Analyzing Campaign Video Distro Strategies

Matthew Bernius a Visiting Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (I checked the RTI directory for confirmation) has written a interesting blog post about the video Edwards and Obama are using online. Its called a tale of two candidate’s video distribution strategies and it compares and contrasts the two candidates use of online video. He also links to our response to the Edward’s announcement video. Here is the part I’d like to comment on.

These examples highlight an interesting problem for candidates: while YouTube offers tools to manage posting comments, you cannot control what content your page links to. In going to “where the people are,” you leave yourself open to direct commentary from the people. Counter-commentary may be located directly beside your stumping. Contrast this to Brightcove’s promise of control, an interface that does not link directly to intertextual documents. Additionally, even when you find commentary on Brightcove, it is coming from established sources. While you might get criticized it is coming from the media, rather than the people you are trying to reach.

To me the trade off of not being able to control people’s response to your message is a fair one. The fact is the Internet and personal publishing (text, audio, and video) has radically transformed global communication, permanently. You can not stop people from sharing their opinions, online or otherwise.

Some old school campaign advisers and PR folks may think that the main stream media has the loudest final word on truth about politicians. Wrong. Perception is an important factor. Word of mouth effects perception more than traditional media. Why? Trust. People don’t trust corporate media as much as they used to.

The democratization of communication has let loose a giant amount of opinions and facts hereto unavailable to so many people. It balances and counterbalances the spin corporate media has on it. The Internet give us choice and teaches us how to be responsible media users. (previously known as media consumers)

Our future will be full of interesting “battles” between main stream media and the media maker “hordes”. If we look at the math I think its obvious that the billions of users-producers will win over the thousands of traditional media producers. Whether the content is good, bad, fair, or unfair the shear volume of content will tip the scales on who we trust.

So why shouldn’t new political candidates WORK WITH the people who will make media and vote? Working with people builds real grassroots campaigns. Right now Edwards is running a netroots video campaign and Obama isn’t. Your analysis may vary.

Hat tip to Ruby for sending me the link.

3 thoughts on “Analyzing Campaign Video Distro Strategies

  1. Hey, first of all thanks for the link.

    I agree with all your points. In an earlier version of the post referenced (unfortunately lost to a server hiccup) I suggested the Obama camp’s decision to opt for the “control” of Brightcove was short sighted. I decided to opt for a more “academic” and neutral write up in round two.

    At this point, I can’t come up with a single justification for any candidate not to go to YouTube first. Especially since the video is going to end up there and not under that candidate’s control. But more importantly, to your point, if they’re going to be “of” the people, then they need to go “to” the people. But at that point control is relinquished and I’m not sure if these folks handlers and planning staffs are prepared for that yet.

    Like I said it’s pretty revealing to map the “organic-ness” of different candidate’s strategies onto their media distribution choices. Looking at it in that way, it’s not surprising at all that H. Clinton has so far avoided any social video options and opted for the far more controlled “yahoo answers” and hosting her own video (I tackled that in a later post).

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