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Notes from National League of Cities: Andrew Bleeker and Tips from the Obama Campaign

Andrew Bleeker, an online digital strategist who was key to the successful use of social media in the 2008 Obama campaign, is the keynote for the National League of Cities social media session I'm participating in right now. Below are notes from his excellent remarks - regardless of our political leanings, we can all learn a lot from the campaign's online community building activities.

1. Have a Goal.
- Digital media is a means not an end
- Typical goals: (a) message, (b) mobilization, and (c) money
- Make a single ask - too much to do or think about creates diminishing returns

2. Build a Community.
- Invest early = can't build them on a dime; commit some resources
- Integrate staff
- Understand your value proposition
- Focus on list building as step 1 (emails, phone numbers, Twitter followers, Facebook fans)
- Don't assume people will come to you
- Fish where the fish are
- Use your allies
- HealthCare.gov as example - the power of leveraging search ads
- "Who will be Obama's Vice President?" and "First to Know Obama's VP" as "gaming" element and key to gaining constituent email addresses

3. Engage and Empower Constituents.
- Establish a personal connection
- Create a face
- Give constituents a voice
- Customize the experience
- Make them heroes
- White House white board - make difficult concepts simple
- Change.gov Citizen's Briefing Book (used Google Moderator)
- My.BarackObama.com

4. Capitalize on Moments.
- Organic moments - holidays, events, news
- Artificial moments - create these ("Dinner for Five with Obama", "1 Million People")
- Terror Gaps book released COUPLED WITH an online action ("Help Stop Terrorism")

5. Test, Then Test Again
- Maximize conversion
- Select tactics
- All about ROI
- Measuring virality
- Message discipline

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>> Notes from National League of Cities: Andrew Bleeker and Tips from the Obama Campaign

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