ComPRehension

Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
October 15, 2007

Campaigning on YouTube and in Second Life: How Much Will Web 2.0 Matter in the 2008 Election?


This fall the 2008 presidential race will really heat up (if you thought we were in the midst of it now, just you wait). To explore the impact of the ongoing convergence of new media and politics, I will be discussing “Campaigning on YouTube and in Second Life: How Much Will Web 2.0 Matter in the 2008 Election?” For several minutes we’ll take a look at and discuss the role and impact of Web 2.0 applications on modern-day American politics.  Since the last presidential campaign we’ve seen that candidates are continually learning that the Internet is more than just a fund-raising tool. Rather, savvy campaign staffers are implementing the Web as an integral piece of their overall communications strategy. However, a seminal question remains: Is it possible to convert online buzz surrounding a candidate or an issue into actual votes at the ballot box come election day? And if so, who’s really meeting this new media communications challenge best?We’ll also look at how Web 2.0 has changed the old political campaign communications model and created a new influence model simply by taking online communications to the next level, giving each of the candidates the chance to have their voices heard via numerous online community building, social networking, and user generated content sites. 

My presentation will delve into how candidates are using their campaign sites, as well as various types of Web 2.0 applications such as blogs, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Second Life, and discuss their effect and popularity, especially among the generation Y crowd, on the presidential races.  These resources have opened the discussion beyond the mainstream media and provide new opportunities for the average citizen to voice their opinion and determine what is newsworthy.  As a result, the public is playing a more vital role in news media, which is changing the dynamic for traditional presidential campaign strategies. 

As a result of this public engagement through interactive media methods, the election process is able to reach, engage and educate a younger and broader audience more effectively, which my panel will address from a public affairs practitioner’s perspective.  As we prepare for this panel discussion, I’ve pulled examples of how presidential candidates are engaging online. Which Web 2.0 application do you feel has the most impact?

YouTube.comhttp://www.youtube.com/debates
MySpace.comhttp://impact.myspace.com/
Campaign site examplehttp://johnedwards.com/recipe/pecan-pie/


I can’t wait to talk with you on the teleseminar.

By Torod Neptune, senior vice president and leader, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide’s Global Public Affairs Practice, as well as general manager of its Washington, D.C. office is a communications strategist and business advisor with over 17 years of experience. Torod is highly regarded for directing some of the most complex public affairs, public policy, regulatory and crisis communications campaigns for a range of industries, NGOs, issue coalitions and foreign governments. His clients have included the United Nations development Program, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade & Economic Cooperation, GlaxoSmithKline, MasterCard Worldwide, LG.Philips, Nike and Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile USA. Join Neptune for his teleseminar “From Your Inbox to the Ballot Box: How Social Media Won the White House” on Thursday, January 29, 2009.

  • Jim Stewart

    I saw the presentation and thought it was great. Is the powerpoint presentation that was used available online?