Posts Tagged ‘ Politics ’

Political Class Must Embrace Social Media

At my day job, we’ve been talking a lot lately about how the convergence of two major trends presents unique opportunities for companies, marketers and individual brands. Said trends are 1.) the continued contraction of print media (and other traditional media) and 2.) the emergence of social media as marketing tools.

What we’ve been preaching is that, yes, while it’s true that the shrinking of traditional media means shrinking news holes, making it increasingly difficult for one to leverage the media to execute on mass communications strategies, new media are experiencing explosive growth, opening windows where traditional doors have closed.

Under this new communications paradigm, marketers find themselves in the role of publisher, where previously they had served strictly in the capacity of publicist. That is, companies are retaining marketers to help generate unique content—blogs, videos, fan pages, microblogs—without filters and wholly owned, then delivering that content directly to their various constituents, where it can be shared with peers (the masses), bypassing the third-party media altogether.

All of which got me thinking about politics. For years, politicians on both sides of the aisle have bemoaned their perceived biases in the traditional media, complaining that they cannot effectively get their entire messages out to the masses without it being filtered or misinterpreted by the media delivering the message. Conservatives in particular have voiced their gripes about the “liberal media,” asserting that the playing field is not level, and that Democrats are receiving an unfair advantage in the press.

Which brings me back to my day job. If you’re a politician or involved in political movements of any kind, it’s time to stop complaining about the powers that traditional media hold and how they control the news Americans see. No longer. The power is your hands…it lay unbridled in the form of social media…all you need to do is embrace the new paradigm and harness the power.

The way we consume news has changed. We don’t wait for it to be delivered to our doorstep any longer. Instead, we go out and find it…the news we want to consume. We use RSS readers to pull in our preferred news items; we rely on our peers to serve as trusted filters through which to provide news from various sources; we value blogs nearly as highly as legacy media when it comes to delivering reliable information, with or without opinion.

Conservatives, you’ve already been through this, with much-publicized success. It was talk radio that emerged as your antidote to big media’s poison in the late 1980s. And you owned, and continue to own, the space. However, this most recent election cycle seemed to suggest that the Left was quicker to the social media train, better organized, and outperformed the Right with respect to social media.

Conservatives, by the very raw definition of the word, can be slow to change. This is no time to hesitate. With respect to media and mass communications, social media is certainly change you can believe in. In fact, you must.

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