Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Media: A Cost-Benefit Game

I often say that half my job is persuading people to embrace new media, to get buy in. Unfortunately, the reply is just as often that the given idea is too risky, too unknown.

How to overcome this admittedly reasonable obstacle? Show that the benefits outweigh the costs, as Mindy Finn, who ran Mitt Romney's e-campaign for president, explains in an interview with TechPresident:

Q: The Create Your Own Ad contest was a bit risky, given that you were putting material out that anyone could use, and indeed some opponents of Gov. Romney did make satirical ads. Were there concerns inside the campaign at trying this? Was it a success?

A: There were concerns, and they were allayed. The reality is that a savvy editor could take our content and mash it up at any point anyway. I believe it was a success. It continued the story line that the Romney campaign was extremely innovative, sophisticated and committed to welcoming the best content—whether from pros, rookies, or those in between. As a politech professional, I always look for ways to not only tap into online activists and their talents, but also to introduce online activism to new audiences. Many of those who participated in Create Your Own Ad had never produced a video before, and they continued to improve their work based on the comments received from others in the contest. It was beautiful to watch. (Cheesy, I know.)

I also feel compelled to quote Mindy's answer to the question, "If you had your way, what strategies or technologies would you have focused on more?"

A: That's not a fruitful question. I didn't have my way. We were a team. The most important aspect of implementing an effective strategy is hardly ever a lack of good ideas and sound tactics, it's integrating ... that strategy and those tactics into the overall effort. You will never be able to execute your plan in a vacuum, and collaboration, even if it's frustrating and demands compromise, is critical.

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