Old Media, New Media, And The Vote Today


I awoke to a message in my Inbox urging me to go to the polls (in Georgia) today. The email contained a handy link, which I clicked-on, to Georgia’s Secretary of State’s Poll Locater tool, just in case I needed not only a reminder, but also directions on where exactly to go vote today.

Funny thing is though, this useful and very timely email blast didn’t come from any local or state office or campaign. Rather, it came from the Obama campaign. (With, of course, an option to donate to the Obama campaign while I was busy preparing to go vote in Georgia today.)

In other forms of political-minded communications about voting today, I got a constant stream of same-ole same ole, processed-sounding pre-recorded messages last night, tailored for answering machines not humans, from various campaigns around my district and state – to my cell phone number. Somebody’s been selling cell phone numbers to local campaigns. (And the numerous folk running for Sheriff of Fulton County sure are buying ‘em too.)

I’ll find out later who’s behind that highly annoying campaign technique, as after hearing Dale Cardwell’s signature squeeky voice on one message alone, I immediately hung-up on all these type of calls. They were universally phoney-sounding and utterly uninspiring, just deletable pre-recorded junk voice mail.

In traditional media buys, I saw Jim Martin and Dale Cardwell and Vernon Jones and others on forgettable, expensive ads on local TV news, signaling me it was time to get up and load the dishwasher. In earned media, Fox 5-WAGA had a nice wrap-around package at 10pm on 4 out of 5 of the U.S. Senate Dems’ day of street-level campaigning, with video from each’s face-to-face, hand-shake from the side walk, mostly in the Midtown Atlanta area. Heck, if I wasn’t so lazy, I could have watched ‘em all live and not just viewed ‘em waving to honking cars on TV.

When it comes down to it though, the only campaign communications I’ve paid the slightest bit of attention to were ones coming from my PERSONAL, PRE-SELECTED, SELF-CONTROLLED SOCIAL NETWORK, Facebook in this case: one from U.S. Senate candidate Rand Knight’s campaign, inviting me to a primary returns party tonight, conveniently located just a block from my house. And a personal Facebook message from another U.S. Senate candidate, Josh Lanier.

I’ll be interested to see if Knight’s youthiness and outreach during his campaign with social media tools, such as Facebook, will inspire a younger demo to the polls today. If Knight ends-up in a runoff, it will be because of his ability to leverage social media tools… not because of anything related to traditional media. Although I must say his traditional signage efforts have been good, least around the Buckhead/Midtown area.

But I no longer put much faith in anything “traditional” with the political process nowadays. I want it only where I have asked it to be: texted to my iPhone, on my Facebook, in my Inbox.

Thanks Obama! And now I’ll go vote, at the place you conveniently reminded me about.

One response »

  1. Thanks for your tweet yesterday. Too bad Knight didn’t fare better. A win could’ve helped improve campaigns down the road. Sandi


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