Commentary

Obama Community Post-Win, Now That He's Moved In

Tomorrow, Obama is sworn in. This week, this single, extraordinary thing is all I need to know.

As he steps up, in a sense, a mega-brand activates. Your particular politics aside, we must all agree that Obama encompasses much and that the stakes are high. How he now makes it happen is the stuff of unprecedented living history.

Up until today, as media mavens and consumer marketers, we have applauded his steady message, his knack for context, and ability to resonate and galvanize community. And then there was the mighty conversion to change. How did he do that? Blink of an eye, and the brand literally embodied us.

We've all had hours of conversation on the political and historical context for this moment in time. As well, we have delved into the message, the content, and how and why it resonates. We are enthralled, no matter where we stand. But, what about this community phenomenon?

We have been hearing about "Obama for America II" for a while, and for a moment it seemed unclear what would or could come next, especially once the race was won. Truly, at this launch, and even with my own personal exhilaration -- as a consumer marketer, I am especially interested in "Organizing for America." This just-announced program represents the next true stage of Obama's original lauded grassroots community effort -- much of which was implemented through digital strategies and tactics.

During the campaign, a crowd grew as many were transported from apathy to action. A cross-media play, the digital platform and very specific digital methods enabled this wave. Through digital, the Obama team stayed quick on their feet on reputation management, reached us through our favorite social and rich media, and actively queried and enrolled us at every turn. Even I, who have long stayed Independent due to my blend of beliefs, was on the phone making calls to battleground states up through election night -- before work, after the gym, on the fly and when I could. I'd never done that before. And having done so once, I would never say never again.

As Barack gives up his BlackBerry, and we mull the next stage for his community -- I am eager for the details. Beyond sparking the dialogue and getting out the vote, the Obama team plans to involve the people of the movement in core themes: the economy, better healthcare, policies abroad and in Iraq, and more. How will this level of community engagement by the President work, now that he is in office? Forget privacy, access, and other loftier concerns for a moment. Quite seriously -- what are the methods and mechanics of this, as it activates in communications channels, digital and otherwise? I am intrigued.

The relationship development so skillfully implemented through integrated digital programming and media during the campaign was one thing. And impressive on every level. But, as those of us who might participate are segmented by both levels and focus of involvement, it will be a whole new play. And, as with all the best segmentation strategies at the hand of experts, it will refine and improve over time. I certainly look forward to watching this unfold, if not to participating in some way.

But tomorrow, hats off, I plan to sit very still -- and experience a singular moment.

8 comments about "Obama Community Post-Win, Now That He's Moved In ".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Walter Graff from Bluesky Media, January 19, 2009 at 11:03 a.m.

    Obama, the latest pop icon. Kind of sad.

  2. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, January 19, 2009 at 11:15 a.m.

    Several days before the election, Obama said “he wanted to bankrupt the coal industry.” On the following Monday, Wall Street began to sell off in a very big way. The message Wall Street was saying – What industry will be next that he wants to bankrupt? Wall Street in my mind still has not receive a clear answer to this question about what Obama wants to do. However I have seen a clear double digit pull back in online advertising since then. As I see it, business is scared, very scared of Mr. Obama. Along with giving up the Blackberry, he should give up the idea of bankrupting any truly American Industry.

  3. Steve Kellmeyer from Bridegroom Press, January 19, 2009 at 11:40 a.m.

    If Barack Obama is half the socialist he says he is, he'll do his level best to kill free communication on the Internet.

    If he is not, then he's just a garden variety blowhard ivy tower idiot like FDR.

    I guess it is inevitable that advertisers get suckered by this yokel, but it's sad to see, nonetheless.

  4. Tim Mccormick from McCormick Fields, January 19, 2009 at 2:09 p.m.

    Kendall: first of all I want to thank you for your good thoughts well said.
    This moment in time shall be special for many people.
    Not alone for the singular victory of one individual.
    Not alone for the symbolic shift of racial challenges.
    It is a community of united voters that will share
    a moment to sit still with you and reflect that
    common sense can still prevail over intolerant hysteria.

  5. Cat Wagman from Working Words, Inc., January 19, 2009 at 3:06 p.m.

    I believe it is how we feel individually that empowers us to participate in the political machinery which affects our lives, and, for many of us, for the first time on the national level. Yes, the members of Congress will make or break any of the reforms and other programs which President Obama wants to implement. It is up to us as citizens, and as their constituents, to let our individual members of Congress know how we feel — and remind them, we voted them in, and we can vote them out. As these new lines of communication between the individual citizen and Washington, DC, are established, it is up to us to make our voices heard on the issues that we care about. If you want affect change, it starts with you — taking the first step and then following up with the commitment to build the momentum in order for change to succeed. Thank you, Kendall, I always appreciate your thoughtful posts!

  6. Jim Dugan from PipPops LLC, January 19, 2009 at 7 p.m.

    I mean this very kindly, sincerely and affectionately respecting our next president's use of his mobile:

    If Mr. Black Barry is having to give up his BlackBerry, it would only be to make people think that the President of the USA certainly can't communicate in such a non-secure environment. Ouch!

    First of all, that would probably represent a very negative image as to the security of using mobile devices.

    Probably not the best marketing strategy as BlackBerry would have liked to have seen it - great, we make BlackBerry and we love the publicity, but, they don't think it's a secure device . . argh!

    Seriously folks, guess DARPA hasn't been up to anything lately, eh?

    Kendall, I usually really expect to read good insights and very thoughtful writing from you and today was no different, in fact, quite a very nice article.

    But, after only getting a chance to read this late this evening, the evening before the inauguration, it was really shocking to read the comments.

    So, I will say to you as I know you are already doing.

    Enjoy the Experience! It will be one of the best we'll have in our lives.

  7. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, January 19, 2009 at 7:41 p.m.

    For Obama to give up his blackberry is not just because of the possibility non-security, it is because all written communication is supposed to be never erased or deleted or shredded, although it has not always been the case. Miscommunication is not an option. But don't worry, he'll be able to keep busy with lots of other things and he'll get over it. What I want to see from all the other people is to see if they can support themselves by actually having their children do all of their homework and pay attention to their own finances with the excuses of "I'm not good at it." This is the information age. Enough said.

  8. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, January 19, 2009 at 8:05 p.m.

    It's not enough to be optimistic about the future of the country anymore. One must be over-the-top, orgasmic super-optimistic, to live up to the delirium that passes for media coverage this week. It's hard to shake the image of Jonestown converts lining up for their FlavorAid (no, not Kool-Aid). Can't we just be positive without being worshipful? Obama is the President, not the Messiah.

Next story loading loading..