E-Voter Institute is a non-partisan research and trade association striving to advance the use of the web in politics and issue advocacy.
Digital Politics Radio is a lively web radio show that draws on experts across the political spectrum to discuss local, state, and national use of the Internet in political and cause related campaigns.
Digital Politics Radio pulled back the layers on big data, voter engagement, and digital campaigns with a wide variety of guests this spring.
On the April 24 show my first guest was Waldo Tibbetts, Director of Political and Advocacy Sales, Rocket Fuel talking about programmatic ad buying, message testing and recognizing the power of one-to-one marketing particularly when using real time bidding to fine tune the media plan.
I also talked with Linda Miles, Treasurer, St. Paul’s Foundation For International Reconciliation about their work to support marginalized women, asylum victims, and LGBT individuals by using social media, skype, email and web video. We also talked about the value of endorsements from the Elton John AIDS Foundation and other celebrities to raise awareness and funds.
On April 17 my guest was Nick Bowden, CEO, MindMixer talking about the need for engagement to build communities around issues and the variety of ways to interact with more individuals.
The topic shifted to community organizing with my guest Jamie McGonnigal, Community Engagement Manager, New Organizing Institute. We talked about the need for consistency in messaging, telling the narrative of a cause, the LGBT community prepares for the upcoming Supreme Court rulings and predicting what will go viral.
April 10 show included Becky Mancuso, Senior Digital Strategist, Brabender/Cox talking about traditional and digital strategies, online ad units that work, and perception of negative and humorous ads.
In the second half of the show I discussed with Matthew McMillian, President, BuzzMaker, his POLLIE awards from the American Association of Political Consultants, the 2012 gubernatorial race in Puerto Rico, and the expanding role of digital political strategists.
On March 27, the subject was multi-screen viewing and my first guest was Peter Pasi, Vice President, Collective Political. We talked about voter persuasion, interaction with ads throughout the day, maximizing cross screen experiences and mobile ads.
My second guest was Gary Arlen, Founder and President, Arlen Communications talking about distribution of video across multiple devices, real world and virtual relationships, and Internet taxation.
On March 20, the subject was accelerating time to market by outsourcing HR services and recognizing the value of employee benefits to remain competitive in the marketplace. Rick Iverson, Regional Consultant, TriNet described the new world of cloud based human capital management.
My second guest was Ben Katz, founder and CEO, Givalike, who continued the discussion about good corporate citizenship and growing employee loyalty, using social channels to raise money and awareness for small non-profits, and making it easier for people to contribute small amounts to favorite causes.
The show on March 13 turned to spectrum management in an interview with Michael Berg, communications lawyer who provided some details about how the FCC is managing spectrum needs of wireless and non-wireless providers, developing universal standards for broadcast and cable in light of mobile needs.
My second guest was Jeremy Duimstra, Co-Founder, MJD Interactive Agency addressing new media habits, improving the engagement experience, rewarding loyalty, and mobile apps and native ads.
Update on Digital Politics Radio guests since the first of the year. We will be following the top races in 2013 and many of the guests shared insights about 2012 races and expectations for 2013 and 2014 campaigns.
On March 6, my first guest was Brian Franklin, President, Impact Politics, who talked about the race he ran for Patrick Murphy against Allen West for the Congressional seat in Florida, the use of web video and how to take advantage of a campaign with a national audience.
My second guest was Chris Ruff, President and CEO, UIEvolution, talking about the recent Mobile World Congress, the rise of connected devices, improving the value of content and services particularly in the hospitality business, the growth of digital signs and wearable and specialized devices.
On February 27, my first guest was Jimmy Orr, Managing Editor Digital, Los Angeles Times who reflected on his days in the George W. Bush White House as the web guy responsible for making the Barney the First Dog web videos. We also talked about the need for transparency in political campaigns and the role of newspapers in covering a race.
