Archivo de la categoría: Comunicación Política

Lecciones para comunicadores on line

Siguiendo con las notas sobre marketing y comunicación política, y válido incluso para todos los comunicadores (dentro o fuera del ámbito político), a continuación comparto link al e-book: Learning from Obama: Lessons for Online Communicators in 2009 and beyond.

Descargar PDF: Learning from Obama: Lessons for Online Communicators in 2009 and Beyond

Y como introducción, el abstract extraído de e.politics:

Based on a series of articles published on Epolitics.com in the spring and summer of 2009, the 49-page Learning from Obama provides a comprehensive overview of Barack Obama’s online campaign for President of the United States. With individual chapters investigating crucial aspects of his online communications juggernaut in depth, the e-book covers strategy, campaign structure and technology, online outreach and recruiting, field organizing, voter/volunteer moblization and of course online fundraising.

Learning from Obama cuts through the hype and places the individual online tools used by the Obama campaign and its supporters in context, including internet video, social networking outreach, online advertising and the MyBarackObama.com activist toolkit. With a final chapter that looks toward the future of internet politics, Learning from Obama serves as both a history lesson and as a guide for future online activists and other online communicators.

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Archivado bajo Comunicación Política, Marketing Político

Una campaña que ignora a su destinatario

Por: Damián Fernández Pedemonte

Barak Obama representa el cambio en la forma de hacer política en varios sentidos, el primero de los cuales es condición de posibilidad de los otros: cambio en la forma de hacer campaña, lo que le permitió llegar al poder para producir otros cambios desde allí.

Luego de la gestión de Bush, minada por la mentira y el secreto, Obama prometió un gobierno de fluido contacto con los ciudadanos. Pero no esperó a ganar para construir esta metodología, sino que la usó ya en la campaña. En este sentido hay que entender su estrategia electoral, y no solamente en el de subirse a la ola de la web 2.0.

Quizás ya haya aquí una lección. ¿Por qué no empiezan los políticos por comportarse con la gente ahora como dicen que se van a comportar cuando ganen las elecciones?

Los recursos digitales fueron puestos al servicio de un objetivo: lograr la participación de la ciudadanía. La campaña fue exitosa: recaudó 650 millones de dólares, sobre todo a través de Internet, y reclutó un millón de voluntarios.

El 28 de mayo estuvo participando de un seminario en Buenos Aires, Frank Geer, asesor en la exitosa campaña de Barak Obama. Una alumna de posgrados que estuvo en aquel seminario con el experto, me comentó la impresión que ella sacó: “la gente le hizo la campaña a Obama”.

Aunque no lo parezca, no es de la campaña de Obama de lo que quiero hablar en este artículo. Si no de su antítesis: la campaña para elecciones legislativas de 2009 en Argentina. Cuando más quieren ser Obama, más lejos están los políticos argentinos de convocar a la gente. En estas elecciones la gente habrá sido el gran convidado de piedra.

Menciono dos fenómenos flagrantes de marginación de la gente: las candidaturas testimoniales y “Gran cuñado”.

Los candidatos testimoniales constituyen una apuesta desesperada del populismo-sin-apoyo-popular de Kirchner que busca, aunque más no sea, nombres “algo marketineros” en el imaginario bonaerense (36 % del electorado).

Desde el final de su propio mandato Néstor ha privilegiado en la política la gestión de la influencia por sobre la gestión propiamente dicha. Su terreno de acción es el de las elecciones, la encuestas, el disciplinamiento de funcionarios, los despidos, la confrontación con diversos sectores, el apriete. Pero nunca quedó demostrado, en toda la era K, que su poder emanase del entusiasmo popular, ni siquiera del apoyo del peronismo.

La mentira que contiene la idea del candidato testimonial; las insostenibles situaciones de discurso de Daniel Scioli, (en las que tanto el enunciador como sus destinatarios saben que están mintiendo, aunque no lo expliciten); la ambigüedad esgrimida como defensa en las declaraciones de los candidatos, todo esto, sumado a la centralidad que ha adquirido “Gran Cuñado” en la conversación social, ha contribuido a que nos pasásemos hablando mucho tiempo de lo que es evidente que no es verdad, y que no nos interesa, y que nada tiene que ver con lo que deberíamos estar hablando durante una campaña electoral.

En la política siempre hay marketing, retórica, lobby, negociación. Pero estas herramientas se espera que estén alineadas con una gestión que se quiere facilitar o con un programa que se quiere implementar. Un candidato testimonial, en cambio, es sólo estrategia, pura construcción del discurso.

La paradoja de la estratagema es que todos saben que lo es: la oposición, la Justicia y la gente. Es probable que el falso candidato sea popular, pero que sea un fenómeno más negativo que positivo hubiese sido ese mismo candidato dispuesto a asumir el cargo. Negativamente popular, como los personajes de “Gran Cuñado”, programa que podría interpretarse como la reacción de la ficción televisiva a la ficción política. Y paso, entonces, a referirme brevemente a él. No es algo de los políticos, es verdad, pero es algo a lo que los políticos se han sumado.

Hasta hace poco se consideraba que la gente se comportaba como ciudadana sólo cuando votaba o respondía encuestas y, en cambio, era consumidora al mirar televisión o navegar por Internet. Más aún, se pensaba a este espectador como un ente pasivo, y a los medios cumpliendo una función narcotizante y al desinterés por la política como la principal consecuencia de esta conjunción.

Todo parece indicar que la gente también consume en clave de interés político los medios y que muchas veces los usa como trampolín hacia la movilización. Hay muchas pruebas de lo primero: en Argentina hay cinco señales de cable de 24 horas de noticias, algo insólito para el resto de Latinoamérica, los noticieros de los canales de aire tienen buenos índices de audiencia y extienden sus horarios, también se registran picos de entrada a los diarios on line cuando se espera el desenlace de un episodio político. En estos días la gente le da rating también a los anodinos programas de cable por donde circulan los candidatos, reunidos aleatoriamente. Hay también pruebas de lo segundo: la gente se convoca a protestas a través de los mensajes de texto de los celulares y de los mails, a partir de noticias dramáticas, sea por la instalación de las pasteras en Uruguay, por el enfrentamiento del Gobierno contra el campo, por la inseguridad o por una medida de desalojo del Gobierno de la Ciudad.

