Leveraging Technology

social-media-icons-editorialonly-660x330Despite recent, quantum leaps in technology, there are still some things about running a political campaign that will never change.

Sure, you have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, but there is absolutely nothing you can do on social media that will beat or replace the need for knocking on doors and pressing the flesh with voters.

So which is more important: traditional grass-roots campaign activity, or using social media to deliver your message and accomplish your goals?

The answer is simple. You have a lot of tools in your toolbox. You need to select the right tool for the right job.

President Barack Obama demonstrated the power of technology during his 2008 campaign, when he used social media to help raise over half a billion dollars online. But he still held campaign events. He still used traditional media. His campaign was relentless and left nothing to chance. His campaign used the right tools at the right time

In 2008, social media was in its infancy. Today, the landscape is much more complicated, and you need to be aware of how trends have changed and how they are evolving.

For example, with each passing day, more and more people are opting to rely on a mobile phone device rather than a traditional land-line. This has a huge impact when considering how to conduct phone-banking efforts, whether for fundraising or GOTV (Get-Out-The Vote) efforts.

Beyond messaging, technology can amplify your fundraising efforts, allowing supporters the convenience of donating to your campaign online via a free service such as Pay Pal. For a modest transaction fee, Pay Pal allows your to track and monitor your contributions and funnel those contributions into your campaign bank account. The service also allows you to collect key data from each donor, including their name and address (important stuff you will need for your campaign finance reports).

With so many tools out there, how do you know which one to use at the right time? More importantly how do you link these tools seamlessly to your advantage?

In an upcoming post, I will discuss the concept of inbound marketing. But for now, suffice it to say that you need to be savvy when deploying your social media tools, and your campaign will benefit by having a professional who can help you navigate the process.


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Randy Seaver is a former newspaper editor who works today as a professional strategic communications consultant and campaign strategist.

Mr. Seaver has successfully served as a campaign manager, communications director and field organizer on a wide variety of statewide referendum questions.

He also has proven experience in grassroots organizing for federal policy campaigns and running campaigns for candidates at the local level.