The New Face of Politics

July 31, 2007 at 4:47 am Leave a comment

441030585_84546b0a5c.jpgA large part of Public Relations 2.0 is the ability to surrender control.

Once information is released into social media outlets, it is out of our hands and we can’t control what may happen next. This is difficult to get used to for many public relations folks and organizations of all sizes.

Recently, the political realm joined public relations practitioners in letting go during the CNN/YouTube debate.

Democratic candidates for the presidency participated in a debate with questions provided by Average Joes (and Joannas) via YouTube. This new format stripped the formality from presidential debates and allowed the questioners to ask sharp questions and confront the candidates if they felt their questions were not answered.

The new format allowed greater participation and greater perceived access to presidential candidates (the questions were pre-chosen by CNN and the winning YouTube users flown to South Carolina for the debate).

Some candidates have already jumped on the social media bandwagon. For example, Barack Obama uses Twitter; John Edward has an avatar and election headquarters in Second Life; and many candidates have profiles on YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook.

This will be the first presidential election in which social media plays a large part. In the next year, social media will involve itself in different aspects of the election process and Verve can’t wait to see how it turns out! And what lessons we can learn for those clients who aren’t in the political realm.

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Entry filed under: social+media, Uncategorized, web.

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