El público mira “Gran Cuñado” porque le divierten las burlas a los candidatos. Esto ya es un uso político: una venganza semiótica, como un breve carnaval en el que -por fin- se pueden reír de quienes parecen usar su poder para reírse de ellos. La gente deja suficientes rastros de esta lectura en los comentarios de los diarios digitales y en los foros de discusión. Porque entiende muy bien qué significa una caricatura es que la gente vota de verdad en “Gran Cuñado”.

Entonces, digo, no es por la gente que no se pueda hacer en Argentina una campaña como la de Obama. Ella usa los medios convencionales con sentido político, participa en Internet y en los medios sociales, y usa las tecnologías para convocarse a irrumpir en el espacio público.

Sucede que el espectáculo que le ofrece la comunicación política en esta campaña (lo que los candidatos pretenden hacer con los medios y lo que los medios hacen con los candidatos) le parece a la gente una fantochada sin ningún contenidos que tenga que ver con su vida cotidiana y, en cambio, con muchas similitudes con el show: políticos reales que no son candidatos y caricaturas que sí lo son.

Las trampas electorales y la caricaturización de los candidatos han marcado la agenda de una campaña que el ex presidente planteó inicialmente como un plebiscito sobre la gestión de Cristina y sobre el “modelo”. Y eso con la anuencia de una oposición que sólo busca contrarrestar el poder de los K y se enfrenta entre sí en el afán desesperado de posicionarse para la carrera presidencial. Cuando más issues habría para discutir, la campaña ha sido más mediática, vacía de temas y autorreferencial.

Justo cuando el público, conjeturo, estaba mejor preparado para el debate de propuestas. Y para subirse a plataformas participativas como las que propuso Obama y aquí ningún político tuvo tiempo de diseñar, atareado como estaba en presentar demandas judiciales y en mirar a Tinelli por la TV.

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Archivado bajo Comunicación Política, Marketing Político, Notas de Invitados

La marca Obama

 

(febrero de 2009)

The Brand Called Obama

By: Ellen McGirtMon Jan 19, 2009 at 3:01 PM
 

Win or lose, Barack Obama’s rise changes business as usual for everyone. Here’s why.

Whatever you do, don’t hurt Barack!” It was the afternoon of Super Tuesday, and the Chicago sky threatened snow. Senator Barack Obama had just returned to his hometown as voters in 22 states were making history by choosing between a black man and a white woman to be the Democratic nominee for president. The road-weary candidate put off calling fund-raisers or leading one last rally. Instead, he headed over to a downtown gym to play basketball with his nephew, his brother-in-law, and a few buddies. He needed to take a few minutes to chill out, and hoops was his therapy.
Among those on the court would be his old friend — and major contributor — John W. Rogers Jr. Rogers is the founder and chairman of Ariel Capital, an investment firm with some $13 billion in assets under management. He is a neighbor of Obama’s in Hyde Park and has traded elbows with him on the hardwood dozens of times. But as Rogers left for the gym, he was accosted at the door by his colleague, Ariel president Mellody Hobson. A friend of Obama and his wife, Michelle, Hobson knew that Rogers, usually a shy sort, could be aggressive on the court. So she implored him to go easy on the senator: “He can’t look all beat up!” It wouldn’t be good if the candidate showed up on TV later that evening with a black eye.
Hobson had no need to worry, and not because Rogers held back. As Obama has been known to joke before he hits the boards — or the podium — “Relax, I’ve got game. I’ve got plenty of game.” Super Tuesday proved him right: On the court, his team won two of three contests, and he walked off without a scratch. At the polls, he took 13 states to Hillary Clinton’s 9, generating momentum that would build from the Potomac to the Pacific and, in some eyes, make him the Democratic front-runner.
The fact that Obama has taken what we thought we knew about politics and turned it into a different game for a different generation is no longer news. What has hardly been examined is the degree to which his success indicates a seismic shift on the business horizon as well. Politics, after all, is about marketing — about projecting and selling an image, stoking aspirations, moving people to identify, evangelize, and consume. The promotion of the brand called Obama is a case study of where the American marketplace — and, potentially, the global one — is moving. His openness to the way consumers today communicate with one another, his recognition of their desire for authentic “products,” and his understanding of the need for a new global image — all are valuable signals for marketers everywhere.
“Barack Obama is three things you want in a brand,” says Keith Reinhard, chairman emeritus of DDB Worldwide. “New, different, and attractive. That’s as good as it gets.” Obama has his greatest strength among the young, roughly 18 to 29 years old, that advertisers covet, the cohort known as millennials — who will outnumber the baby boomers by 2010. They are black, white, yellow, and various shades of brown, but what they share — new media, online social networks, a distaste for top-down sales pitches — connects them more than traditional barriers, such as ethnicity, divide them.

 
“Barack Obama is three things you want in a brand: New, different, and attractive. That’s as good as it gets.”
— Keith Reinhard, DDB Worldwide

 
Obama has risen above what he calls a “funny” name, an unusual life story, and — contrary to the now popular (and mistaken) notion that nobody sees race anymore — a persistent racial divide to become a reflection of what America will be: a postboomer society. He has moved beyond traditional identity politics. And whether it’s now or a decade from now, the new reality he reflects will eventually win out. Any forward-thinking business would be wise to examine the implications of his ascent, from marketing strategies and leadership styles to the future of the American workplace.
 