Talking with Evan Sutton, Communications Director, New Organizing Institute, expanded the range of the show with a look at the future of the use of digital tools for mobilizing and organizing. Evan also explains how to tell the differences between a grassroots and AstroTurf campaign.
On February 13 I talked with Michael Pranikoff, Global Director of Emerging Media, PR Newswire about increasing visibility and engagement, role of citizen journalists, and the use of media around the world.
The subject was web sites and media strategies in my interview with Kari Butcher, Sr. VP Public Affairs, id Media. We also talked about getting beyond the silos in campaign management to communicate with people on the screen of their choice.
On the February 6 show I talked with Colin Delany, founder, ePolitics about how social media is the domain of niche interests, amplification of messages on social media, and how the Obama campaign placed ads on the web on obscure cable channels.
I continued the conversation with Curt Mercadante, Principal, Merc Strategy Group about ways to take advantage of live events using social media, reaching Baby Boomers on Facebook, targeting online ads, effective use of email to engage voters and finding low information voters online.
My other guest that day was Aaron Cuker, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Cuker Interactive, talking about how the growing number of touch points means creating brand eco-systems around a consumer, strategies for mobile second screen experiences and the benefit of curated content.
On the January 23 show I talked with Waldo Tibbetts, Director of Political and Advocacy Sales, Rocket Fuel about targeting online ads, the ability to buy custom audiences across multiple screens driven by Big Data, real time bidding, the changing role of media buyers, and actionable data from predictive models.
We also got a preview of the South Carolina Congressional race from Phil Noble, President, PoliticsOnline. This race includes former Governor Mark Stanford, Ted Turner’s son Teddy, and Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, sister of Stephen Colbert. We also talked about lessons learned from the Obama campaign and grassroots efforts for down ballot races.
On January 16 my first guest was Carolyn Carlson, Founder, Carlson Political Consulting, discussing building, appending and refreshing contact lists, value of email, text messaging, and best practices for outreach to all voters as well as niche groups.
With the CEA event just concluded in Las Vegas, I had a chance to talk with Jim Barry, Media Spokesperson, Consumer Electronics Association about changes in our connected world, development of wireless health and wellness devices, entertainment anywhere, and convergence in hand held devices and growth of connected things.
On January 9, I heard from Scott Crider, Owner, Watchdog Causes about lessons learned by the Dogs Against Romney campaign, the power of dog owners, and how emotional appeals drive social media success.
My other guest was Francine Busby, Democratic leader here in San Diego, who talked about the importance of door-to-door and phone contact from candidates and volunteers in addition to any digital activities, the impact of digital capture devices and postings on social media, and initiatives to get more women to run for office.
To start the year off on January 2, I talked with Mark Bryant, VP Business Development and Stephanie Davari-Page, Director of Business Development, Resonate Insights, about finding persuadable voters online, pre-roll video and mobile ads, influencing public opinion with online persuasion, and targeting by values, attitudes and beliefs.
My other guest was Chris Massicotte, Partner, DSPolitical talking about new opportunities for advocacy targeting, promoting progressive issues online, cookie technology and targeting multiple screens to get out the vote.
Digital Politics Radio ended the year on a good note with winners and losers sharing thoughts about what happened on the digital front in 2012 with a look ahead to 2013 and 2014.
On December 19 my guests were Chris Ruff, President and CEO, UIEvolution who filled in some details about the world of connected cars and models for mobile discovery and ads.
I also talked with Amy Thoma, social media and public affairs expert with Stutzman Public Affairs about effective uses of social media in a national crisis, targeting supporters and voters online, and metrics of success for multiple screen usage.
On December 12, I was joined by Megan Cellucci, Senior Digital Strategist, CampaignGrid to talk about the newest wave of online ads related to the fiscal cliff, appropriate calls to action for causes and candidates, use of multiple screens, and big data.
