Case Study for the Barack Obama Campaign
The Barack Obama Campaign case shows how the Internet, especially social media can leverage its power to reach and encourage publics engage with communication and activities of the organization fast and cost-effectively. In the period of 2008 presidential election, Obama and his official team Obama for America (OAF for short) ran a web-based grassroots campaign and used social media as a tool to interact with supports timely, and enhance Obama’s reputation and impact. The social networking site my.BarackObama.com (MyBo for short) was designed to mobilize and organize volunteers and offered a platform for supports to plan events and interact with each other both online and in real world. MyBo users can directly engage with Obama’s messages and pass them along to their friends. In terms of the campaign’s leadership, because all users in MyBo might be representable, MyBo can function as a semiofficial site to response questions from reports and the public, get feedbacks from supports, and mobilize and organize volunteers. The goal of the campaign was simply but clear: let Barack Obama be elected as the president. And the key objectives of MyBo were to attract more eligible voters and raise funds. Therefore, OFA took advantage of the online community –MyBo where supporters could build their blogs, organize local events, create fundraising sites, connect with official staff and offer their feedbacks directly. The salient point OFA created was to choose the appropriate medium to reach the audiences and manage the relationship with them. The demographics of social media users tended to fall in line more closely with those of Democratic voters in 2008 presidential election (see Exhibit for 2008 presidential Election Voter Demographics, from Exit Polls). Social media had a high penetration among the younger generation while young adults aged 18 to 29 had a significant impact during the presidential election, according to the...
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