Thursday, July 24, 2008

Emerging Media & Politics

As a journalist, political junkie and marketing student, I've been fascinated to see how the 2008 presidential campaign has embraced emerging media and social in such a big way.

It's a given that candidates large and small will have websites, and of course McCain, Obama and Clinton have them -- all let you switch from English to Spanish -- very smart, since Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. These websites are not only places to disseminate information and connect with voters, they're fundraising powerhouses. How else to explain how Hillary Clinton raised more than $1 million in less than 24 hours after she urged supporters to visit her site during her victory speech in New Hampshire in January?

E-mail has also become a huge tool for the candidates to communicate -- including with those of us in the media. I'm signed up/was signed up to receive e-mail releases from both the Obama and Clinton camps. During those long six weeks of campaigning leading up to the primary here in Pennsylvania, I was inundated with at least a few -- and often dozens -- of press releases and position papers every day.

Today I learned of yet another way that politicos are using new media. I got an invitation from the people who are organizing the 2008 Republican National Convention to participate in an on-line "Lunchtime Chat" tomorrow at 1pm, which will take participants on a live walking tour of the convention headquarters in Saint Paul, and give us a chance to meet the people behind the scenes of the convention. The chats use technology powered by a company called, the live streaming provider of the convention. The fact that the Republicans actually have a live streaming provider tells me that we're probably in for 24/7 streaming of both of these conventions for those who just can't get enough!

P.S. No surprise, the convention homepage also has a blog, wallpaper, and a social networking site where people going to the convention can hook up and make friends even before they get to Minnesota. The Dems have their own page with some of the same features, plus an invitation to make a "why I'm a Democrat in 2008" video and post it to YouTube!


Heidi M said...

Have you noticed that all the campaign signs on podiums have the candidate's web site right at the top? That's strategic. Have you taken 611? There's an article from Marketing Research about the usage of Internet in politics. It's quite interesting.

Anne said...


I didn't notice that but I'm not surprised. After all, where is the first place you go when you want information about something?

I haven't taken 611 yet -- I have that either next semester or in late fall. I'll keep an eye out for that article.