Old Tips, New Tricks – Incorporating traditional PR in a digital world

Source: www.imka.scic.com
Source: http://www.imka.scic.com
I recently had the opportunity to talk to John Gibson, founder of Field Vision LLC , a political and grassroots advocacy management firm. John has become successful at using traditional and digital tactics in his career managing political campaigns. His impressive resume includes stints as the campaign manager for representatives in Virginia and New Jersey as well as the position of executive director for the Maryland Republican Party. John also worked for Targeted Victory, a digital media firm, where he really learned how traditional and digital work together within a political campaign.
Political campaigns typically involve direct mailing, phone banking, canvassing, fundraising, and voter mobilization. Digital technologies can be incorporated with these techniques to collect data, interact with potential voters, advertise messaging to targeted audiences, and help a candidate spread his or her message.
John, one of Bravo Group’s partners, recently worked on a canvassing project for a client. Canvassing involves going door-to-door to a targeted audience asking questions to assess individuals’ attitudes and opinions on issues. For this project, canvassers were equipped with tablets containing pre-loaded questions to collect respondents’ answers. The data was used to develop messaging for television ads and other deliverables for the campaign.
I learned three lessons on the importance of incorporating digital with traditional tactics.
1. Embrace digital technologies.
Change is inevitable and the digital landscape is constantly evolving. It’s important to stay informed on what is available and how it can be used for your purposes.
2. Utilize what you know. Conventional methods are not gone.
Digital is just another tool. Use your knowledge of your industry to determine your goals. Knowing your goals will help you determine which digital outlet is best fit for your purposes.
3. Volunteer to increase your knowledge.
Identifying firms specializing in your area of interest and seeking out volunteer or internship opportunities specifically on social campaign efforts can also help increase your knowledge of how to use digital technologies.
Common and digital techniques work hand-in-hand and the results are best when the two are integrated together.
Alizah Thornton
Bravo Group – Harrisburg Intern
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