COMMAND AND CONTROL
When People Magazine asked a slew of presidential hopefuls late last year what they never leave home without, the answers were revealing. Mitt Romney’s choice, homemade granola in his Dora the Explorer bowl, left the blogosphere snickering. Clinton cited her BlackBerry — efficient, businesslike, and an homage to the Web 1.0 world. Obama’s response, via his wife, Michelle, was a half-step ahead: a Webcam. “We talk at the end of the day when the girls and I are in Chicago and Barack is out on the road.”
Obama has deftly embraced — and been embraced by — the Internet. His campaign has deputized soccer grandmoms and hipsters alike to generate new heights of viral support. And he has been exceptionally successful at converting online clicks into real-world currency: rallies in the heartland, videos on YouTube, and most important, donations and votes.
The question is how. Social networking poses challenges for marketers, no matter what — or whom — they’re selling. Traditional top-down messages don’t often work in an ecosystem where the masses are in charge. Marketers must cede a certain degree of control over their brands. And that can be terrifying. (Remember that “I got a crush on … Obama” lip-synched YouTube tribute?)
Yet giving up control online, in the right way, unleashes its own power. And more than any other “national product” to date — and far more than any other presidential candidate — Obama has tapped into that power. The campaign’s secret weapon: a fresh-faced 24-year-old named Chris Hughes. Four years ago, he was at Harvard, helping launch Facebook with his roommates, kids named Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz. Just over a year ago, Hughes took a leave from Facebook to do online organizing for Obama. A history and literature major who did no coding at Facebook, he brought with him a mastery of the human side of social networking that has translated into real results for the campaign. Early on, when resources and credibility were in shorter supply, one insider told me, “We were completely focused on making sure that people knew on a very basic level how, where, and why to caucus in Iowa. And a local network, like Facebook, was ideal for that.” It was a cheap and effective way to leverage supporters’ personal connections.
The campaign’s Web site is “far more dynamic than any of the others,” says Bentley College professor Christine Williams, who has been studying Web sites and social media in campaigns with her colleague Jeff Gulati. BarackObama.com features constant updates, videos, photos, ringtones, widgets, and events to give supporters a reason to come back to the site. On mybarackobama.com, the campaign’s quasi-social network, Obamaniacs can create their own blogs around platform issues, send policy recommendations directly to the campaign, set up their own mini fund-raising site, organize an event, even use a phone-bank widget to get call lists and scripts to tele-canvass from home.
The Obama crew has also tapped into other online communities. “One of our members had excerpted a portion of a Vibe profile of Obama,” recalls Kay Madati, vice president of Community Connect, a suite of niche demographic Web sites including blackplanet.com, asianave.com, migente.com, GLEE.com, and faithbase.com. A flurry of discussion drove traffic to BarackObama.com, drawing the attention of Scott Goodstein, who runs the campaign’s external Web strategy. He called Madati, who invited all the candidates to create profiles for each of his company’s targeted communities. Only the Obama people, Madati says, have created credible presences: “They sometimes update daily; they even update more than Oprah.” It has worked. The Obama profile on BlackPlanet has more than 450,000 “friends.”
“This is where the Obama campaign has been strategic and smart,” says Andrew Rasiej, founder of the Personal Democracy Forum, a Web site that explores how technology is changing politics. “They’ve made sure the message machine was providing the message where people were already assembled. They’ve turned themselves into a media organization.”
They’ve also taken advantage of messages created by others. The “Yes We Can” mashup by the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, starring a handful of his famous friends, cost the campaign nothing and became a viral hit. By comparison, a Clinton mockumentary called “Hillary’s Leaving the Band” — young rockers, clearly actors, lament the loss of their favorite guitar player — fell flat. It seemed ad-agency slick and forced. “It’s even easier to reveal inauthenticity in the online world,” Bentley’s Gulati says. “If it doesn’t resonate in the offline world, it won’t resonate in the online world.”
What’s true in politics is no less true in business. “There is a new, authoritative consumer empowered by the Web,” says Karen Scholl, a creative director at the digital-advertising agency Resource Interactive. “And they can smell a fake.” The agency has coined the term “OPEN brand,” an acronym for on-demand, personal, engaging, and networks; it is a framework for companies to think about distributing brand messages in new ways. With Obama, “not only do people feel they know who he is, they feel trusted to share their views,” Scholl says. “And they get constant feedback from the campaign and from each other.”

 
“There is a new, authoritative consumer empowered by the Web. And they can smell a fake.”
— Karen Scholl, Resource Interactive, a digital ad agency

 
Being an OPEN brand can be daunting when something as simple as starting a company blog can entail interdepartmental reviews and legal vetting. But, Scholl points out, “you don’t have to cede all control, just some.” A case in point: the do-it-yourself ads for Doritos during the 2007 Super Bowl. More than 1,000 snack-food fans submitted their entries — but it was Frito-Lay that decided which ones would run.
The Obama campaign plays its own version of this game. The candidate himself has been made available to the press in strictly controlled doses. (The campaign declined requests for a sit-down interview with Fast Company.) And while the Web site may have set the bar high in terms of openness, the campaign still keeps an eye on the imagery and messaging associated with the movement. When supporter Joe Anthony’s “BarackObama” fan page on MySpace attracted 160,000 friends, the campaign found itself in a tug-of-war over ownership. Ultimately, MySpace brokered a peace treaty; Anthony gave up the domain name but kept his friends. Obama’s emails urging supporters to take action — “Tell the superdelegates what’s on your mind,” a recent blast implored — are often signed simply “Barack,” implying intimacy without risking exposure.
 
