Thursday, July 17, 2008

Learning from Obama

I attended a conference a few weeks back and found that the speaker used the same social media slides as me - the same messages, the same visuals and the same statistics. Although this was laborious, I did take away one great nugget of information.

Obama's online campaign had key strategies to achieve its overall objective - raise money and build a community of believers in order to form the 'Obama' brand the way social networks are formed. Hilary on the other hand focused her efforts on advertising and traditional media. Below is a summary of how the two politicians spent their campaign budgets:

Not only did Hilary spend almost three times the expenditure, she also focused her efforts on a medium that Obama's advisors chose to completely ignore. In the first two months of fundraising Obama raised US$91m compared to Hillary's US$37m. The rest, as they say, is history!

This is a fascinating example of how social and digital media is affecting politics, and the wider world, and its approach to influencing people. Even now, if you search Obama on MySpace, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter, you will find cleverly designed vehicles where he delivers his messages and 'wins' your heart.

This is a key lesson to be take on board when devising PR campaigns for clients.

Source: Webguild March 2008

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