Tweet the Power!

August 15, 2009

Twenty years ago, the rap group Public Enemy dropped one of the greatest rap songs of all time, Fight the Power! It appears two decades later, my brothers and sisters from across the pond have begun to fight the power via twitter.
Gordo brownOver the past week, I’ve been trying to master social media in the UK, it turns out that Gordon Brown,  Britain’s Prime Minister, would provide one of the best examples of social media mobilization campaign. The Leader of the Labour Party has begun to defend Britain’s National Healthcare System (NHS) by joining a Twitter campaign defending the health service from attacks by Republicans intent on derailing President Obama’s healthcare bill.

Britons angry at the attacks have organised a campaign on the micro-blogging site, which has also been joined by the health secretary, Andy Burnham. The social networking site crashed yesterday with the volume of messages for the #welovethenhs campaign.

twitterIt is because of a social media tool like twitter that this cross continental campaign is possible. This will no doubt be an exciting exploration of how social media tools impacting politics. This situation wasn’t created in a vacuum but a culmination of several factors.
UK is an engaged social networking community. Of the 34 million internet users, 27 million actively visited a social network site. However, individuals in London are leaders and are even more actively engaged. The city was recently declared as the new twitter capital of the world. The city has embraced the idea of creating a community on line to share and communicate. They have taken it a step further and have mobilized to influence change and stand up for themselves.
Moreover, this situation has generated additional attention because of the use of traditional media as well. Brown and other ministers have begun campaigning on American soil giving interviews to tell and share their story and not let the country be exploited and misrepresented unfairly by the hard right.
I can’t help but wonder would American’s collectively rise up against another country via social media? I doubt most Americans would rally around just one issue in another country. We all know the exploits of the Obama campaign to use social media to secure the election. However, this case should serve as a solid reminder to US politicians to remember that politics are no longer local, but global. 2009 may serve as another summer where we’ll see power may belong to the people as you gotta Tweet the Power!


PR Parlay for Swedish Politics

June 28, 2009

sweden_general electionAs political public relations strategists place their bets on outreach plans, we’re finding the plan must be a parlay linking together both traditional and modern outreach practices. The ultimate success of these plans are dependent on both practices winning together.

As the 2010 Swedish general elections are approaching, more and more emphasis is being put on building political party brands with communities. Popular parliament parties such as The Moderates and the Social Democrats have engaged in social media outreach and are leading political pr strategies in Sweden, however; there is still no formal political social media communication strategy in place for any Swedish political party.

Social media outreach is quickly becoming a matter of state as Swedish parliament is branching out from typical campaign strategies and adopting social media to build on their pr portfolio strategies.

The Picks.

The picks for the linked strategy include both traditional and modern outreach strategies. While digital strategies will help parties build communities online, in-person engagement and traditional outreach is still a necessity.

The Odds.

Win-win. Win-lose. Lose-lose. If one assumes that the success of each single plan is a coin flip and is expected to pay out at 1:1, the true payout should instead be 3:1, a substantial difference.

The Payout.

The benefit of this parlay of a political outreach plan is that there are much higher payoffs than executing one strategy over the other since the difficulty of winning with one strategy it is much higher.

Creating a political brand using both on and off-line strategies will equip each competitor with the ability to engage communities using an array of media. The strategy will be not to use these digital strategies – but to actually engage and build online communities through social media.

At the conclusion of the 2010 Swedish general election, it will be interesting to measure the value of each plan – plans encompassing a parlay of both traditional and modern strategies – and plans that encompass only one strategy.

The end result will help pr strategists across the globe determine which plan worked most effectively in Sweden and leverage lessons learned for future elections in Sweden and around the globe.