LEADING BY LISTENING
Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, has long considered himself a political independent. An Obama encounter at a campaign event inspired him to take up arms for the Democratic candidate. But he can’t quite explain why. “I’m still struggling to articulate what it is about him beyond the issues that I care about,” he says. Newmark then fumbles his way to this realization: “I see him as a leader rather than a boss.” A leader, he notes, gets people to do things on their own, through inspiration, respect, and trust. “A boss can order you to do things, sure, but you do them because it’s part of the contract.”
What Newmark is describing is more complicated — and more modern — than it might appear. There have long been leaders who are bosses, and bosses who are leaders. Having a vision and inspiring or instructing others to follow that vision have long been hallmarks of business and politics. But Obama epitomizes a new way of thinking called “adaptive leadership,” which is now being taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School, among other places. This approach, as Stephen Bouwhuis recently wrote in The Australian Journal of Public Administration, is effective in handling problems that necessitate “a shift … in ways of thinking across a community.” While a visionary puts forth a specific plan to be implemented, an adaptive leader works with constituents to devise one together.
Obama has tapped into this adaptive-leadership vein by inviting voters in with his “Yes we can” slogan, then reinforcing it with attacks on the complacency and withdrawal from politics of many Americans, particularly the young. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person,” he said on Super Tuesday, “or if we wait for some other time… We are the hope of the future.” Marty Linsky, professor at the Kennedy School and cofounder of Cambridge Leadership Associates, is among those who’ve taken note of Obama’s adaptive style. “Obama often proposes process plans that involve a trust in the community at large,” Linsky says. The potential ramifications for business leadership are enormous. The cult of the imperial chief executive officer still reigns in most C-suites and boardrooms. But winning tomorrow’s talent — and tomorrow’s consumer — may require a dramatically different approach.
And not only to reach the young: Dennis Edwards, a white 50-year-old small-businessman from South Carolina, told me that his main issue in the presidential campaign is health care. “I know that no candidate can push their plan completely through,” he says. “That’s not cynicism, that’s reality. But I believe Obama can get people to the table to talk. I think he’ll listen to other points of view. I also believe he can move it further in the right direction than anyone else.”
“Obama and Clinton make an interesting contrast in brands,” says Professor John Quelch, senior associate dean at Harvard Business School and coauthor of Greater Good: How Good Marketing Makes for Better Democracy. “Obama communicates that he loves people, and Clinton communicates that she loves policy.” Consider Starbucks, Quelch says. “People love it for the experience, not for the specifications of the coffee.” Obama, through his inclusive Web site and, yes, his lofty rhetoric, reinforces the notion that everyone is included and that this movement is actually a conversation to which everyone is invited.
 
RACE STILL MATTERS
“The coloration of society is changing.” Harriet Michel is president of the National Minority Supplier Council, which helps corporations find qualified Asian, African American, Hispanic, and Native American vendors. When the organization started 35 years ago, Michel continues, “people felt forced to check boxes instead of thinking about how new suppliers might help their businesses.” Today, census data make clear that a changing population means new markets and new opportunities. “The ‘right thing to do’ is tired, quite frankly. It’s business,” she says. “This is economics. Now when you’re talking about imperatives, they accrue to the bottom line of the company.”
Michel is an Obama supporter. “The success of his candidacy indicates that we have moved a bit beyond our tortured past as it relates to race,” she says. “If he’s credentialed enough and experienced enough to be elected by all the people, it will make a difference to how everyone views America and Americans.”
The fact that a black man may soon be a major-party nominee, or even sit in the Oval Office, has far-reaching implications for a business community that’s still overwhelmingly white at the top. As of 2005, one third of the Fortune 500 had no African-American directors; of 5,572 available seats, 449 were held by 245 black board members. Of course, executive ranks are also overwhelmingly male — 85% of Fortune 500 boards — making Clinton’s rise, too, a challenge to the business status quo.
Ariel’s Mellody Hobson personifies both of those constituencies. At 38, she is the president of the firm and one of the few women of color in a C-suite. She sits on the board of public companies including Starbucks, Estée Lauder, and DreamWorks Animation, as well as private organizations such as the Sundance Institute, the Chicago Public Library, and the Chicago Public Education Fund. She is a trustee of Princeton University. She is self-made, smart, and outspoken. It’s hard not to be impressed, and a little intimidated, by all she has achieved. And yet, she says, “I still feel the bias.” Biases are baked into the human condition — “we all have them,” she says — but they don’t have to be baked into the structure of American business. “We haven’t come nearly far enough.” Would a black president make a difference? “Yes,” she replies without hesitation. “It would send a message. But there is so much more work to do.”
Her boss, John Rogers — who played hoops with Obama on Super Tuesday — has been leading some of that work. Rogers cofounded an informal group of black directors of major publicly traded companies in 2002. At that first meeting, about 30 people showed up. “My concern was that African Americans on corporate boards were uncomfortable addressing civil rights issues, and worried about being typecast as a minority member and wouldn’t speak up,” says Rogers, who sits on the boards of McDonald’s and Aon Corp. “If not us, then who will?”
The meeting, which has become the annual Black Corporate Directors Conference, now attracts more than 100 business bigwigs and last year featured Time Warner’s Dick Parsons and Wal-Mart’s Lee Scott, along with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien as moderator. The group spends a good deal of time talking about the distinction between being a black board member and a board member who happens to be black. Rogers explains: When you are in the room, do you shortchange your fiduciary duties by advocating for diversity? “Diversity benefits the bottom line substantially, for all sorts of reasons,” he says. “But it also takes years to establish a culture, with all the benefits that come with that. If there is only an immediate business imperative, then you might end up creating expectations that might not be met.”
Tory Clarke, who is British, and Larry Griffin, an African American, have heard these debates for years. As the founders of Bridge Partners, a boutique executive-search firm that specializes in placing minority candidates at senior levels, “we’ve seen the shift from a quota mind-set to a business case mind-set,” says Clarke. “Now we hear very specific requests — we want a Latino male or an African-American female — specifically so our clients can better approach a particular market, or solve a problem with a particular community.” They cite the recent election of Avon CEO Andrea Jung to the Apple board — its sole Asian and only its second woman. Business acumen aside, Jung offers a direct conduit to millions of female customers, a segment that Apple would dearly love to exploit. She also speaks fluent Mandarin, a plus for a company that has just invested $40 million in its first store in Beijing.
Both Griffin and Clarke acknowledge that minority representation at the upper echelons of business remains “abysmal.” As a result, Griffin explains, the closer minority hires get to the corner office or the boardroom, the more they become symbols. Even people recruited for their legal or financial expertise may be pressed to become what Griffin calls “internal brands.” “They may be asked to show up at campus recruiting events, or take a more public-facing role than they are prepared for,” he says.
While some observers hoped the Sarbanes-Oxley provision calling on companies to seek out new independent board members would bring about more change, progress has been slow. But with census data projecting that 40% of Americans will be nonwhite by 2010, business leaders who are charged with inspiring and attracting the best talent and satisfying an increasingly diverse pool of shareholders may soon find that diversity is a business imperative.
 
