Half-Right on the Massachusetts Left
January 18, 2010 4 Comments
I read David Meerman Scott‘s article on the Huffington Post today, about how the social media divide may be very telling in the close Massachusetts Senate race.
I believe that David is half-right. Read the article (it’s well-thought-out). In it, David decries that poor efforts the Coakley campaign has made to use new media to reach voters, compared to the Brown campaign, and especially to the prior Obama campaign.
The Coakley campaign is underestimating the importance of social media and the new rules of marketing and PR.
John McCain relied on what worked to elect George W. Bush and he lost mainly because of social media. Now Martha Coakley is relying on the playbook that elected Ted Kennedy and she may lose because of social media too.
Now, while it is true that the Coakley campaign does appear to be pretty sparse in its use of networking tools, I think the most substantive divide is not the tools – it’s the passion. Passion + networking will bring about success. However, networking tools without passion won’t cut it.
Martha Coakley, the candidate, is not inspiring (positive) passion. Scott Brown is. And that is a primary reason why his networking efforts will be more successful. It’s not just how you highlight the use of tools. It’s whether you ignite people, who will then use the tools themselves. There’s no excuse for any campaign to poorly employ Facebook, Twitter, and other tools. But these approaches cannot, in and of themselves, inspire people when the candidate does not.
True in business. True in politics. True everywhere.
Or am I missing something here?
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