Yesterday I commented on the fact that with all the talk about social media, we may be losing the critical importance of the role of high value relationships. Then today this came across through PR Week. David Plouffe, campaign manager for Barack Obama spoke at a conference and noted the importance of personal relationships in a campaign. What’s intriguing about this is that the campaign was noted for its sophisticated use of the media and particularly the internet.
He (Plouffle) noted that it’s impossible – and unwise – to avoid digital avenues, something the Obama team excelled at, to be sure. In fact, he said part of the team’s success was its attempt to be everywhere: online, offline, an hour of local media at every campaign stop, and even sports radio – places where swing voters might be lurking. In other words, seeking out those hidden audiences that will make a difference to success.
It was the technology that “enabled us to move our message in a much more effective and powerful way,” Plouffe said. Yet, it was the campaign’s ability to motivate “surrogates” – volunteers – that talked to their friends and neighbors about Obama’s message that allowed it to truly succeed because no one can be everywhere at once, he noted.
“A human being talking to a human being in person is the most effective communications,” he said to the ballroom full of communicators, who were no doubt Tweeting and e-mailing throughout the conference.