4 New Media Points to Add to the Growth & Opportunity Report


4 New Media Points to Add to the Growth & Opportunity Report

The RNC’s “Growth and Opportunity Project” report did a lot of soul searching and digging. Overall, it did a great job of finding the Republican Party’s flaws in the 2012 presidential election and recommending solutions.

To better round out the report, I recommend adding these 4 new media points to complete your campaign strategy and ensure political success. These additional points will help you figure out what you are missing, how to paint your own image, how to try something new, and how to begin new media training now.

1) Reach For It

The report briefly mentioned reach, simply stating: “Democrats had the clear edge on new media and ground game, in terms of both reach and effectiveness.” This point needs to be elaborated in greater detail, because reach reveals how many people see your message across all of the new media networks. Analyzing reach will allow you to see how far the campaign’s communications can spread across new media communications channels.

Wondering about Obama’s Facebook reach during the election? Well, it was pretty staggering, 98% of the United State’s Facebook population was friends with someone who liked Barack Obama, according to Teddy Goff. This reach allowed Obama’s message to spread like wildfire among younger voters, even if they liked his page or not.

Wondering about how to win your next Senate race? Its simple – have more Facebook likes than your opponent. “In Senate races, the candidate with more Facebook friends than his or her opponent has won 81% of the time,” according to Open Site. The tip is to get your supporters to share your social media postings by offering exciting information, being the first to offer news, telling others how to get involved, and becoming the primary information source for the election.

Reach is not a new concept and should not be overlooked by any political group. Back in 2010, I shared the need for campaigns to measure reach as part of its new media strategy. Read more about reach in my article “5 Ways Political Campaigns Should Measure Social Media”.

2) Address The Elephant In The Room

The report casually mentions, “It was a surprise to no one on the Republican side when the Obama campaign began to define Governor Romney as unacceptable… However, the sound of silence from our side in response to the damaging attacks must never happen again.” The report does correctly highlight that “many post-election analyses correctly conclude that our side was never able to recover from these attacks once we let them stand with minimal response.”

What was this minimal response? What was this elephant in the room? It was Romney’s 47% percent comment. This comment proved to be the most damaging moment in Romney’s presidential efforts. Once this was said, and subsequently glossed over, the public lost their emotional trust in Romney to be the next leader of the entire country. They did not want a leader who perceived the country to be divided.

Mitt Romney 47 percent

Although Romney’s comments were taken out of context, the fact is this elephant in the room was not responded to properly. Once people had these strong emotional reactions to the comment, it was hard to overcome without prompt and continuous responses. This event ultimately created a negative perception of the candidate.

3) Poll with Real-Time Data

The report tapped into polling, but overlooked the major problems with traditional polling methods. Instead simply stating, “There is no consensus on the top problem facing pollsters…” Apart from traditional polling, the report did not get into the need for real-time polling.

Tracking real-time data allows you to capitalize on already hot topics and get involved in the conversation. Remember when Marco Rubio took a drink of water during the Republican’s response to the State of the Union Address? Talking heads thought this was the end of the world and the end of his presidential chances, so he simply addressed it in a light-hearted manner. His team knew everyone was talking about Rubio’s water bottle, so he addressed it first hand to raise some money for his Super PAC.

Wondering what people are talking about? Wondering what the topic of the hour is? Well do some polling for yourself – check out the trends on Twitter or look at Google’s Hot Trends or ask your kids what everyone talks about at school. You can go even further and hire companies to look at spending data and credit card transactions to do market research on people’s spending habits. You are more likely to figure out someone’s political ideology and chances of voting for you if you know that they purchase guns, farming equipment, feminist magazines, or make contributions to certain groups.

Being aware of the real-time buzz and personal habits allows you to have the most up-to-date and relevant polling. You might even just come up with a “Binder Full Of” great ideas.

4) Training

The report goes into to detail about the importance of training party officials, campaign workers, volunteers, and politicians on digital and new media. One of its recommendations is that “Our friends and allies should develop numerous training opportunities for volunteers and campaign staff including in social media.” This recommendation is something we are ready to start now!

Todd Rehm, of Georgia Pundit, and myself, of Adsworth Media, will soon begin offering digital and social media classes for political activists and officials in the Atlanta area. Stay tuned for dates and information! These classes are crucial for our growth. We plan to share new media tactics and strategies to help with everything from data use to voter contact to organic emergences.

I will continue to hold social media class in the Savannah area and other nearby areas as requested. Our previous social media classes have been received with great success and enthusiasm for a new understanding of these tools. I look forward to helping more Republican groups with their training efforts.

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