BRAND AMERICA
Should Obama become president, his leadership style — not to mention his brown skin and African name — could give a new face to the image America telegraphs to the rest of the world. “It’s already made a difference that a minority could rise this far through the democratic process,” asserts Harvard’s Quelch.

 
“It’s already made a difference that a minority could rise this far through the democratic process.”
— John Quelch,Harvard Business School
 

That brand U.S.A. has suffered in recent years is indisputable. According to the Pew Charitable Trust Global Attitudes Survey, updated in the spring of 2007, the country’s favorable ratings have declined over the past five years in 26 of 33 countries — including most of our European allies — and are particularly negative in the Middle East. A BBC International poll from 2007 is even more dismaying: A survey of 26,000 people in 25 countries shows that three out of four disapprove of how the United States is dealing with Iraq, Guantanamo, global warming, Iran, and North Korea.
“It’s a constant discussion point in international business,” says Keith Reinhard, whose DDB Worldwide has offices in 99 countries and has been the steward of such premier global brands as Hasbro and Anheuser-Busch. “We’re seen as culturally insensitive on a personal level, and on a corporate brand level,” he says. Determined to do something about it, Reinhard dipped into his own pocket in 2002 and started Business for Diplomatic Action, a coalition of marketing, political science, and media professionals aimed at improving the standing of America in the world through business outreach. (He has scaled back his work at DDB to work for the coalition full time.) After commissioning research and testifying before Congress, Reinhard can distill his advice to brands to one word: Listen. “Everywhere I go, from CEOs to people on the street, I hear the same thing,” Reinhard told me as he rushed between conferences in Frankfurt, Germany, and Doha, Qatar. “The U.S. needs to listen to the world.”
This is precisely the strategy that Obama professes in international relations: to engage, even with countries that have been viewed as America’s enemies — in much the same way that businesses from McDonald’s to ExxonMobil often find themselves engaging in places where regimes are not necessarily to their liking. Obama’s strategy is not one that all geopolitical experts agree with, but it is consistent with how American business has conducted itself. It is also consistent with his criticism at home of what he terms “a politics that says it’s okay to demonize your political opponents when we should be coming together to solve problems.”
Obama’s candidacy and its call for change may already be resonating in countries that have lamented U.S. policy but still want to believe in the promise of American leadership. “That Obama exists has already begun to recalibrate the way the world sees us,” Reinhard contends. “This is a good thing.”
 
“LOOKING FOR A CHANGE”
Sitting at the bar in the Chicago Hyatt on Super Tuesday, I scarfed a burger before rejoining the Obama press circus. My 24-year-old waiter seemed bored by the chaos, but took some time to admire my iPhone and chat. He’d known only a Clinton or Bush in the White House, he said. “I’m sort of looking for a change.” Then he caught sight of Obama on CNN over my shoulder, tossed his dreadlocks, and smiled. “But that guy,” he patted his chest, “he makes me believe.”
Barack Obama may not win his party’s nomination. And even if he is nominated, he may lose at the polls. If that happens, pundits will be quick to point out strategic or tactical missteps, and some will say America just isn’t ready to elect a black man as president. Such a pat analysis is to be expected. But there is no question that the brand of Obama — what he represents to the next generation of Americans — is important. A business that ignores this message does so at its own peril.
 
Comments:

Henry Jenkins argued in his keynote at SXSW Interactive two weeks ago that accusing Obama of plagiarism (as the Clinton camp did when it brought forward that Obama had borrowed words from past speeches of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick) misses the point: It’s a remix culture, stupid! The Obama brand is all software and only a little hardware, and it comes with an open SDK (software developer kit) — a dynamic, modular platform that both individual campaigners and institutional networks can plug into. Obama’s entire campaign is based on the principle of “picture-in-picture web,” as Steve Rubel coins it. Or, to borrow another one of Rubel’s lines: Obama is a web service, not a web site. He is the “blue ocean” and not the (little) rock. He is a franchise brand that anyone can hijack, re-shape, and remix a la carte. That makes him vulnerable and volatile but at the same time powerful and unstoppable. When your greatest weakness is your biggest strength, you are very hard to beat.

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Archivado bajo Comunicación, Comunicación Política, Estrategia

How Obama killed “election day” and became president

(noviembre de 2008)

How Obama Killed ‘Election Day’ and Became President
Axelrod & Co. Understood Time Shifting and Consumer Control
Posted by Pete Snyder on 11.05.08

There is no doubt that this year presented the toughest political climate for Republicans since Watergate; indeed, this campaign has been an uphill fight for John McCain or any GOP nominee. That said, Barack Obama, David Axelrod and their team deserve a huge amount of respect and credit for running a nearly flawless campaign.

