State of The Union: insights into Obama re-election campaign

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In a couple of hours Barack Obama goes out live on television across the US to give his State of The Union speech were he sets out what his agenda is for the next 12 months. This one is key because it is his opening salvo in the forthcoming presidential election.

The Obama campaign put out a training video on YouTube explaining how to run a State of The Union watching party, where people host a group in their own home, debate what they would like to see in the speech and then watch it together. As an outsider I found certain aspects of it fascinating:

  • The whole concept of a meet-up in my house for a political event was something I found a bit uncomfortable, but it seems to be part of American culture
  • The amount of software the campaign uses to support these events and harvest prospective voter contact details out of them
  • The primary goal seemed to be to garner contact details for email and SMS purposes – a prospective voter acquisition strategy
  • It was also a learning organisation; looking to get lessons learned from the sessions on how they could go better in the future
  • They made a point of de-emphasising social media as a tool to garner invitations and encouraged people to reach out in person or on the phone instead – which I thought was interesting. Social media was a channel, but not the primary one