Should we organize a pay-per-view cage match?

In one corner we have social media guru SpaceyG who told the AJC this about using social media in political campaigns.

“These are very, very powerful tools,” Daughters said. “These are databases they have compiled. Once these people are in your database, you have access to them 24/7.”

In the other corner we have campaign consultant extraordinaire Mark Rountree who fired back with this:

“Around the office, I like to say the guy who spends the most time on the Web site is the guy who usually loses,” Rountree said. “I don’t think electronic communication ever replaces something tangible.”

Of course I’ve taken their comments out of context just to have some fun, but the value to campaigns of social media is most certainly growing. I come down more on Spacey’s side of this issue but Mark is correct that online stuff doesn’t replace the classic campaign methods. It should be used to enhance a campaign’s real world activities IMHO. Social media is just so cheap to use campaigns are silly not to take advantage of them.

14 comments

  1. macho says:

    “Once these people are in your database, you have access to them 24/7.”

    This assumes your targeted demographic surfs the web all day at work and hardly sleeps. So it could be an effective strategy in a Democrat Primary.

  2. ByteMe says:

    There’s “one-on-one” campaigning and that’s required so that people see you’re a real person and willing to talk with the little people.

    The social media aspects are about building “community” around your “cause” and is very effective for fund-raising and GOTV efforts. Both have a place in a campaign if you want to win.

  3. Doug Deal says:

    It also depends on the particulars of the race. A race for Governor where there are 5 or 6 million registered votes has different needs than a city coucil district election with 2,000 voters.

    The problem with too many people, when it comes to strategy, is that they think one battle plan will meet all challenges.

  4. In my little bit of experience running my city council campaign two years ago and helping run a county-wide campign this year, much of th social media (and even websites) are a waste if the district is small.

    • Jeff says:

      Maybe, but one of the tenets of my campaign is that the City of Leesburg needs an effective website, so it wouldn’t make much sense for me to NOT have a website.

  5. Icarus says:

    I have no idea what Rountree’s context was, but I’m finding it hard to disagree with him.

    You can have the best web presence in the world, use social media like none other, but if your campaign doesn’ t know how to “connect” with voters, then you will still fail miserably.

    For exhibit “A”, I give you two words:

    Ron Paul

      • Game Fan says:

        Oh, hey, what happened? I’m sitting there minding my own business and someone beamed me aboard. But seriously, Ron Paul was the only guy in the race who even ACKNOWLEDGED many issues ignored by the other candidates. So, you have dis here internet with folks learning stuff that ain’t on the 6:00 news and then you have a bunch of phonies. Who else would these folks support? So to conclude, IMHO folks are looking for some authentic people not corporatists with talking points. And it ain’t about social networking either IMHO. Nope, many RP supporters fall under the “individualist” category and therefore could give a flip about “training” or taking orders or making “friends” or going to political barbecues, ect…
        As far as ISSUES go, for example, the swine flu vaccine fiasco. I hope y’all don’t think it was Huckabee supporters who participated in the grassroots effort to get the word out.

        • Icarus says:

          “Nope, many RP supporters fall under the “individualist” category and therefore could give a flip about “training” or taking orders or making “friends” or going to political barbecues, ect…”

          Until you guys decide to give a flip about getting 50% + 1 vote, you are but noisy gongs and clanging symbols.

        • Fawkes says:

          Perhaps more of the Ron Paul crowd would be taken seriously if they ignored some criticism. Don’t come waving the “war flag” every time someone mentions Ron Paul in a negative light. Let Ron Paul speak for himself and spend your time fighting for individual liberty, small government, and sound money.

          Then, you could REALLY make a difference.

    • When it comes to campaign strategy, Icarus is dead on target. That is, if the campaign strategy is to win… if it is just to educate and to plant the seeds of knowledge for the beginnings or expansion of a grass roots movement, then the alternative media is the way to go,… due to it being the only option available for mass communicating, due to cost and MSM ignore-ance.

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