February 6, 2010

How Scott Brown LOLed All the Way to his Senate Seat - PCWorld

How Scott Brown LOLed All the Way to his Senate Seat - PCWorld

A fascinating and well-written account of the use of social networks to create the momentum and raise the money that elected a Republican in Democrat-dominated Massachusetts. The seat owned by the Kennedys for decades decisively went to Scott Brown from Wrentham, just a few miles from my birthplace. Not only did Scott Brown come from practically nowhere to beat the hapless Attorney General Coakley and stun the Democrats' political establishment nationwide, his election changed the game in Washington even before he was sworn in as the 41st Republican senator.

Any serious candidate for public office should read and heed the strategy and tactics described here. Without a savvy campaign team exploiting these online tools, a candidate will have no chance against one who understands and leverages the deep value of the internet.

Read the full story. If you don't understand the language, the tools, or their relevance in what the Brown campaign accomplished, it's time you came up to speed on the value and the pervasiveness of these free social networking assets.

As an aside, Facebook this week surpassed 400,000,000 users; that's nearly 7% of our planet's population...and the company didn't exist 6 years ago!

An excerpt describing the power and reach of Brown's vibrant, social-media based campaign

"...On Jan. 9, Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-affiliated polling firm, reported that Brown was leading Coakley by one point. On Jan. 11, the Brown campaign launched a one-day effort to raise $500,000 online, a project dubbed the moneybomb.

The "Moneybomb" Detonates

Campaign workers tracked the contributions, reaching the goal by noon, and then topping $750,000 by late afternoon. "We were kind of watching on Twitter, and Facebook, and the blogs, and the volunteers were saying, 'I think we can go to a million,'" Luidhardt recalls. In response, the campaign chiefs set a new goal of $1 million. By midnight, the total was over $1.3 million. The next day, the campaign raised the same amount again, and nearly $1.7 million the day after that.

"You can't say social media made this happen," LaRosa says. "But without it, it couldn't have happened….It was the network set-up online that responded."

Over the entire campaign, more than $12 million was raised, with Twitter being one of the largest fund-raising channels, according to Luidhardt. The influx of funds made it possible to pour a flood of money in the campaign's last 10 days on conventional campaign tools such as TV, newspaper and radio ads..."

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