Obama’s presidential campaign has been held up as one of the most successful and galvanizing political races in recent history. It’s clear that the Obama team was innovative in using social media and universal themes (such as “change” and “hope”) to appeal to all voters.
Now that philosophical themes have given way to real-life legislation, the Obama team has new lessons to share with the public relations community — particularly how to translate campaign promises into detailed legislation, mobilized constituents and nitty-gritty details. In the words of Real World (which, coincidentally, is filming in Washington right now), “what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real?”
- Depend on loyal supporters in times of crisis — The biggest mistake we’ve seen so far has been the underestimating of the town hall meetings. Democratic leaders and Obama supporters have been slow to respond to the town hall meetings; instead, it appears that only critics of the upcoming health care bill are the only ones that care about health care reform.If our organization is being attacked, we should encourage brand loyalists to defend us. Obama is using the same e-mail list of the supporters he gathered during the campaign to share legislation and action steps for his followers, a great way to translate the momentum he gathered during the campaign to legislative steps toward health care reform.