Mobile business models was the topic with Adam Riggs-Zeigen, Chief Rocker, Rock My Run, and senior business development manager, Qualcomm. We talked about Adam’s start-up which packages digital music for specific activities, the importance of getting feedback from the target audience, and possibilities for monetizing mobile apps.
On December 5, my guest was Kate Kaye, Reporter-Data and Analytics, Advertising Age, who shared insights about the value of the Obama and Romney data bases of supporters, restrictions on tracking cookies for political purposes, and online targeting.
I also talked with Alex Cole, Vice President, Hattaway Communications, about word of mouth, creating value for an online audience, the importance of being first to break a story, and the impact of the explosion of mobile devices in the US and around the world.
On November 28, I discussed with Adam Halbridge, EVP, Parallel 6 the transition to mobile sites and apps from desktop browsers, capturing buyer behavior, geo-fencing, indoor navigation and push notifications.
My other guest was David Almacy, Senior Vice President, Edelman Washington DC. David reflected on web activities from Clinton to Bush to Obama, value of engaging voters on social nets, targeting messages across screens, and metrics of success.
On November 14, I checked in with Peter Pasi, Executive Vice President, emotive llc, about down ballot races in 2012, the importance of authentic messages from candidates, text to donate innovations, and the need for multiple touch points with voters.
My other guest was George Waller, Executive VP, Marketing, StrikeForce Technologies and expert on encryption and authentication. We talked about strategies for protecting enterprise resources in a bring your own device world, threats to Android and iOS devices from hackers, and identity theft.
On November 7 we celebrated the election with a chat with Shaun Dakin, Founder and CEO, Stop Political Calls with examples of the worst robo-calls in 2012 and regulations and enforcement of rules for political robo-calls to land lines and mobile devices.
My next guests were Cyrus Krohn, Co-Founder, Crowdverb and Charles Davis, CTO, Behavior Matrix talking about making sense of dynamic data from online activity, identifying trends in emotions that drive voters, and the changing relevance of traditional polls.
I also talked with Cyrus Krohn about how social media adds a new dimension to political strategies, the impact of multiple screens when trying to reach voters, and where all that money was spent by Republicans and SuperPACs in 2012.
Digital Politics Radio in October included industry experts from both the traditional and digital worlds. Themes this month were targeting online ads, value of social net activity, cross media campaigns, role of mobile devices and how voter behavior is changing.
On October 31, the guests were Steve Weddle, CEO and Billy Beltz, CMO, Volunteer Forever. We talked about their new solution for global and domestic volunteers that uses a crowdfunding approach enhanced with a strong social media dimension.
I talked with Catherine Calarco, CMO HeartMath about managing stress, their emWave Technology which allows you to monitor your heart rate and incorporates techniques for sustaining a positive frame of mind. Seemed like a good topic in light of Hurricane Sandy and the last weeks of the campaign.
On October 24 I talked with Rena Shapiro, Political Director, Pandora about selling digital audio ads, micro-targeting, buying traditional and digital media, cross media coordination and where money is being spent in 2012.
To hear from the traditional side of the media world I talked with Tom Erspamer, Director Political Advertising, LA Times who talked about the role of print and online newspapers in reaching voters, targeting minorities, and the influx of Super PAC money in 2012.
On October 17 I talked about last minute tactics with industry expert Ravi Singh, CEO, ElectionMall and he emphasized that it is never too late to reach voters. We talked about the current role of email and text messaging, the challenges for down ballot races to use digital tools, and protecting the reputation of candidates.
I talked with Michael Berg, communications lawyer, about rules for tv ad buys by Federal, state and local races as well as Super PACs and the responsibility that stations have to ensure that ads are accurate.
On October 10 my guest was Stacia O’Connor, co-founder, Fresh Digital Group who talked about a mobile app for a second screen experience they developed with ESPN and American Express for viewers who were watching the US Open tennis match on television.
Cami Zimmer, Campaign Touch, reviewed some of the action at the MobileCON event in San Diego with a focus on connected cars, telematics and the need for standards in the automotive industry to make sense of an interactive car environment.
