Taking a Look at Romney’s Social Strategy

Some of the Romney campaign’s social strategy is revealed in this profile of Zac Moffatt in The Atlantic. It’s clear that the 2008 Obama campaign completely reset the rules for campaigning, both in the primary season and the general election. There’s no doubt that 2008 Obama looked at the apparatus that Karl Rove had built for Bush in 2004 and decided to take it to the next level.

While it’s not clear if Romney can do the same in 2012, there are a lot of great lessons to be learned from examining what they are trying to do.

It’s particularly interesting to note that Romney — like Obama in 2008 — operates a digital campaign in multiple dimensions.

Romney’s strategy requires homing in on people we’re they live online — and often, in 2012, they can only be reached online. “We call them off-the-gridders,” says Moffatt. “We buy advertising for people who don’t watch live television any more. We have to find ways to get them to watch our video online. We have an active engagement with Hulu, with YouTube. We’re seeing that again and again in our polling and focus tests: people haven’t been seeing our TV spots, but they know what they are, because they’ve seen them on Hulu. It’s a testament to a new model of consumption. Governor Romney gets it. He’s on the road all the time. He doesn’t get to sit in front of the TV. He has his iPad, and when he gets home, he probably has a DVR that lets him skip ads. How else would we get to him?”

Gone are the days when campaigns can simply slap up a website with some photos, white papers, and a form to sign-up for an e-mail newsletter subscription. In swing states, the battle for votes at such a micro-level is almost mind-boggling.

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