They didn’t fight today’s war with yesterday’s weapons and, most importantly, their campaign was based on a superior strategy. For the purposes of this column, let’s forget about the issues, let’s forget about the climate and let’s ignore message for a moment. The simple fact is that Obama and his campaign chiefs understood two of the most significant (but little talked about) changes of this campaign cycle:
 

The election timetable fundamentally shifted from being just about Election Day or even the last 72 hours (as was the rule of thumb for decades) to being decided as early as six weeks in advance.
Due to the seismic changes in how voters get and process information that we marketers have seen for quite some time the voter, just like the consumer, is now in control and thus would be open to making his or her voting decisions earlier than ever.
Combined, these two critical assumptions turned D.C. conventional wisdom on its head and helped provide Obama with a major strategic advantage over McCain. Here’s how:

Starting with Obama’s huge upset in Iowa, the ensuing Hillary-Obama 50-state death match altered the rules of the game. Historically, a handful of early primary and caucus states would decide this thing in about 45 days (usually less than 1% of all voters in the country) and most Americans wouldn’t feel compelled to engage until the fall. Instead, the clash of the Democrat titans drove millions of Americans to the polls because — for the first time in a primary — their vote actually could make a difference.

The Obama camp recognized that something very different was going on here. It threw out many of the old political adages and assumptions, including the granddaddy of them all, Americans don’t tune into elections until after Labor Day. Obama’s campaign geared its online and off-line engagement and advertising to build on this unprecedented early interest and mobilized it into an effective ground game to get out their vote.

While McCain came back from the dead after his campaign nearly went bankrupt and all of the pundits wrote him off, his path to the nomination was actually easier and wrapped up nearly three months before Obama crossed the magic delegate threshold. McCain rested, reshuffled his campaign staff, worked on replenishing his coffers and set his sights on the convention and the traditional post-Labor Day blitz.

Obama acted quite differently. Having opted-out of his promise to abide by campaign finance laws (which proved to be one of his shrewdest and smartest moves), he went for broke. His campaign started pouring millions of dollars into opening scores of campaign offices in all 50 states, many in areas that Democrats hadn’t contested in decades. In the traditionally GOP-favoring Colorado, Obama set up 59 campaign offices to McCain’s 13.

Why did he take this expensive gamble? Because of the internet and rise of social media, this was the first time where it actually made sense to run a 50-state campaign. In the past, each party would focus its efforts in getting out the vote in its respective solid “D” or solid “R” states and pour hundred of millions of dollars fighting it out over a handful of “battleground states.”

This time around, everyone counted. And given the power of social media, everyone who has the interest has the ability to influence and mobilize networks of friends. A blue dot in a sea of red could now make a real impact, both vote-wise and dollar-wise, to a presidential campaign. Obama got this and McCain really didn’t.
In an equally risky, yet ultimately effective move, Obama’s campaign took to the airwaves during the summer months. Over the summer alone, Obama and the DNC outspent McCain and the GOP by nearly 10 to 1 in Virginia, a reliably red state in presidential elections since voting for Lyndon Johnson in ’64. This strategy paid off by shaping early opinions (and thus, polls) about Obama, driving dollars and volunteers into his campaign and forcing McCain to spend precious resources in a state he expected to have in the GOP column.

More importantly, Obama realized that the defined “time” of the election timetable fundamentally changed. For decades, campaign models were built upon the premise that you raised all of your dollars and put all of your infrastructure — including TV advertising and direct mail — toward a call to action, driving turnout for 12 hours or so on Nov. 4. In 2000, Karl Rove swore that Republicans would never lose the ground game again after the Bush team took a lead into Election Day and were blindsided by the huge surge in voter turnout for Al Gore. Rove changed the election timetable from 12 hours to the last 72 hours, thus creating the effective and much heralded (or reviled, depending on where you sit) “72 hours program” that has dominated the efforts of both parties for the past three campaign cycles.

As we marketers understand, much has changed over the past six years in how consumers, let alone voters, gather and process information and then make decisions. Voters have more access to information and more touch-points and influencers in their lives than ever before. Oftentimes, this causes consumers and voters to make decisions on brands they like, products they want to buy or candidates they want to support much earlier than they did in years and decades past. The engagement and interest in Campaign 2008 never really subsided; it continued to grow. As a former pollster, across the board I saw the “undecideds” shrink much earlier than in past cycles. Voters were making up their minds earlier than in the past.

Virginia allowed early voting six weeks in advance. By the time Election Day actually rolled around, nearly 35% to 40% of the entire electorate of America had already voted. Because both consumers and voters are now in control, in many places there is no longer an Election Day. It’s been replaced by “election month.” Obama geared his campaign strategy around these two massive shifts and reaped the rewards. The coup de grace: When the global economic collapse hit over five weeks ago it stopped the clock for the media, making it virtually impossible for a competing story to garner any major attention, thus freezing McCain in time.

This is not to say that Obama and all of his advisers are geniuses and McCain and all of his campaign chieftains are incompetent. That is hardly the case. At times, McCain used brilliant tactics and knocked Obama off balance late in the summer and through the GOP convention. In a strategic sense, however, the McCain camp was out-thought and out-gunned. The campaign had no overarching narrative and was built on an outdated model. Indeed, it was much smaller than the man it attempted to represent.

The much-heralded 72-hour campaign is dead. Election Day is no longer. Voters, like consumers, are now in control.

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5 mejores prácticas de comunicación | a lo Barack Obama

Barack Obama’s September 24 Economic Crisis Remarks:
5 Communication Best Practices
(Fast Company)
 
Whether one is Republican, Democrat or Independent, most people agree that Barack Obama is a master of highly effective communication. In Say It Like Obama: the Power of Speaking with Purpose and Vision (www.sayitlikeobama.com), I examine many of the best practices that have helped make Obama an outstanding communicator. Yesterday, Barack Obama provided another useful example for our consideration. Before the press, he issued comments in response to the news that Senator John McCain would suspend his campaign and in response to McCain’s suggestion that the presidential debates scheduled for Friday, September 26, 2008 should be postponed. For leaders seeking to improve their own communication skills, it is worth considering at least five practices that made Obama’s comments of September 24 effective.
 
