Social Media and Politics 2.0 Facilitator: Toni Richard Crisolli
The Internet as a Political Tool What are the characteristics of the internet as a political communication tool? 1. Ease - the only significant barriers to entry are knowledge and time 2. Speed - An organization or activist can learn about a piece of legislation in the morning, get fact sheets and statements online by noon, generate thousands of emails by happy hour and spark bloggers and journalists to write about it all along the way. And, of course, opponents can do the same. 3. Reach – It lets all of us gather together based on what we care about regardless of where we live. This tendency to cluster helps campaigns reach people more likely to respond to their messages, finding and aggregating supporters by interest
The Internet as a Political Tool What are the characteristics of the internet as a political communication tool? 4. Interconnectivity / Transportability (of content) Linking is the web’s vital technology and its essential characteristic. On the web, links between ideas enhance the value of the individual pieces, just as the links between people create a web of relationships that enhance our lives. Example: How it might work together: Your website helps build your email list, which creates an initial audience for your hilarious-but-serious video clip, which sends traffic back to your site, which builds your email list even further, which helps you grow a supporter/donor base, which helps fund the website and your Facebook advertising. It`s just like a pyramid scheme, only distressingly legal.
The Internet as a Political Tool What are the characteristics of the internet as a political communication tool? 5. The „Word to Mouth“(WTM) What we were lacking prior to the use of the internet was the ability to measure the impact of word to mouth. Measuring the impact of a social campaign or a viral campaign was very difficult before the invention of the social aspect of the internet. We had to observe it through very expansive studies. (Kamil) Monitoring the impact and the effects of certain messages on the public were able to quantify the impact of WTM advertisement.
Things, as they are Facilitator: Toni Richard Crisolli
Things, as they are It`s likely the political landscape will be radically different in just a few years,thanks to social media’s growing influenceon our ideas about culture, business, celebrity and public discourse. The ways in which we think about candidates and/or elected officials will change based on how connected we feel to them. And that will influence how we vote.
The general understanding is Build genuine connections with your constituency, authentically engage with them, and you can earn their trust and support. Don`t be „shy“, be very pro-active, ALWAYS. Social media allows you to build an empire, and the timid do not build empires.
Michigan House Rep. Justin Amash “I wasn’t considering a run for Congress or any other seat when I began posting my votes, but Facebook has turned into a fantastic campaigning tool.” “Above all, it has helped me to gain credibility with voters. When I say that I’m a principled, consistent conservative, people know that it’s true. They can see it, and they can tell from our discussions that I’m actually reading the bills.”
The Heart of Online Communication Facilitator: Toni Richard Crisolli
“The real drivers were old school. They were email. And they were web.” – David Plouffe, Chief Campaign Manager OFA
Reality check Everybody talks about Facebookand Twitter –that`s what gets all the attention. We tend to forget that the „meat and potatoes“ of your online communication are still:
A Few Simple Guidelines for Online Politics Facilitator: Toni Richard Crisolli
Simple Guidelines for Online Politics Think about the ends before you think about the means. BEFORE you start any communications project, online or off, ALWAYS think about your ultimate communication goals and who your audienceis — your goals and your audience should drive your tactics.
What is your ultimate communication goal?
Who are you trying to reach (audience/target)?
The internet delivers all kinds of messages to just about any target group. Your job is to match the available tools with your particular needs, target groups, and resources.
Content is key to being successful When you’re starting a online campaign, make sure that your content is worth the audience`s effort.
You should have something to sayor something to show - except boring policy papers and/or press releases.
If you’re trying to persuade people, write like a humanbeing, but be VERY, VERY readable/scan-able.
If people can’t find or read or understand what you write, you’re not going to be persuading them of much.
Reading tip: Steve KRUG, Don`t make me thing!
Integrate, integrate and start to think mobile It’s an absolutely vital strategy for online communication campaigns.
All of the pieces of your online campaign must work together, and they must integrate with your offline advocacy.
Online advocacy should integrate with offline grassroots organizing, should coordinate with press strategy, should mesh with direct lobbying, etc. — they ALL work better when they’re done together.
Don’t forget the details! Did that ad mention your URL? If so, you’d better have something obvious on your site front page that ties into the ad or you’re missing an opportunity to build on your offline advocacy.
Extending the Reach of Online Communication Start integrate social media into what we are doing already. Use these channels to extend our communication reach. If you are already doing press releases and if you learn to SEOthese press releases, you can extend the reach by finding people through Google. 2. If you are already doing events and you can record those events. Now, you have the possibility to create a podcastand therefore extend the reach of the live event online.
Extending the Reach of Online Communication Start integrate social media into what we are doing already. Use these channels to extend our communication reach. 3. If you transcribe that podcast and post it on a blog, you have a reason to extend what you are doing into the blogger`s sphere. 4. If you post status updates back to this blog post and back to this podcast, in Twitter and Facebook, you have the chance to find audiences in these vibrant communities.
The Tools Don’t Care Who Uses Them No monopoly and no censorship is a good thing, right?
Obama campaign’s masterfully and comprehensively used digital tools available in 2008, BUT …
Sarah Palin turning Facebook into her own personal megaphone and Republicans are flocking to Twitter since 2009.
The democratic tools are open to anyone with the time and/or resources to use them.
Stay in the offensive – our competition is always right behind us.
The influence of blogs Facilitator: Toni Richard Crisolli
Why could blogs be important to us? Some researches indicate that the number of blogs we read will decline with higher age. That dictates that we will choose what we read based on what we think of people and on how close they are to us.
Why could blogs be important to us? Consuming what our friends are saying is a nice way to spread a message. Blogs are very “referenceable”. You can generate inside a community of interest of a group of experts a common knowledge base very rapidly through self-referenceable links.
Blogs - pros Active blogs may result in manifestation of different opinions and ideas inside this community very quickly. Blogs of political parties allow members to engage in the political discussion. Sometimes, blogs allow different voices inside the party to be heard.
Blogs – the flipside On the flipside, blogs in the political world have a polarizing effect. If more people self-refer to each other the more extreme the views within that echo chamber (group) become. Surprisingly, there is very little cross-talk between different opinion communities online. If there is, it mostly is on disrespectful types of terms.
Social mediaand grass root thinking Facilitator: Toni Richard Crisolli
Tapping into grassroots Today’s forward-thinking campaigns offer a glimpse into what political activism might look like a few years on. Future candidates who ‘get it’ will be conducting increasingly supporter-centric campaigns that put the needs of the candidates’ most enthusiastic and ardent supporters at the center of the campaign. Spin and misinterpretation can cloud a political message as it passes from candidate, to spokesperson, to media, to public. But this chain can be broken by something as simple as a Facebook update.
Tapping into grassroots Since „insiders“are generally more trusted than institutions, a key component of political outreach has been to train staff membersto be individuals with a message, rather than representatives of a large organization. Political outreach is coming full circle. Focus was initially on personal grassroots activism, then on mass media, and is now returning to a one-on-one trust model for the digital age.
Tapping into grassroots Trust in the world of social media is shiftingaway from organizations and toward individuals. Highly social political campaign can decentralize its message and create what successful marketers have been tapping on the web for some time … … brand ambassadors.
Hands-On Candidates Facilitator: Toni Richard Crisolli
Delegating tasks “[P]oliticians and candidates delegate drafting of press releases to staff. They delegate drafting of speeches to staff. They delegate drafting policy positions and fundraising asks to their staff. Serious politicians delegate some social media outreach to staff as well. However, that candidates who pass all of their social media engagement on to staffers will be missing big opportunities for authentic engagement of supporters.