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Barack Obama’s Interactive Campaign: Political Social Media Best Practices - March 9, 2009


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Presented to the Association of Women in Communications, Detroit Chapter - March 9, 2009

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Barack Obama’s Interactive Campaign: Political Social Media Best Practices - March 9, 2009

  1. 1. Barack Obama’s Interactive Campaign Shiba C.E. Palmer Web Information Specialist University of Detroit Mercy Marketing & Public Affairs Department March 9, 2009
  2. 2. The “Obama Brand” • Across print, web, mobile, merchandising and all other interactive media, the Obama campaign used grass-roots and for-profit marketing strategies to communicate campaign (marketing) messages, capture and mobilize potential/current voters and volunteers – Social Networking – Email – Mobile Devices – Electronic Placement • These channels were used to direct targeted audience to the website, that provided a comprehensive interactive campaign for the election and is still being used as a tool during the administration. • Within the Obama web site, the campaign created (social networking site) to further engage users
  3. 3. Obama’s Social Networking Campaigns “Obama Everywhere” • Fully-functional web profiles on all relevant social networking site (general and demographically based) used to communicate marketing messages and lead users to and – Register as a supporter – Donate money & volunteer – Purchase merchandise • All profiles follow the “Obama Brand”, with similar navigation, graphic, CSS (color, typesetting) and writing style design
  4. 4. “Obama Everywhere”: YouTube Channel • Registered as a “campaign” to received formatting and link benefits • Links on channel homepage direct users to YouTube specific URLs: • Recorded/uploaded 1,836 videos as of 3/3/09, each with links to issue-specific URLs within • 166,719 subscribers as of 3/3/09 who upload their own videos, embedded and link videos in other sites, & (most importantly) spread marketing messages from the campaign & cabinet • The cabinet now records/uploads Obama’s weekly (previously radio) address & all his appearances proactively, then onto
  5. 5. “Obama Everywhere”: MySpace Profile(s) • Registered as an “IMPACT” profile to take advantage of formatting, search & promotion options • Created multiple profiles, representing all key constituents: • Links on profile homepage direct users to MySpace specific URLs • Offered code & links to users to embed images &RSS feeds, register to (MyBO) & “Obama Mobile” • Provides links to all the campaign profiles on other social networking sites, videos, blogs and interaction opportunities.
  6. 6. “Obama Everywhere” con’t
  7. 7. Obama’s Email Campaign • Email Campaign – Email subjects were formatted to be from a variety of Obama representatives (Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, campaign reps, etc.) – The mailing list is currently being used by the administration and stakeholder to work to inform and mobilize constituents for the budget, stimulus package, etc.
  8. 8. “Obama Mobile” Cell/Mobile Devices Cell Phone/Mobile Device SMS Text Campaign “Obama Mobile” – All modes previously discussed lead to the registration page that enables users to receive messages via SMS Text on mobile devices (with coordinating registration numbers) – Messages are sent on a regular basis (up to daily, based on the campaign activities) for a variety of marketing messages and announcements of interest to the campaign and presidency
  9. 9. Obama’s Electronic Placement • Targeted marketing on a variety of web- based and desktop utilities – Flash banners on relevant websites – Commercials on video streaming site;,, etc. – Pseudo” product placement • Pandora Music • Xbox 360 • Guitar Hero • Madden 09
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  12. 12. • The Obama campaign created a pseudo social networking site within the website – Profile creation – Blogs / communication with other supporters – Create/attend events – Donate / volunteer – View content – Buy branded merchandise – Suggest interactive campaign activities