No one knows a campaign like a politician.
Except maybe a public relations practitioner.
Since President Obama brought himself to the online table, the relationship between politics and the media has been taken to a whole new level.
It’s gone way past flirting, straight through dating… politicians and social media are officially a match made in heaven.
Hilary Clinton’s announcement today to run for President via YouTube hit all corners of the globe and trended through Twitter within seconds the release. #Hillary2016 is off to a high tech start that marks the new way of political campaigning – viral, instant, measurable, accountable and most of all; digital.
Whilst Clinton uses social media to its powerful best, academics scramble to model how this medium is changing politics and communication alike.
The discourse of how public relations practitioners can best operate in a new online space has been the focus of emerging literature from the academic world.
Mapping changes from traditional media audience models to new media paradigms has scholars trending their own new phrases to make sense of the digital age.
“Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is the guiding principle organizations follow to communi- cate with their target markets. Integrated market- ing communications attempts to coordinate and control the various elements of the promotional mix–—advertising, personal selling, public relations, publicity, direct marketing, and sales promotion–—to produce a unified customer-focused message and, therefore, achieve various organizational objec- tives (Boone & Kurtz, 2007, p. 488).”
What makes Clinton’s method of announcement notable is her absolute faith that social media can perform in a unique way that can be skilfully managed for targeted gain. Not only has she harnessed the medium favoured by Obama, Clinton made it her first port of call.
The immediacy of social media did more than push Clinton to the top of the Twitter trending list today – online reaction offered instant gauging of public opinion from the first second of the campaign. If harnessed correctly these measurable statistics can be then fed back in a self reflexive approach to political gain.
Political and social commentators, academics and observers will enjoy the new access that social media offers an electorate as it reaches unprecedented popularity this campaign. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and their platform cousins will all allow anyone with a Smart Phone the chance to engage in the American political discourse that will shape this election – and in turn the face of international politics.
Meanwhile the world will watch – and comment on – every move of the American candidates 2016 campaign for Presidency.
The new wave of accountability that online space enforces for politicians is borne of the same principles that navigate anyone who engages in social media.
For Clinton to get it right could mean the difference between being the most powerful person in the world – or not.
In the run up to the 2016 American Election, the stroke of the keyboard will be the mightiest tool to master.
To see how social media has reacted so far, look here