Campaigning in a Digital Age

Donegal on Sunday
Originally written for 200 Words

If you’re a local election candidate, or running in the European elections in June, you’ve probably been contacted once or twice by now with offers to add some Obama Magic to your campaign.

Maybe you got an email from miCandidate, or a text message from Marty Dunleavy.

If you did, delete it.

True, Barack Obama did build an impressive campaign, using new media tools like twitter, facebook and youtube.

But he also used old media, giving press, radio and TV interviews.

Word has it he even met the voters, and made a few decent speeches.

Meeting the voters, writing to them, and getting your message across through the local newspaper or radio are all still good campaigning methods. And so too are new media tools.

But remember, Barack spent four years running for the White House, patiently building support through traditional and innovative methods.

It’s a really bad idea to sign up for a new media package to Obamify your campaign seven weeks before the vote.

Do that, and you won’t look clued in. You’ll look desperate.

If you want to do an Obama, stick to the fundamentals. Build a network. But don’t think you can buy one readymade.