Posted on: May 3, 2011

As I have previously discussed, politicians can successfully use social media in public relations to gain authenticity and popularity as part of their PR campaign. Current US president Barack Obama is the perfect example of this. His brilliant use of the Internet will be studied as a textbook example of a campaign in which he used every channel possible. The campaign will be studied within the political world for bucking history and actually getting young voters to cast their vote.

Obama’s ability to motivate his supporters was largely a result of his charm, charisma and his language skills. But it was his community organizing skills that were valuable in getting his volunteers to actually do stuff. During the campaign, social media and social networking were such a huge aspect, and his team used sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote the campaign. It was central to his grassroots movement, and his my.barackobama.com initiative was a stunning success. The website provided supporters the tools to identify Obama voters and ensure they voted. By the end of the campaign my.barackobama.com chalked up some 1.5 million accounts, and Obama raised a record breaking $600 million in contributions from more than three million people, many of whom donated through the web.  

As the campaign continued, the internet grew from being the medium of a core group of political professionals to a gateway for millions of ordinary Americans to participate in the political process, donating their spare time to their candidate through online campaign tools.

In many ways, the story of Obama’s campaign was the story of his supporters, whose creativity and enthusiasm manifested through websites and YouTube videos online. It was clearly the best use of the web in a political campaign. His presidency and his popularity owes much of its success to his command of the Internet as a fundraising and organising tool.

Myspace – Obama gained 30% more friends than Clinton.

Facebook – Obama gained 6 times more friends than Clinton.

Youtube –  daily viewership of Obama’s videos – app. 45 million absolutely surpassed those about Clinton – 12 million

An article on mashable talks about how he has continued to use social media even after he was elected president. His PR team and perhaps himself regularly contrinbute to his Twitter account, Facebook page and blogs. On his Facebook page there have  been a nonstop news feed of videos, links, and pictures, and he is the number one page at the moment. Even after his succes, him and his team continue to gain authenticity through regularly contributing online.

You can find the mashable article here: http://mashable.com/2009/07/04/obama-social-media-scorecard/


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