When Sam Graham-Felsen — chief blogger for the 2008 Obama Presidential Election Campaign — dedicated a post to the 75,000th campaign donor, it was not because of the donation amount.
Instead, Graham-Felsen showcased the unique story of a supporter who felt he could finally tell his daughter that she could achieve anything she desired.
On Monday night, writer, speaker, filmmaker and new-media strategist Graham-Felsen spoke to approximately 20 students in Communication professor Ken Winneg’s “New Media and Politics” class at the Annenberg School for Communication, providing an inside look at what made President Barack Obama’s new-media campaign successful.
Graham-Felsen spoke about many different aspects of the new-media campaign, including facing opposition and soliciting donations while always expressing the importance of the supporter.
“We were putting our supporters first,” Graham-Felsen said. “We were demonstrating that they were the superstars of the campaign.”
Graham-Felsen explained that the line “‘you have the power,’” taken from unsuccessful Democratic presidential nominee Howard Dean, became the building blocks for the Obama campaign. He attributed Dean’s failure to his inability to harness the energy of people.
Graham-Felsen revealed how to raise excitement — letting supporters organize themselves. The campaign achieved this by allowing anyone open access to start a blog on My.BarrackObama.com, encouraging people to host their own political support parties and utilizing user-generated content. “It wasn’t about Obama. It was about the grassroots movement that happened around Obama,” Graham-Felsen said.
“It was great getting perspective from someone who was really involved with the new-media process with the Obama campaign,” said College senior Roxanne Pogue.
College junior Stacey Warren, who has never been interested in politics, said “time really flew by for me. I felt like I was not only learning a lot but I felt like I was being entertained.”
That is exactly why Winneg invited Graham-Felsen: “He can teach us what works, what can work.”
In April, Winneg plans to bring Republican editor of the blog “Capitol Hill Tweet Watch Report” Danny Glover and Faye Anderson, founder of Tracking Change, a platform for activists to share information and promote the empowerment of the African American community. “I don’t want to just give a democratic approach to the students,” Winneg said.Comments powered by Disqus
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