What your company can learn from the Obama for America campaign

By Lisa Goldsberry

vCV8O-642101-editedUse PR to become a leader in your industry

We know the story well: Barack Obama went from a relatively unknown first-term politician to win the hearts and minds of the people and take the presidency of the United States. It was considered by many to be a major PR achievement and is featured in the recently published book Campaigns that Shook the World by Danny Rogers.

This riveting book examines the Obama campaign as well as eight others (from sports to politics to rock and roll) and details what made them great. It highlights how PR tools and tactics can shape the course of history. Your company may be able to use some of the same strategies from the Obama campaign to chart your own road to increased success.

What the Obama campaign did that you can do too:

Connected directly with voters using social media

In the 2008 campaign, Obama won approximately 70 percent of the 25-and-under vote. This was largely due to his dominance on social media sites with the help of young campaign strategists and a keen understanding of the power of the Internet. They developed and used a massive Facebook and Twitter following for grassroots organizing and fundraising.

Today, social media is viewed as a reliable source for news and updates, so your company should be using it to help build your brand and engage with consumers. You can keep readers interested with blogs, reports and valuable content.

Made use of new technology to spread messages

The Obama campaign was using technology to its advantage while opponents were still trying to figure out what to use and struggling to connect. Obama was often seen using his Blackberry and strategists used podcasting and mobile messaging to reach voters. They created an Obama app for phones to make it easier for supporters to spread messages; and the YouTube video titled “Yes We Can,” independently made by hip-hop artist Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas, went viral almost overnight.

It is vital for your company to stay on the cutting edge of new technology and trends. Since nearly everyone is on a smart device or frequently viewing videos, you must go where the people are. Tools like location-based apps, Convopointer, augmented reality campaigns and creative videos can give you an advantage over the competition.

Established a strong brand identity

From the beginning, the Obama strategists conveyed to the public who the candidate was and the key brand messages to be associated with his campaign. They quickly introduced him as intelligent, liberal and inspiring – qualities that many still use to describe him today. The Obama campaign remained consistent in its chant of changing the politics of Washington D.C. and appealing to its core network of voters who had become disillusioned with the status quo. The matching Yes We Can and Hope slogans, combined with effective spokespeople like Robert De Niro, Caroline Kennedy and George Clooney (all of whom are also viewed as intelligent and inspiring), further drove the messages home.

Branding is crucial for establishing customer loyalty and recognition, but it is also an area that many companies don’t spend enough time and resources. Consumers need to know who you are and associate positive qualities with your company or product name. It’s what separates you from your competition. You can work to improve yours by learning what your target audience wants, telling your unique story and integrating your brand message organization-wide.

Used the right team of experts

It is important to remember that none of this can be done alone. Putting together an effective, dynamic team of people with various areas of expertise is what makes a campaign – and a company – successful.

The professionals at Axia Public Relations are ready to be your strategic partner in helping you increase market share, attract more customers and grow your business. Contact us today or download our free e-book Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment to learn more.

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Lisa-G-Color-SMLisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter at @axiapr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured image credit: Creative Commons

 

 

Topics: Media Relations, Public Relations, Featured, Social Media

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