Impressions on the Social Age

So, You Want to be a Successful Campaign?

Posted in Reading Response by Trace on May 12, 2010

Engaging the public in an Internet age is not necessarily more difficult than engaging the public previously. If anything according to Rosenblatt, Delany and Rigby, it would seem to be easier to reach, offer influence and recruit individuals. The problem is not access, but organization and strategy.

The days of driving the megaphone through the center of town are not gone, but the megaphone has evolved into a series of electronic pages. Instead of driving it through town you create the data on a server and shout your message into people’s email inboxes and social networks. Additionally, the campaign cannot use the hypodermic needle theory, they need to engage and respect their audience (who are often NOT the general public, but subsets of that public known as publics). In the age of engaged publics who can communicate and search for your campaign, you need to respect and value their input from the ground level. If you don’t care, then why are you even soliciting it?

First, we must recognize how the public communicate. Rosenblatt says there are different ways of reaxching out and different ways the public communicate. One dimensional is one way communication, the campaign (you) to the public. Two dimensional adds the preference of the campaign to listen to what the public is saying, and the third dimension adds the ability for the public to communicate two-way with you, and each other.

For me, I feel the third dimension is almost more broad than it needs to be, coming from a science background I split the third dimension into a fourth (mentally speaking), a time dimension. Your public not only can communicate with you back and forth, and each other back and forth, but they have access to nearly unlimited background resources, and their communique are saved in the cloud forever; a searchable, history of the conversations your campaign and your publics have had since you launched your first website and sent your first emails.

With communication technology expanding into the Internet realm, the term Web 2.0 has become more and more popular. Rigby’s book on mobilizing using Web 2.0 offers instructional bases for utilizing the various platforms of Web 2.0. Interestingly, he adds oft overlooked sections. The poster child for Internet campaigning, social networking, is only one part of the puzzle. Virtual worlds like World of Warcraft and Second Life can be used. So can mobile phones, wikis and even the act of embedding a map within a website.

Where Rosenblatt talks of the process of communicating with the public in a more general way, Delany discusses the campaign strategy in a step-by-step way. Breaking down the online formats into specific strategies. The word strategy is key here, as Delany makes implicit again and again, the key to a campaign’s success is not the righteousness of the message but the organization, focus and deliberation that the goes into the marketing of that message.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Trace Dominguez. Trace Dominguez said: /NEW BLOG/ Want to learn about Internet Advocacy? Web 2.0 Campaigning & the Dimensions of Comm. http://wp.me/pV6s8-7 #AUcomm551 #pr #u30pro […]


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