What emerging media strategies and tools will shape the 2012 campaigns?
In 2008, text messages and branded social networks (MyBO, McCainSpace) changed the face of political campaigning forever. In the 2012 race, presidential candidates and their campaign staff are scrambling to find the next “new thing” to motivate and organize supporters. As rumors swirl that Barack Obama will raise over $1 billion by election day, candidates are avidly seeking ways to engage donors online and on mobile.
A small panel of Washington insiders discuss how new media is shaping the 2012 campaigns and who is using the freshest technology to separate themselves from the pack and make a run for the White House.
Owner & Creative Dir, BHA Creative LLC
I’m a designer/illustrator currently living in Houston, TX. Since I was little I’ve been drawing on every scrap I could get ahold of, and I’m thankful to have turned what I love into a career. I founded BHA Creative in 2009 after a two year stint at the Republican National Committee, where I was privileged to be part of a team that helped pioneer the GOP’s online effort during the 08 election cycle. I’ve been lucky to work with lots of great people on all different kinds of projects. When I’m not in front of a computer I spend my time on the golf course, in the bass boat, or traveling the open road. My beautiful wife Allyson is my best friend and my most favorite person in the world, and our dog Huck is pretty cool too. Find me on twitter @brianathey.
DC Office Director, Crowdverb
Todd Van Etten grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where he was always curious about technology, often breaking apart perfectly good appliances to see how they worked. When he arrived at the Republican National Committee in 2006, Todd thrived on adapting the newest tools to meet the challenges of the evolving political environment. He eventually became New Media Director and in 2009 oversaw the largest technological upgrades in party history, including a complete rebranding of the flagship GOP.com. He's currently loving his slightly less-political role of Managing Director of Crowdverb, a social mobilization company, where he can apply his expertise to both corporations and campaigns. When he escapes from the beltway Todd enjoys exploring new places, most recently Thailand, Patagonia and Costa Rica. Whether he is at home or traveling, Todd is almost always listening to (and occasionally performing) music, with funk and jazz guitar being his favorites.
VP Specialized Svcs, Sensis
Danny Allen is the Vice President of Specialized Services in the Washington, DC office of Sensis, an advertising agency providing advertising, branding, and Web strategy services for political, government, and private industry clients. He oversees all government and East Coast engagements and business development. He has secured and managed client engagements with the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, FEMA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Republican National Committee, among many others. Prior to joining Sensis, Danny was the founder and CEO of an online media company and a corporate attorney. He has a BA from the University of Texas, a JD from NYU School of Law, and a MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Danny is an active member of the Shenandoah Mountain Rescue Group and a volunteer with the American Red Cross.
Owner & Pres, Mair Strategies
Liz Mair is the founder and President of Mair Strategies LLC, a political consulting firm with deep expertise in communications, and online communications in particular. Over the course of her career, Liz has advised numerous high-profile candidates and organizations on online communications strategy, including multiple Fortune 500 companies and trade associations. In the 2012 cycle, she consulted for Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign. Liz served as former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina's online communications strategist during her 2010 U.S. Senate run. During 2008, she served as the Republican National Committee's Online Communications Director, leading an aggressive and groundbreaking online media outreach effort aimed at electing John McCain, Sarah Palin and Republicans across the country. A frequent guest commentator on politically-geared cable and radio shows both domestically and abroad, Liz has spoken at conferences including PDF, PDF Europe, Politics Online and CPAC. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Liz lived in the United Kingdom for ten years. There, she earned an MA in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews and attended law school, ultimately practicing corporate law in the City of London for three years. Liz also holds a certificate in Political and Social Sciences from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). Liz lives in Arlington, VA, together with her husband.
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