How political candidates must engage voters online
Republicans are starting to figure out how they can match the Obama campaign's online political machine, Politico reports. As far as I could tell, the GOP had and has no online game. They're starting from zero. My thoughts:
1. Find and support bloggers and commenters who can compete with Obama's online advocates and thugs. Romney got very little online support because he despises the media, bloggers and anyone who can think.
2. Recruit social media candidates, not folks who tweet news releases and polite platitudes the way Mitt Romney did and most Congressional candidates do.
3. Teach the congressional candidates who can write and who have the smarts to debate online to engage folks on FaceBook, twitter and the comments sections of their local papers and broadcasters.
4. Make sure that candidates write their online posts and are online whenever they aren't fundraising or meeting voters. Social media only works when there are two-way conversations and numerous respondents to candidates' posts.
5. Exploit databases that allow them to target supporters with relevant content, messages and fundraising appeals.
6. Beef up candidates' web sites. Publish candidates' goals, positions on issues, speeches, articles, and important posts along with supporting documents, bills, laws and regs. Go for the opinion leaders who use the web site4s to identify the candidates they will support.
7. Make sure that everything written, printed, published and said by a candidate includes several hard sales pitches for relevant social media, e-mail and web pages where voters can learn more and talk to the candidates.
8. Make candidates read their Facebook and twitter threads as well as comments about them by readers of sites like Politico, Daily Caller, FreeBeacon.com, WSJ.com, WashingtonPost.com, and on their local media web sites. Connect with voters by engaging them and showing that you have the guts to take risks for them.
9. Show people who comment and blog for a candidate that they're being read and heard by responding to them online and quoting a few of them in speeches and articles. Do something to show you're not in a sound proof, windowless bubble. Get people (not paid pundits or your paid online advocates) excited about being on your team.
10. Get political communications consultants out of the way. We don't believe them nor do we want to hear from them. If a candidate can't give a decent speech, write and engage voters online, that person shouldn't be in politics and will have a hard time winning an election. Ask Mitt Romney. He could give a C speech and write a B article, but he got an F from voters because he didn't engage or communicate with them. He never showed he was learning from the campaign.
GOP seeks to up its online game, by Emily Schultheis
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