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If I got a nickel for every time then VA Gubernatorial Democratic Candidate Creigh Deeds tweeted about being stuck in traffic, I'd be a millionaire. I couldn't stand his tweets leading up to the election:

"Back into the afternoon routine. Soutside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes keep me smiling and dialing,"

"Behind school buses near Buffalo Gap. Van Morrison keeps me company."

"Back on the road. The Who will provide the sound for awhile then will flip to some Dead."

According to the Washington Post, candidate Creigh Deeds saw twitter as a benefit to his campaign in the following prioritization:

"First, he said, he's trying to help the younger generation "understand their musical heritage, educate them a little bit... Second, he's trying to win [the Gubernatorial election]."

Really, man? Really?

That's it. I'm calling in the Geek Squad.

My friend Jeremy Epstein has published a New Media strategy titled "Dandelion Marketing". For this post I focus on twitter. Why the Dandelion?

The dandelion’s objective is to create really low-cost seeds that can be spread to as many places as possible and thereby maximize growth and the chance for future survival.

The 6 core pillars of the Dandelion Strategy are:

  1. Know the Commander’s Intent
  1. Everyone Is In marketing
  1. Brand: Feel Over look
  1. Agile marketing development
  1. High Fault tolerance
  1. Rapid Feedback loops

I cover two of the pillars, along with some choice tough love words from me for #twitterfail candidate Creigh Deeds.

1. know the Commander’s Intent

Jeremy recommends that you #1 job is to instruct your team about the ultimate goal of your
efforts.

Creigh Deeds failed in this regard, thinking it more important to give his 2,500 followers music tips in the heat of an election more than honing his electoral strategy. Subscribers to political candidates need to be bombarded at every opportunity with the overall message of a campaign, a message that is consistent. This is not just so that they can receive the message and file it away, which leads us to...

2. Everyone Is In marketing

Jeremy's 2nd rule of thumb is that everyone in the organization (regardless of role or title) must be empowered to act as a marketer and do it rapidly.

In order to ensure that your members can spread your message through innovative mediums and methods of their own, they need a consistent message to embody and then push out. They may change your message slightly, or even eventually convince you to change it yourself, but a candidate has the responsibility to give direction.

Mr. Deed's #twitterfail during the elections was a minor symptom, but symptom nonetheless, of a larger incohesive campaign. I sure hope future VA Democratic candidates embody the 6 pillars of the Dandelion Marketing Strategy.

Disclaimer: I put this together partially for a class assignment. We're trying out different new media methods to get people to visit Jeremy Epstein's piece.

Originally posted to Travis Ballie on Mon Apr 19, 2010 at 06:59 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Very good stuff (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AuroraDawn

    I hope every progressive who is running for office is given a primer with just this kind of information.  Well done!

  •  Wish I could tip you. (0+ / 0-)

    Creigh Deeds failed in this regard, thinking it more important to give his 2,500 followers music tips in the heat of an election more than honing his electoral strategy

    You aren't the only one to note the lack of tech savvy demonstrated by certain Dem candidates. Deeds is hardly the only guilty party. I suppose he thought posting about his all-time favorite tunes would humanize him. But honestly, I could care less about what's on a candidate's Ipod. I want to know what my candidates' positions are on relevant issues.

    The one thing Republicans have going for them is that they know how to market their message. They can sum up their policy positions (both false and factual) in few and simple terms, that are easily comprehensible, even to the most apathetic voter.

    "Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear." ~ British Prime Minister Wm. Gladstone

    by AuroraDawn on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 03:01:51 AM PDT

  •  Sent this on to a candidate (0+ / 0-)

    Wish you would write more like it... even if it is for a class assignment :)

  •  so instead of acting like a human (0+ / 0-)

    who gets stuck in traffic and enjoys good tunes, all candidates should "bombard [people] at every opportunity with the overall message of a campaign" and act like they're selling themselves, because we're not citizens or voters, we're consumers and buying stuff (or buying BS/marketing) is what we do.
    I know I'm displaying naive idealism, but I think this is ass-backwards. Modern marketing sucks, and applying it to politics sucks harder. Politics should be about ideas and policies, not your marketing strategy. Then maybe vacuous, clueless gasbags wouldn't get elected and reelected so often.

    On the other hand, though I don't even like or follow twitter, with those tunes on his/her stereo I'd have been far more likely to vote for a politician, whereas if I got constant spam about the latest talking points, I'd be less likely. I feel like this is not a matter of marketing but a cultural marker: if you like Morrison, the Who and the Dead, I feel it's safe to assume you are probably liberal enough for me.

    "I write in the night to bring truth to the light/ my dialog is my own, 'cause smooth people never bite" Smooth B

    by joey c on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 10:06:14 AM PDT

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