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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).