Social Media / Marketing in 2006 Elections

In their 2006 election coverage, National Public Radio (NPR) interviewed Joe Trippi, 2004’s campaign manager for Howard Dean and the author of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything.Trippi highlights how social media technology introduced in the past two (2) years is changing the relationship with voters (or in marketing lingo: prospects and customers). I found his example of the Nixon and Kennedy debate very telling.The example: Radio listeners thought that Nixon was the clear winner of the debate because of Nixon’s handling of the questions.Television watchers, a new medium, clearly placed the win on Kennedy due to his youthful face and clean-shaven , prepped-for-viewers look.It reminded me of the “marketers” quest for sick web sites, colorful paper collateral with killer logos, and ad copy with the catchiest of phrases or images to attract attention.Today, the he new medium of social media with pages on Facebook and MySpace, podcasts, and the journalistic efforts of millions of opinionated bloggers can add new voices to the traditional “polished” face being presented by media, marketing, and political consultants.Businesses need to thing outside the box of traditional marketing and promotional options.