Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Thursday | March 20, 2003

Technology and the "little things"

I have made technology a sort of "pet issue" the past few weeks, as I've grown increasingly frustrated with the party's efforts.

So it's nice to see that some people get it:

[Virginia Democratic Party Communications Director Laura] Bland demonstrated her ability to react quickly and pre-empt the Republicans today. Yesterday, a local radio station, discussing Clear Channel radio's Richmond, VA, "Rally for America," noted that no Democrats were participating. In a masterstroke, Bland contacted the station and asserted that Democrats were fully behind America's troops. She also linked to the rally on the Democrats' web site. A local disc jockey named her "Hero of the Day."

The web site of the Virginia Republican Party did not have a link to the rally as of 12:40 EST on March 19th.

There's nothing glamorous about this story. We're not talking million dollar technologies, hyper-powerful databases or gee-whiz gizmos. Instead, this was about using one of the most basic web tools -- a website, to effectively defuse a potential PR crisis.

It's the little things that make all the difference. This was a deft move, almost sublime -- merely adding a link to a "Rally for America". But it paid huge dividends for the VA Democratic Party while also wounding the GOP.

Contrast that with the amateurish efforts by the Dean campaign to join the blogosphere. Or the misaddressed "collection" emails from the DNC a week or two ago. I'm told things are getting better all around, be it the Dean camp or the DNC or wherever, and I have no reason to doubt this.

But there has to be an understanding that a campaign or party website is not merely a billboard or brochure. It's a tool, and it must be wielded skillfully for maximum effect. I'm willing to bet that if I took all the campaign and party communication directors in the country, almost none would've responded as Bland did.

And that's what ultimately frustrates me the most.

Posted March 20, 2003 12:01 AM | Comments (18)


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