Archive for March 11th, 2009

Learning from Obama’s Volunteer Army: How To Put People to Work on Your Behalf

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Part Four of a six-part series

Attracting the largest army of supporters ever seen in a modern American election is one thing, but even more impressive is that the Obama campaign managed to put them to work — as online recruiters, as cash machines, but also as organizers, block-walkers and pro-Obama voices in their own communities. A critical problem for anyone running for office: if all you ask volunteers to do when they show up at your campaign headquarters is to stuff envelopes, their ranks are likely to melt away like the morning dew as they find better uses for their time. The Obama solution: borrow their brains, and use technology to make it possible. In part, this was through the MyBarackObama.com toolset:

The MyBO Web site served as the hub for electoral activities, with spokes that reached to an array of platforms, all of which drove conversation back to the Web site in order to engage the people, empower the voices, raise the money and get the boots on the ground needed to win the election.

“The Social Pulpit: Barack Obama’s Social Media Toolkit,” Edelman Digital Public Affairs, January 2009

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