Wednesday, July 9, 2008

John McCain Where Are You - Part I

In 1960 when a small contraption called a television was becoming popular in American homes, Republican Richard Nixon ignored the power of the medium and it contributed to loss of his Presidential bid to JFK. Now 48 years later it seems as if another Republican candidate is ignoring the power of the internet and may meet the same fate.

Today as I was looking through the news this morning and came across this article in The New York Times about Chris Hughes – who is one of the founders of Facebook – and how he has headed up Barack Obama’s new media efforts. I started to think about how the candidates are using the internet to communicate to voters and realized I haven’t really seen anything from the McCain Campaign. I then did a quick search and all I found was his myspace page and quickly became disappointed.

Senator McCain and his campaign need to wake up and realize the power of new media. Especially if you consider that we are in a political environment where many people are disappointed with the Republican Party and view the current National problems as the shortcomings of the party. If they were smart McCain would harness the power of the internet to communicate how he would return the country to an era of growth and prosperity.

Some suggestions to bolster his online presence could be :

- Show some personality on the myspace page – who is John McCain
- Revamp the blog – Shorten up the content, incorporate video and images.
- Get someone to Twitter regularly and have a link for people to follow on each of the McCain sites
- Encourage supporters to get on youtube
- Give supporters an arena to discuss issues with voters who are undecided
- Provide a means for supporters to connect with others who share the common interest of getting Senator McCain to the presidency
- Find out what issues are important to visitors and send them targeted updates/messages

In general they need to think about how voters are searching for information and make an effort to provide information in those channels.

You have to give Hughes and his team the credit they deserve and applaud them for a job well done in effectively using multiple online tools to connect voters - more to come on this later.

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