1. Excellent use of props and image. Staging can always be important. For Obama, issuing his remarks in a formal setting, while dressed in business attire and flanked by large American flags, helped project him as “presidential.” Setting and props go a long way in sending sub-messages that reinforce the key themes a leader is seeking to put forth.
 
2. Excellent use of nonverbal language. Obama’s confident body language and determined tone reinforced his commanding stature. It’s possible to communicate volumes without speaking a word.
 
3. Leveraging the language of a leader. Obama’s choice of words also reinforced the presidential image he sought to project. For instance, when he vetted questions about whether he should return to Washington to focus exclusively on forthcoming legislation, Obama replied with an emphatic ‘I am prepared to be anywhere at any time’ as needed to help resolve the crisis. He also insisted, ‘presidents are going to need to deal with more than one thing’ at a time. There was no hesitation. No doubts cracking through his tone. His remarks and intonation conveyed certitude about his choices. His delivery reinforced the notion, ‘if you want to be a leader, you have to talk like one.’
 
4. Drawing attention to initiative. Obama drew attention skillfully to the fact that he had taken the initiative to call McCain on the morning of September 24, 2008, to suggest that they issue a joint statement to “send a strong signal” to members of Congress. The point of the joint statement: to encourage and lead Congress to take decisive, effective steps to address America’s economic crisis. In highlighting this early morning phone call, Obama steered attention to his willingness to take the initiative as a leader. Initiative, initiative. Roll the sleeves up and get it done. Very good for impressions.
 
5. Conveying ethics. During his remarks, Obama asserted that partisan politics should be kept out of efforts to address America’s prevailing economic crisis. To many ears, this sounds like a leader taking a strong, positive stand of putting the country first. While critics can argue these were “just words”—and, certainly whether the nonpartisanship pans out in reality is a separate matter—the words nonetheless can potentially build good morale, laying a foundation for consensus building. Camaraderie, strong morale, unity—great for effective teamwork.
 

Tags: Innovation, Leadership, Management, Careers, barack obama, Communication

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Comunicación de crisis y Social Media

(septiembre de 2008)

El tema de hoy es sobre los blogs y los tiempos de crisis… o el papel de los social media en el manejo de la comuniacion de crisis. Crisis Communication y social media.
Encontré un par de links muy interesantes y tambien un par de articulos. Va todo. Que lo disfruten.

LINKS :
 
1- Crisis Communication Fundamentals
Acá lean también los ocmentarios de abajo, donde el autor del texto da una respuesta bastante cargadita de contenido.

2- How Blogs & Social Media Are Changing Crisis Communication 
3- Responding to Crisis Using Social Media PDF
Este es el caso DELL
4- Crisisblogger
 
ARTÍCULOS:

The Blog’s New Role in Crisis Communications

 

(Fast Company)

Shel Holtz is principal of Holtz Communication and Technology. After a rather general and basic morning introduction to the practice of business blogging at the New Communications Forum in Napa, California, he provided an in-depth look at perhaps one of blogging’s more challenging applications: the spin and damage control aspects of PR. Can there be a balance between a business’s need for quality formal communications in a crisis situation — and the personal, informal nature of blogging? What follows is a partial transcript of Holtz’s session:

Blogs have not been used much in crisis communication. “PR crisis” is a phrase that gets bandied about, but what we’re really talking about is business crisis or corporate crisis. A crisis is something that you can’t anticipate. An airplane crash is not a communications crisis. It’s a crisis, yes, but it’s not a communications crisis. That’s a drill. They have binders. They’re prepared for it.

Also, blogs don’t change the fundamental nature of a crisis. They change the basics of how we can respond to them. There are three categories of crises. A meteor crisis is what happened to Tylenol. The organization is absolutely a victim. It’s easier to deal with, but it’s still going to affect your reputation. Another type of a crisis is a predator crisis, where someone is out to get you. Whistleblowing is a predator crisis. You tend not to be too much of a victim. A lot of times, someone is revealing information about you that’s accurate. Then there’s a breakdown crisis, a failure to perform.

In crisis communications, your goals are going to be to maintain a positive image of the company, to present timely information, and to remain accessible. The standard approach to responding to a crisis is to hunker down behind closed doors. Blogs can help companies remain accessible. You also want to monitor communications channels to catch misinformation early. Ultimately, you want to survive the crisis.

There are seven stages of a crisis. The first is surprise. Management is always surprised when there’s a crisis. Then you realize there’s not enough information to know what’s going on. Management perceives that they’re losing control. The public starts to pay a lot of attention; that’s when management adopts the siege mentality. Then they adopt a short-term focus.

Why do crises escalate? The public attaches little credibility to business advocates. The public is also risk averse. The media role in a crisis is based on conflict. Advocacy groups will exploit a conflict for their own purposes whether they’re accurate in their portrayal or not. What’s most important to remember, though, is that people respond emotionally. It is not logic that is at issue. You will never win a debate in a crisis by using logical arguments. Your values count. You have to reaffirm your values in a crisis.

There’s always a symbol in a crisis. For the Exxon Valdez, it was dead birds. For Enron, it was people leaving their offices with boxes. Your priorities need to be with the affected party or parties. A key example is Odwalla. The philosophy at Johnson & Johnson is that shareholders are last.

Respond quickly, accurately, professionally. Treat perceptions as fact. Acknowledgement mistakes that were made. Tailor messages with the angry public in mind. And acknowledge the other side’s concerns. Don’t confront anybody, though. That just doesn’t pay off. Take advantage of existing relationships you have.

So, why a blog in a crisis? You have the ability to offer updates instantly. You can use a human voice to accommodate the public’s emotional response. And it produces a record of your response.

The group then broke into a discussion addressing how to identify who should contribute to a business blog in a crisis, how to remain open to negative feedback and response, and how to ultimately make the negative into a positive.

I’d also like to offer some guidelines. Stay on focus. Have one author represent the organization. Make sure that posts are approved. And publish only facts, not opinions. It’s very important for companies to have blogging policies, and certainly, don’t replace your crisis communications plan with blogs. It’s got to be part of the mix.

