patience and a well executed strategy.