Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Amp the ‘Phant!

Tech Summit weekend has now come and gone. Friday was a day to put a few cards on tables, to monologue ideas in five minute increments.

I’m struck by the continuing schism between tech and touch, between message and communication, between recruit and enlist. The differences are what make the difference between success and failure. And they circle the question: What are we trying to accomplish?

All the tech imaginable is worthless unless one first has a tech-friendly goal in mind. Thinking that posting cool stuff on-line will convert a heathen to Republicanism is probably misplaced thought. My “tech” campaign would start by establishing “social proof” around Republicanism. Peer-to-peer is the gold standard.

The challenge is that right now there is a wide party identification gap, the widest in twenty years, between Democrats and Republicans. Even through the idyllic 1980s and new majority 90s, Democrats clung to a lead in voter identification. The tide is rapidly running away from an already depleted national party that lost the “youth vote” 47 to 28 percent in 2008 self-identification polls – polls it led in the 80s and into the 90s.

One is hard pressed to name any celebrity under 40 to make a "social proof" connection for the Republican Party. Ted Nugent? Alice Cooper? Meatloaf? Okay...maybe Kid Rock.

I’d suggest “viral” video to start the process, using a contest format to spur creation and creativity around why it’s cool to be GOP, maybe with a few different divisions: length, age, content, school, whatever. Prizes might be anything, from the publicity of a winning entry, to an autographed picture of Saul Anuzis. Voting would be by Facebook group join, text message, a website visit or similar means.

We've got to do something - Let's Amp the 'Phant!

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