I also talked with Steve Wildstrom, technology writer and analyst about the MobileCON show, the ways mobile devices are changing human behavior, promises on Windows 8 and implications of bring your own device (BYOD).
On October 3 I talked with John Bohan, Founder, Socialtyze, about the growth of social media, the significance of followers and fans, and understanding the purchase consideration period.
Keith Donner, EVP/Strategic Services at 50Blue talked about how direct mail compliments social media, strategies for reaching Spanish language voters, and changes in the campaign media mix.
I also talked that day with Tim Vickey, Founder, Level 671, about the growing interest in mobile by campaigns, attracting small donors with mobile strategies, use of online for fundraising, persuasion, GOTV, and the effectiveness of micro-targeting.
Time for an update on the most recent Digital Politics Radio shows from August and September. The political landscape has changed with the online coverage of the conventions, leaked videos that go viral, the rise of social media such as Facebook and Twitter and the explosion of smart mobile devices. My guests provide a wide range of insights on changes in voter behavior and targeting opportunities across all screens.
September 28 show included John Phillips, CEO Aristotle talking about their arrangement with Square to help campaigns get contributions on the go. We also talked about the new FCC rulings on political robo-calls to mobile phones.
The show also included Alex Treadway, COO/Senior VP Sales for The Daily Caller. We discussed the business of online advertising, metrics for evaluating online strategies, and how The Daily Caller is positioning itself as a news site for moderate conservatives and those that care what they think.
On September 19, I talked with Ryan Bettencourt, founder and CEO, Blurtopia, a San Diego based start-up with a solution that allows people to blurt out questions using their mobile devices to get quick responses from friends and strangers. This mobile app combines utility and entertainment and is an example of the next stage of peer-to-peer/crowd-sourcing solutions.
On the show that day I also talked with Colin Delany, founder ePolitics about the 47% video from Mitt Romney, how social media has changed the dialogue at conventions, and leveraging social media and email to connect with voters.
On September 12, I talked with Rich Masterson, Chairman, CampaignGrid about online political ads, targeting voters in state and local races, optimizing media budgets with integrated campaigns.
My other guest that day was Rishab Ghosh, Co-Founder and VP Research, Topsy Labs, who delves into the value of social data, the new dynamics of information sharing, meaning of online outrage, and metrics for making sense of social activity.
The month started with the September 5 show with Shervin Erfani, Founder and CEO, TexTango, another San Diego based start-up using the signature line of text and email to include promotions of brands, candidates, and causes.
Talking with Robert Sechrist, Director of New Media, Republican State Leadership Committee, provided insights into down ballot races, role of social media and online ads to leverage other media, and using Facebook and Twitter in state and local races to organize and rally supporters.
The August 29 show featured Eyal Goldwerger, CEO, TargetSpot talking about mobile use by Hispanics and African American audiences, listening patterns of web radio across all devices, and the trend of social engagement while listening to digital audio.
I also talked with Adriel Hampton, Chief Organizer, NationBuilder, about the Republican convention, merging traditional and digital solutions, and political organizing on social media.
On August 22 I was joined by Jordan Lieberman, Managing Director, CampaignGrid talking about rapid response, targeting online ads, and nationalization of campaigns.
Discussion switched to social media analytics and consequences of ignoring social buzz in the discussion with Jimmy Winter, Co-Founder, VoterTide.
On August 15 I talked with Chris Massicotte, Partner, DSPolitical about online ads, micro-targeting, the nationalization of campaigns and support of openly gay candidates.
I also talked that day with Eric Jaye, Founder and President, Storefront Political Media about positioning down ballot Democratic candidates, value of online and traditional ads to solidify the base and identify swing voters, and the need for an authentic voice from candidates.
On August 8 the topic was online fundraising with Peter Pasi, Executive VP, emotive. We talked about small donors, nationalization of campaigns, role of mobile and online ads, and the popularity of web video ads in campaign 2012.
