As an online publisher, I regularly contact authors I feel the public may want to hear from. Recently, my office emailed individual invitations to Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Barack Obama, and Senator John McCain, inviting each Presidential candidate to blog about how he or she will change healthcare in the United States after he or she becomes President.
Though not enough time has elapsed to allow for a personal response from each Senator, my office has received a thank you email from the offices of both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton. The Obama reply was personalized using my first name, whereas Clinton’s said, “Dear Friend.” Senator McCain’s office has sent nothing.
This is the last we’ve heard from Clinton as well, but Obama’s office has continued to generate email messages about the purpose of his campaign: the two-front challenge the Senator is facing, the big endorsement he’s received from Governor Bill Richardson, and even a video message about voter registration in Pennsylvania. Most emails are signed by Senator Obama’s Campaign Manager, David Plouffe, but all include viable links to the campaign’s website.
Each email invites me to assist in the Obama for America campaign by pledging further donations for even as little as $25, encouraging others to register to vote, or by watching videos about what’s happening in the race. The purpose is to keep potential voters aware of the surging campaign.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project reports that “62% of all Americans are part of a wireless, mobile population that participates in digital activities away from home or work.” This means that these people are receiving news via their cell phones, blackberrys, or laptops even while they are away from their desktop computers and television sets. Interestingly, the majority of wireless users are young adult Americans, Hispanics, and African Americans.
Approximately 80% of U.S. adults go online, and the number is growing, reaching more and more Americans. An example of how political marketing online is used can be seen at The Huffington Post, where Barack Obama recently blogged about his faith and his church. The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management released a study this month–Best Practices for Political Advertising Online. To reach voters online, they’ve found that online readers are seeking authenticity, spam is not acceptable, and word-of-mouth continues online with the ability to share the news. The Web is also to be considered a routine media channel for most demographic groups and its users are active and passionate about their political interests.
Senators Clinton and McCain, where are you in this online, internet, WiFi connected world? Why are you not bothering to reach out to Americans online as Obama has? Is it no wonder that Senator Obama has become a video rockstar? Dare I say, this one difference may make all the difference.
Just in today–an invitation to dinner with the Senator–for a donation of course.