Archive for September 5th, 2007

My Smart-Ass Mouth Lands Me in the Post

Well, in The Trail, which is absolutely fine, buh-lieve you me (howdy, newcomers). When Jose called to chat this afternoon about the extreme duration of Fred Thompson’s announcement video, I couldn’t resist firing off a couple of smartass-isms. Purists will fault them on technical grounds: as District Attorney, Arthur Branch rarely (if ever?) spoke in open court, though he did give dramatic speeches in his office or in chambers. Grammarians will note that either my syntax is fractured or I left out the word “staff” between “campaign” and “haven’t.” And Todd Zeigler and Mike Turk are just plain gonna kick my ass!

Gentlemen, I’m sure there were Very Good Communications Reasons for putting out a fifteen-minute web video and that it will be immensely successful. No doubt millions will ultimately bathe in its angelic glow, and I’m quite sure a bunch of ‘em will decide to absorb Fred’s solemn, yet reassuring message for an entire quarter-hour. You gotta admit, though, the first one was a pretty good line for having no warning. Heh!

cpd

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How Blogger Relations Differs from Traditional Media Relations

If you’ve ever seen a crack press team in action, you know the basics of media relations: you find the reporters covering your issues, get to know them, feed them good information and become a trusted source. Reporters and press people generally understand the rules — what’s on the record, what’s on background, what the difference is between a press release (which mimics a full story) and a statement (which is just designed to provide quotes). Basically, a mix of customs and social structures governs the relationship, and all sides are usually fairly clear about how the process works. For instance, reporters may hate bad press releases, but they generally recognize the value of a good one.

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Online Challenges for 2008, Part 1: Will TiVo Kill the Political Ad?

This is the first article in a series on the challenges facing political campaigns in 2008 and beyond (Editor’s note: which, alas, never came to pass.). Read the Introduction.

Let’s start with something simple, like a piece of technology that may turn out to be a political consultant’s worst enemy: the digital video recorder. TiVos will matter to political campaigns because television matters: candidates and their media consultants spend the vast majority of their money on television ads, and digital video recorders are going to let the targets of those ads dodge every single one of them if they want to. DVRs also illustrate a larger theme of this series: technology gives voters power at other times than just election day.

Twenty Percent and Growing

Digital video recorders have spread relatively quickly for a new piece of technology — since 2003, they’ve gone from only 2% of American households to 20%, in part because cable providers are pushing them heavily to customers. One of the main benefits to having a DVR is dodging commercials — some 84% of DVR owners consider ad-skipping to be a “very important” reason to own one. TiVos give consumers the power to determine which messages they receive and which ones they ignore.

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Online Challenges for 2008: Introduction

Eight months down; fourteen to go: since the online component of campaign 2008 kicked off in January, we’ve seen Hillary as Big Brother, Ron Paul as favorite son, Mike Gravel as crazy uncle, Obama drawing admiring eyes, a talking snowman drawing ire, McCain for gay marriage, Romney for abortion, Giuliani for prom queen and every candidate for as much online sugar as he or she can raise.

What have we really learned, though, about the challenges of political communications in a networked world? The era of broadcast communications is fast fading, and a world of niches and low barriers lies ahead. At the moment, the presidential campaigns are feeling their way across the same foggy ground as every other online communicator. Where have they stumbled? What obstacles and opportunities lie ahead? What will it take at all levels of politics to win in 2008 and beyond? This series of articles will look at these questions, using our experience of the last 8 months (and a dozen or so years) of online politics as a guide.

cpd

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