 

Blogs for Corporate Crisis

Shel Holtz is moderating the discussion on the use of blogs (corporate and PR-driven blogs) for crisis communications within organizations.

A few pointers, which are fairly standard crisis communications guidelines:

1. Respond quickly, accurately, professionally and with care.

2. Treat perceptions as fact because in the eyes of the public, they are.

3. Acknowledge mistakes up front. I’d add: be human and professional when you do.

4. Take advantage of existing relationships.

 

Why blog in a crisis? There are many excellent reasons why a blog is useful when your company or client is facing a crisis situation:

1. You can provide a response instantly.

2. You can provide updates instantly.

3. A blog is a way to provide a human voice to the outside world. You can accommodate the publics’ emotional response.

4. You can produce a record.

5. You can allocate a space on your blog that is ready to put an icon up with a statement, i.e., a place where people know where to go for a response or important instructions in time of a crisis.

6. If you communicate well and involve your audience, you can turn a crisis into a reputation opportunity.

7. Not every crisis affects the company directly. In the case of the wild fire in Carsen City, Nevada, companies were able to offer help or donate products on their blog.

 

 

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Gestion de crisis

Hace unas semanas una australina me pidió información sobre comunicación y gestión de crisis. No tenía mucho para aportarle. Desde entonces estuve viendo un poco al respecto y encontré esto. Una tesis doctoral que puede resultar interesante porque toca el tema pero a partir de tres casos… no leí las trescientas y pico de páginas (y por lo que vi “por arriba” parece tener mucho de lo que ya conocemos) pero, repito, me pareció útil “tomarnos un café” con el ejemplo de tres empresas.

Para el próximo café, voy a mandar información sobre los Issues Management. Si bien surgieron a partir de situaciones de crisis, encontré por ahí que el issue management “ha sido un concepto estudiado al margen de la gestión de la comunicación en momentos de crisis y considerado como una disciplina independiente…”. Lo googlee y me encontré con detodo, incluso con un software ¡! (para tener en cuenta los CRM guys si el día de mañana el negocio les queda chico o si quieren ofrecer más y mas cosas).

Como agregado, lo que me pareció más interesante (será chatura?) del documento que comparto es la página de agradecimientos. En general, tengo una debilidad por esas dos líneas de dedicatoria en los libros… tanto que podría darme por hecha incluso sin leer después el libro mismo, e imaginar por unos momentos esa “vida de los otros” mencionados ahí. En el caso de la tesis doctoral que les paso, me sorprendió porque fueron muchas líneas en cuestión, el sueño de Marina. Lo cual me llevó a recordar un librito que escribió una tal, mi Mamá, hace dos años, donde fui una de las protagonistas de las líneas de dedicatoria… no figuraba mi nombre, pero ahí estaba yo escondida en el “y mis hijos, principales destinatarios de este libro”. Fue como si hubieran escrito un libro sobre mi vida jaja. ¿Quién necesita una biografía después de haber sido incluído en una página de dedicatorias o agradecimientos? Y más cuando el resultado sería una biografía feliz, porque en estos espacios somos todos buenas personas, nos queremos y amamos. Es injusto después de todo. Para pensar, y el próximo libro que escriban, dedicarlo a cada una de las personas que no les hicieron pasar los mejores momentos de sus vidas… aunque sin dar nombres, que su historia se conozca!

Va el resumen:

Tanto la gestión y comunicación de crisis se han vuelto cada vez más importantes en la vida organizacional. Ahora sabemos que las crisis ocurren a todos los niveles y que sus repercusiones pueden ser fatales. Años atrás su solución era prevista únicamente con un Plan de Comunicación de Crisis, el cual sigue siendo una pieza importante durante el proceso, pero que, sin embargo, ya no puede ser considerarlo la solución a todos los problemas de la organización. En esta tesis se han escogido tres casos de crisis: Baxter, el Prestige y el mercado Hidalgo. El primero, representa a una multinacional con un historial positivo y que en el verano de 2001 se enfrentó a la muerte de 53 personas en 11 países a causa de sus dializadores. El segundo caso, es la crisis sufrida por el gobierno español tras el hundimiento del petrolero que dejó una inmensa marea negra en las costas de Galicia. El tercer caso es una crisis privada con consecuencias en lo público. Un incendio la víspera de año nuevo desveló una red de sobornos y permisos fraudulentos que pueden considerarse el verdadero motivo de la tragedia. De estos casos han surgido temas como la Gestión de Conflictos Potenciales, la Gestión de Riesgos y la Responsabilidad Social Corporativa que consideramos elementos que no pueden ser ignorados por ninguna organización en el proceso de planificación de crisis. Igualmente se describen algunas de las teorías más importantes en materia de gestión y comunicación de crisis, que a pesar de no ser el objetivo principal de esta tesis nos proporcionan una referencia de cómo se puede resolver una crisis. Dentro de estas, la que más nos interesa es la Aproximación simbólica (AS), desarrollada por Coombs y Holladay. Esta teoría busca relacionar el tipo de crisis con un tipo especifico de técnica y los factores que influyen en ella. Así, se busca que la organización sea capaz de identificar familias de crisis, prepararse contra ellas y aplicar estrategias de comunicación específicas a cada grupo con el fin de solucionar la crisis lo mejor posible y que las consecuencias sean menores tanto en el ámbito económico como en el de la imagen y la reputación. Por lo tanto, los casos de Baxter, el Prestige y el mercado Hidalgo son analizados bajo esta perspectiva y se describen las estrategias utilizadas (sus aciertos y sus errores) al tiempo que se contrastan con las estrategias de comunicación sugeridas por la AS. Finalmente, se propone un modelo de gestión y comunicación de crisis, desarrollado a partir de los procesos expuestos a lo largo de esta investigación

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