I talked with Doug Robinson, CEO, Fresh Digital Group about how brands are engaging consumers on smart phones and tablets, integrating messages across multiple screens, and ways to engage voters of all ages on mobile devices.
On August 1 the topic was mobile and how consumers are interacting with smart phones and my guest was Derrik Dennis, Director of Sales and Business Development, Arbitron Mobile. We also discussed app usage, display and video ads in apps and on mobile sites and expected growth of smart devices around the world.
I also talked with Talbot Brooks, Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies about visualization of GIS data, how geo-spatial information promotes collaboration, and the importance of map reading skills.
Digital Politics Radio in July included a wide range of experts in targeting. On July 11 I talked with John Manoogian, Co-Founder 140 Proof and French Caldwell, VP and Gartner Fellow, Gartner Research. July 18th show included Russell Glass, CEO, Bizo and Stephen Alembik, Founder, SMA Communications and on the show on July 25 we heard from Sung Shin, VP Product Management, Resonate Insights.
On July 25 Sung Shin, Resonate Insights talked about targeting Independent and undecided voters by looking at the attitudes and values of voters in addition to consideration of traditional demographic groupings.
On July 18 Russell Glass, Bizo focused on targeting business professionals with a look at small business owners and the growing category of voters that embrace new technology in order to stay ahead of the competition.
I also heard from Steven Alembik, Founder, SMA Communications about data base matching, data mining, and complications of providing list of potential voters in light of redistricting shifts. Steve also talked about how the Super PACs are using voter files to target and persuade voters particularly in swing states.
On July 11 the topic shifted to the social media world and making sense of data on Facebook and Twitter to better target messages to voters. John Manoogian, 140 Proof talked about lessons learned from big brands using ads in the social stream, inclusion of video in social ads and multiplier impact of messages across all screens.
French Caldwell, Gartner, reviewed some research on the level of trust in politicians, government officials and corporations and delved into how social media is changing expectations for engagement and privacy in the age of transparency. French also pointed out the need to find influencers using social media to accelerate the spread of messages.
Digital Politics Radio ended June with a timely discussion about independent voters. Throughout the month I talked with experts on mobile, online ads and campaign strategy. On June 6 my guests were Ben Katz, JSX Inc, and Cami Zimmer, Campaign Touch. On June 13 I talked with Elise Simmons, BIA/Kelsey, on June 20 my guests were Bill Hillsman, North Woods Advertising and Chris Nolan, Spot-On, and on June 27 I was joined by Dan Schnur, Unruh Institute of Politics, USC and Shaun Dakin, Stop Political Calls.
In my conversation with Dan Schnur, Director, Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California we talked about Super PAC money, independent voters and candidates, how young voters perceive tv ads, and why it is so hard to change the way campaign are run.
Shaun Dakin, founder and CEO, Stop Political Calls talked with me about the perceived power of robocalls, benefit of phone banks, privacy concerns of voters, and the need to be able to limit intrusive political messages.
Bill Hillsman, President and Chief Creative Officer, North Woods Advertising and founder of Independent Voters of America talked about his efforts to give voice to independent voters, engaging voters online and the need for authenticity in political messaging. With his experience working with controversial candidates, Bill brings a wealth of experience to the discussion.
Chris Nolan, founder, Spot-On, talked about the value of online ads on local news sites, social media for field organizing and who is using mobile devices and how to reach them.
Elise Simmons, Research Analyst, BIA/Kelsey commented on her research about traditional and digital political ads, trends in mobile advertising, impact of negative ads, and the need to invest in better measurements of success.
Interview with Elise Simmons
Interview continues with Elise Simmons
Ben Katz, CEO, JSX Inc. talked about lessons learned in the San Diego primary election, confusion from redistricting and efforts for voter suppression.
