A few of my notes from the Adobe Government Assembly (or “What I learned from David Plouffe”)

Yesterday, I attended the Adobe Government Assembly at the Reagan building. This was my second #govtassembly. I took 2 1/2 pages of notes from the afternoon keynote by David Plouffe, author of “The Audacity to Win” and Campaign Manager, Obama for President 2008. I thought I’d put some of my notes here so that you might potentially benefit from them as well:

  • How do we reach out to influencers?
  • Offline connections are still the most influential.
  • With an email list, you can reach your audience anytime, through any method.
  • Tell your community first about things, instead of the press.
  • In 2012, the ability to receive/access information is only going to increase.
  • People are designing their own digital news sources.
  • Where is it all headed? People are going to have more control. It’s more difficult to connect, but you have to build relationships.

  • Give people an opportunity to give input. Let them know what’s being changed. They’re going to be thinking, “I don’t expect my idea to be adopted, but I want to know that the ideas of others are.”
  • Reward volunteers (like getting to be a part of an event). If it’s just an online relationship, that’s fine in the beginning. It gets lonely when you think it’s just a digital relationship.
  • We’re sending too many text-only messages. People will retain a video message more than written.
  • Digital piece has to be at the center of strategic objectives/initiatives.
  • It’s like in 1960, when the Nixon campaign mistakenly thought that TV was not going to be important to the election.
  • The thinking used to be… if it (the negative news about us) is not on the nightly news or the front page of the paper, then we’re fine. The news about you may not be on the nightly news or in the paper, but it may be in 50 million people’s email, on Facebook, on blogs- and it’s more insidious.
  • What you want- sermonizers.
  • How do we increase the number of people we’re communicating with and then monitor it?

In response to my question about having your message stand out in a sea of emails:

  • Ask people what they would change about your communication with them. People appreciate the opportunity to give feedback.
  • Emails are all about the value. Give me people the opportunity to have a “tailored” relationship with you.
  • Send people two emails. Then ask them- “What did you get out of it?”
  • Just asking for feedback is key.

Did you attend the Government Assembly? What were your takeaways? What else did you learn from David Plouffe or from the other sessions?

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