Thursday, June 22, 2006

Politics and CGM

ClickZ has a story today on the use of Consumer Generated Media (CGM) and political campaigns. Ends up, it's important ;-)

Seriously, there's an important point in the article:
“The challenge as a political candidate is you don’t want to dampen anybody's enthusiasm, but you don’t want someone running your campaign who’s not you,” explained Mark SooHoo, VP of Campaign Solutions, a political consulting firm that works with right-wing candidates.
That is a critical point, and its worth noting that the source is a consultant working for right-wind candidates. I'm not talking about my own political leanings (although I have hugged a tree in my checkered past). But: it is fairly clear that the current conservatives are much better at creating points of differentiation versus the current liberals. Or, more to the point, the percieved position of liberals seems to be largely dependent upon where conservatives place them.

Conservatives have benefited in the recent past by keeping a firm grasp on talking points and positions. It is clear that they want to use the channels of CGM, but want that to be an amplifier of their messages. (see quote above, again). The liberal net-roots movements, however, tend to use these channels to be inclusive and for the goal of evolving opinions from a group of consistuents. More of a Wiki approach.

As to which is the more 'correct' use of the medium, I think you would have to say the liberal approach. Which is the more effective at controling messages and motivating voters? The inclusive approach has the distinct danger of appearing wishy-washy, and (dare we say it) flip-flopping.

OK. I'm no political consultant, and (again) this is not a forum for the discussion of issues or the presentation of my opinions...expect for those that relate to advertising effectively. I have to say that the use of CGM in political campaigns can benefit greatly from direction. But then, political campaigns have always benefitted from strong leaders.

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