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The (he)art of campaigning October 25, 2010

Posted by alessiofalcohse in Blogroll.
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Barack Obama has been the first internet and social-network-oriented President in the history of U.S. In his online oriented political campaign, he took the hazard that paid off (Castell 2009).

However, many people still wonder whether social networks with their tremendous communication capabilities really help in achieving prestige, popularity and eventually success. Other might ask if reputation really links to specific communication channels. In my opinion, the next paragraph provides the skeptics with evidence that social campaigning on the web is one of the keys to success.

First, through wise multimodal communication, the African American President was capable of mobilizing and involving an unprecedented number of young people. It is of note that the majority of this electorate voted for Obama. In addition to this, the presence at polling booths increased for the first time in history of the U.S. political elections and many rooted prejudices and stereotypes against the African-American community were overridden. These are just a few of the outstanding achievements that the Afro-American President fulfilled through an emotionally oriented online communication. In other words, social networks and emotions paid off.

Second, the candidate’s image and therefore reputation also benefited from his social networks oriented and highly emotional political campaign. In my opinion, B. Obama was perceived as more appealing because it conveyed not only beliefs and opinions, but also desires, dreams and ultimately emotions. In this regard, the Afro-American President was perceived as more intelligent, successful, smarter, reliable and compassionate than his opponents. (D.Daye 2008 – Obama McCain Political Brand Analysis Results). Again, his emotionally engaging interaction paid off. Several examples about emotional engagement may be mentioned, however, the worldwide slogan of the campaign “yes, we can” is the more appropriate simply because for the first time in U.S. history a single emotion gathered together citizens from all walks of life.

In conclusion, as documented in Castells (2009), voters ended up voting for Obama not only because of the message: change. What made people support and ultimately vote for the Democratic leader was an emotion: hope. A single emotion shared with millions of voters on the web was the driving force that mobilized an impressive number of voters. In this light, emotion and the communication capabilities of social networks should be taken into consideration by any company looking to succeed in its marketplace. To sum it up: “Wherever you go, no matter what the weather; always bring your own sunshine (Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book).



Campaign-oops: No pressure October 4, 2010

Posted by salla in Blogroll.
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There has been an interesting PR campaign scandal going on during the weekend. On Friday, 10:10 Global, a campaign aiming to courage individuals to help stop global warming by reducing their CO2 emission by 10%, published a video promoting their campaign.

The basic idea of the video is something like “it’s a free choice, but if you don’t participate you will be excecuted” as the clip shows different stories where those not participating are blown to pieces. And yes, with all the visual effects borrowed from horror movies. The people behind the campaign say their idea was to make people laugh.

This rather interesting approach for an environmental campaign brought up some pretty angry comments for example in Twitter, and was also pointed out by media. Soon the video was removed from the campaign site and replaced with an official apologize. Naturally, there are several copies of the clip around in YouTube only and the complaints are still swelling. Is all publicity good publicity here? At least people are talking.

And, we do need to give two credits for 10:10 of being open and transparent: Firstly, they are not making any attempt to censor or remove other versions of the video circulating online. Secondly, they have been busy answering and apologizing people’s tweets the past few days. Sounds like a conversation to me.