My name is Barack, and I am textually active

credit - PBS Media Shift

credit - PBS Media Shift

In his continued flirtations with the mobile medium, BarackObama made an ever-so buzzworthy pledge to his constituents that he would text them at the moment he chose his veep. Obama’s textual comehithers hooked me and many other Americans, who were eagerly waiting to “break” the news to friends who aren’t as cutting-edge :). Imagine how upset I was when I got the news from a CNN breaking news alert at 11:02pm on Friday, and a text message from my man, Obama, at 1:04am on Saturday.

As the AP put it, “The Democratic presidential candidate got scooped by the media on his own announcement, done in by dogged reporting, loose-lipped party insiders and the limits of technology.”


Well, turn that frown upside-down, Obama. Come fall, you’ll have millions of friends to text message when you are coming to their neck of the woods (because you got all our ZIP codes when we signed up for the alerts).

From a “new media” perspective, the most powerful thing to note is the transfer from the mobile medium to the Web. The Obama campaign said more than 48,000 people watched the live stream of Obama and Biden‘s first joint appearance from their Web site. Also, by mid-afternoon, they’d received more than $1.8 million in donations via the site. That’s nothing to LOL at.

This is politics’ first “go” at mobile marketing, and in my opinion, it’s been hugely successful. Supporters who signed up for the alerts certainly couldn’t be so miffed that they switch their allegiance from Obama. I think it’s awesome to see tried and true mobile marketing tactics at use in this way. I’m also wondering if this may have a mirrored effect on media companies and other brands, who were the first US companies to adopt this marketing tactic. That is, if Obama is able to engage with his audience this way, then why can’t they?

Meantime, I’ll look forward to more SMS from OBAMA.

FYI…if you want to sign up, just text *GO* to OBAMA.

Posted by Sharon