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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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2007 @ 4:09am

    perhaps, but until the majority of ppl understand the how to deal with the information age it is wise to find some1 who does.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Shaun, 20 Jun 2007 @ 5:05am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Shohat, 20 Jun 2007 @ 5:21am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 20 Jun 2007 @ 5:32am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim Durbin, 20 Jun 2007 @ 5:46am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Julia M, 23 Jun 2007 @ 7:00am

      Re: Zack's Point Is Valid

      Any position that is not represented in collaborative projects will be left behind. Having a specialist who is also highly skilled in involving others from each level is optimal. A politician who solely runs youtube videos is a waste of time, any one forum is not enough anymore.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Nick (profile), 20 Jun 2007 @ 9:04am

    How about chief paper officer or chief brick-and-mortar officer?

    I think it is too early to expect these older strategists to think to the Internet as part of a cohesive strategy. Give it 10-15 years. But the ones that do see the big picture definitely have the advantage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    xyb, 20 Jun 2007 @ 9:39am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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