Thinking Digitally Isn't A Separate Job Function For A Campaign Either

from the everyone-should-be-thinking-digitally dept

A year ago, we noted the silliness of companies having a separate “Chief Digital Officer” by noting that thinking digitally isn’t a job function — it’s something that everyone at a company needs to take into account. Having a digital strategy isn’t something you compartmentalize. It’s something that has to be understood across the board. It appears that political campaigns don’t quite understand this yet. David Weinberger points to political consultant Zack Exley, who is complaining about campaigns asking him to help them hire an “internet person” for their campaigns. He points out that the internet shouldn’t be a separate part of the campaign — but that the entire campaign staff needs to understand and make use of the internet. So, for all the talk of how digitally aware campaigns are this election season, perhaps the real turning point will be when the internet doesn’t have its own separate strategy, but is simply a part of the overall strategy.

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Comments on “Thinking Digitally Isn't A Separate Job Function For A Campaign Either”

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Shaun says:

Re: Re:

I second that, if they don’t know enough about “this internet thing” then it would probbably wise to hire an “internet person”, or perhps “chief digital officer” is a better term to teach them how and to help them intergrate the internet into part of their strategies.

On the other hand they probably arn’t thinking of it this way, instead they would think of the way you seem to be taking it: someone to manage the internet part of their campaign.

To sumarise I think that criticising them for hiring an “internet person” is wrong, what should be examined, analised – and perhaps criticised, is the reasoning behind their proposal.

Shohat (user link) says:

Misunderstanding of specialization

People often have very narrow specializations, and the narrower the specialization, the better professional.

I do not know what kind of knowledge do the Techdirt bloggers have on Televised political campaigns, but I assure you that a professional is needed to handle those.

Remember that the Internet is still a microscopic platform in terms of political influence, and a dedicated Internet guy would probably be a good idea, while the other staff members handle the more influential platforms.

Sanguine Dream says:

I concure with comments 1-3

Seeing as how most politicians are just starting to try to take their campaigns to the internet it may not be a such a bad idea to have an internet person that can show candidates how to use the internet to their advantage.

The most widely used campaign method is the spoken word, usually in the form of speeches throughout the campaign period. It’s common knowledge that not all politicians are great speech writers therefore they hire speech writers. The candidates aren’t that well versed in writing speeches to they hire someone who specializes in it to assist them.

Jim Durbin (user link) says:

Zack's Point Is Valid

The problem is not having an “internet” person on staff. It’s that having an “internet” person allows the rest of the campaign to move on to what they consider to be more important.

Online strategies don’t work that way. Online magnifies the reach of what the candidate is already doing. If the candidate (and the senior staff) treat the internet as a separate component, then invariably the internet becomes less important.

Which means the candidate is wasting time having an internet person. Think of trying to hire an advertising company to promote your product, but then not letting the company talk to your product department. They may come up with a great commercial, but if it doesn’t sell more product, it’s a waste of time.

If the internet strategy doesn’t deliver votes or money, it’s a waste of time.

xyb (user link) says:

Campaigners need to be trained in how “this internet thing” works, then apply their tried-and-true principles to this “new” (10-year-old) medium.

No, the “internet strategy” shouldn’t be separate from the main strategy.

Yes, campaigners who don’t get it should hire someone who can advise on carrying core messages into this medium.

You’re 50% on, Techdirt.

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