A successful campaign team must consider how to communicate the message of the campaign, recruit volunteers, and raise money. Campaign communication strategies draws on techniques from traditional and new media advertisement. The internet and social media have given birth to a new political communication channel called Digital Democracy. Digital Democracy has become the core element of modern political campaigns. Digital democracy utilizes communication technologies such as e-mail, websites, social media sites, viral videos, and podcasts to foster meaningful communication channels for citizens or political movements to deliver messages to their target audience. In a political campaign, emerging media can be used for cause-related fundraising, lobbying, volunteering, and community building, and organizing.
- Digital democracy improves political information retrieval and exchange between governments, public administrations, representatives, political and community organizations and individual citizens.
- Digital democracy supports public debate, deliberation and community formation.
- Digital democracy enhances participation in political decision-making by citizens.
Signifying the importance of social media and digital democracy, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign relied heavily on social media and new media channels to engage voters, recruit campaign volunteers, raise campaign funds, and crowd source opinions on key political topics. Obama’s campaign ponted the spotlight on the importance of using the internet in new-age political campaigning by utilizing various forms of social media and new media including Facebook, YouTube and a custom generated social engine to reach and engage target populations. The campaign’s social website,my.BarackObama.com, provided a low cost and efficient method to mobilize voters and increase participation among various voter populations. This strategy was incredibly successful at reaching the younger population while helping all populations organize and encourage civic engagement and action. Today, the most effective and popular podiums in the political world are social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Many of my colleagues that work in the consulting industry believe that social networking sites will replace many of the tools campaigns have come to rely on, such as “in person” grassroots organizations, direct mail, and large television advertising budgets. Some have even forecast that campaigns with big social media presence will no longer need websites and e-mail lists.