Cami Zimmer, President, Campaign Touch, provided an update about the Wisconsin Recall Election and particularly how mobile ads were part of the mix to turnout the vote.
Digital Politics Radio wrapped up May with several discussions about targeting, down ballot races, the effective use of audio and mobile ads and web video. On May 16 I talked with Eyal Goldwerger, CEO, TargetSpot and Colin Billings, Director of Product, Stitcher. On May 23 my guests were Susan Nightingale, President and Harvey Chimoff, COO, PolitiView and David Chin, Win By Cell. This week on May 30 I talked with James Muldrow, Product Manager for Segment Metrix, comScore and Bryan Merica, CEO, Activate Direct.
James Muldrow talked about boosting campaigns through viral efforts, voter segmentation, tracking social media and related online activity, and the findings from the comScore report The Digital Politico: 5 Ways Digital Media is Shaping the 2012 Presidential Election.
Bryan Merica and I talked about the bridges that need to be built to combine traditional methods and digital tools to create effective media plans. Bryan also delves into how to use social media chatter and traditional polling data to better target voters.
Win By Cell brings a cross platform solution to campaigns so that they can reach voters using text, audio, mobile and web to get them to contribute even small amounts. David Chin talks with me about extending online fundraising to tablets, smart phones and social media to raise money for state and local races.
Eyal Goldwerger is very enthusiastic about audio ads and he reveals the shift in listening behavior that has come about because of smart phones, tablets, internet enabled cars and the recognition that online ads work.
Stitcher is known for it’s lineup of quality talk radio podcasts and now Colin Billings has created the Election Center app to help listeners keep track of updates and news. Note that the Digital Politics Radio show can be found on Stitcher in the Politics section.
Digital Politics Radio turned the focus to the convergence of traditional and digital techniques in the first shows in May. On May 2, I spoke with Elisa Henry, Principal, Shoutpoint and John Brabender, Founder, BrabenderCox and senior adviser to the Santorum for President campaign. On May 9, my guests were Allen Fuller, Managing Partner, Flat Creek Digital and Ben Donahower, Founder, Campaign Trail Yard Signs.
Allen Fuller, Flat Creek Digital spent time as a staffer on Capitol Hill, on the campaign trail and as an adviser to candidates and advocacy groups. He sees the official web site as the central hub for a campaign and reflects on the lingering resistance to using digital tools in a political fight. He also drilled down into the needs of state and local races and the importance of targeted online ads and a social media strategy.
Ben Donahower, Campaign Trail Yard Signs provided keen insights about best practices for yard signs in an age of digital communications. He also talked about his newest eBook Get Out the Vote To Win with tips about effective use of text messaging .
Elisa Henry, Shoutpoint, is a distributed telecommunications expert and she explains the world beyond robo-calls which includes town hall meetings for thousands, rapid response and polling.
John Brabender, BrabenderCox is a senior political consultant with an expertise in creating compelling ads. While John is from the traditional side, he has embraced the digital world and shares some of the reasons he is so enthusiastic about online tools. He also reflects on the Santorum 2012 campaign.
Digital Politics Radio closed out April talking about convergence of technology on the campaign trail and in the healthcare industry. My guests on April 24 included Dr. Richard Della Penna, Chief Medical Officer, Independa and Cami Zimmer, founder, Campaign Touch. On April 17 my guests were Bill Mastin, founder, GrassMuscle and Colin Delany, founder and editor ePolitics and author of How Campaigns Can Use the Internet to Win in 2012.
Dr. Della Penna talked about the Independa model which addresses the needs of seniors and caregivers by using a strong technology approach to keep elderly people in their homes as long as possible.
Cami Zimmer shares her reaction to the CampaignTech event in DC sponsored by Campaigns and Elections and gives us an update about views on creating mobile apps versus a mobile version of a web site.
Colin Delany delves into the rules for recruitment, mobilization and messaging using digital tools. He reminds us of the need for a strong email campaign and how to combine it with social media activity and online ads.