Social Engangement, Obama-stylePosted by laurie in blog October 31, 2008
‘It would take an affair with a gay terrorist to knock Obama off his road to victory’
Thankfully, I subsequently read a blog that reassured me to some extent that securing an Obama victory is less likely to come down to heterosexuality than to an awesome campaign of social engagement that has seen ‘Obama-mania’ spread across the planet like fungus across an apple on a time-lapse nature programme.
It tells the story of an Obama supporter in Florida, who along with 230,000 others like her, are doing a lot of the campaign communications legwork. More importantly, they are doing it more effectively and on a grander scale than BO ever could, or anyone else ever has.
How? According to the blog, it’s down to ‘Internet, Databases and Psychology’. Aha! I thought, sounds suspiciously like the ingredients for a behaviour-change communications cocktail…
And sure enough, upon further examination, Team Obama seems to be putting our Rules to exemplary use. Here are a couple of ways how:
Yes we can
It’s aspirational, it’s optimistic, it’s direct and linked to the big picture. And, as Henry’s previous blog pointed out, it’s even gone viral. Scarily so.
Taking a leaf/profile (and a co-founder) out of Facebook, Camp Obama launched their social network myBO to encourage peer-to-peer communication. Spreading messages this way is a great for building social proof around mass movements, as people are inclined to trust the messenger (a friend, not a politician). It also helps bring a worldwide phenomenon down to the personal level – helping John Doe relate national policies with global implications to small-town America.
Help people to help
People want to be useful. Give a patriotic Pennsylvanian the tools and the words, and they’re bursting to do their bit. Camp O provides printable campaign materials from policies to banners and rewards people for using them – hit that glory button!
I could go on.
(Of course, it also helps to have an advertising budget that runs to 8 figures, and an incarnation of evil on the opposite bill…)